• Halloween Contest: Win a Copy of Instant Flask Web Development 10/2013

    It’s Halloween which means it’s time for some scary stories! I have teamed up with Packt Publishing to organize a giveaway of their new book, Instant Flask Web Development. About the book: Manage your project dependencies using virtualenv Understand how Flask provides URL routing and web request handling Recognize how Flask serves static files on disk Learn about modeling, storing,...

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  • Goal Versus System Oriented People 10/2013

    Last week I read an interesting article from Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic, about How To Be Successful. He exposes two different kind of people, goal oriented and system oriented, and makes the case as to why the latter is the best option. Putting aside whether being system oriented is better or not, the article struck a chord with me. The difference between goal oriented and ...

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  • Becoming a Digital Nomad 09/2013

    Although the “Hire me for your next project” page has been up for a few weeks, I didn’t talk much about it. As you may know, I’ve been traveling since January. What started as a round-the-world trip as now turned into something else as I have been taking on freelancing jobs for the last three months. I already wrote a post, “Why I’m in Montreal Right Now”, in my travel journal covering this ch...

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  • Introducing PHP DebugBar 08/2013

    Having some information about what’s happening in your application is always something nice to have. For some time, I used FirePHP which while working very well is pretty limited on the way to display information. Some of the bigger frameworks like Symfony include a debug bar or a profiling utility. Unfortunately, it is always completly dependent on the framework (understandable) which means t...

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  • Multi-site setup using Jekyll 07/2013

    Continuing on my previous post about my Jekyll setup. As I noted, I use Jekyll to publish two sites which have many things in common. After some messing around, I’m finally happy with the organization and usage of this setup. The two site share the following things: assets includes plugins layouts Tasks in my fabfile are adapted to multi-site usage and I also have tasks to generate...

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  • Big Update to Beautiful Docs 07/2013

    Beautiful Docs has reached version 1.0! I must be honest that the project was stagnant for some time. The recent Hacker News submission about daux.io pushed me to fix all the open issues and add the features I had been thinking about for some time. The new features: search (full client-side, no server needed) rebuilt generation engine with support for themes generate static pages al...

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  • Publishing with Jekyll, Dropbox and Crontab 07/2013

    My two blogs are powered with Jekyll, a static site generator. I love it and this is hands down the way to publish my content I prefer the most. I’ve been using it since I moved my blog out of Posterous and it has always served me well. I’m using it with a multi-site setup (which I will cover in a future post) and have published more than a hundred articles without any issues. At first, I gen...

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  • Changes in the RSS feed 07/2013

    Small changes in the RSS feed. My two blogs (tech and travel) won’t be aggregated anymore into a single feed. The feed on maximebf.com will now only feature my tech articles. The URL doesn’t change (feeds.feedburner.com/maximebf). The feed for my travel blog is available at feeds.feedburner.com/maximebf_travel. As I expect to write more tech articles in the near future, I wanted to really ...

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  • Book review: The Lean Startup 03/2013

    I have known about the Lean Startup movement for some time now. Everything I read about the subject rang true with me. I’m particularly exposed to it reading HN daily where it’s prevalent and my boss at Allmyapps was a firm believer. It was time for me to actually read the book about it. The Lean Startup movement was started by Eric Ries who’s also the author of the eponymous book. As with ...

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  • Publishing PHP libraries using Github, Travis and Composer 02/2013

    While PHP had a package manager for a long time, in the form of PEAR, it never really took off or become ubiquitous. The most common way to install a library has always been manually which is a shame given how practical a package manager can be. Fortunately, things are changing for the best since Composer. This package manager, inspired by NPM from Node.js, is getting a very good traction and...

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  • It's in the details! 01/2013

    If you’ve been reading my blog recently, you’d have probably guess that I really like Flask. In debug mode, Flask generates an error report in your browser, when an exception is not caught for example. While working on a small thing today, I was using curl to query a Flask app and I had an exception. The html code prints in the terminal but noticed something pretty awesome. At the end of the ...

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  • Announcing Atomik 3.0 01/2013

    Good news for the beginning of this new year: a new version of Atomik Framework is out! Some people have been sending emails about the future of this project for a while and I finally took time to finalize the latest version. I haven’t done all that I had planned because this would have mean more delays. In the future I plan to refactor the inner workings of the framework. This version introdu...

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  • Monitoring Python Web Apps 12/2012

    Monitoring how your application is doing while in production is essential. It’s the only way you will be able to catch problems early and resolve them quickly to ensure the best uptime. These tools are what I use to monitor my Python web apps which are typically built using Flask and ran via uWSGI. Of course, they can be used for any other type of Python web apps.  Logging errors from your a...

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  • Syncing a Withings Scale with Fitbit 11/2012

    I recently got a Fitbit Ultra Activity & Sleep Tracker to track all sort of “health” metrics. I already have a Withings Scale which tracks my weight. I love being able to track all this data about me, it offers a new perspective on the kind of life I’m living. Anyway, the problem is there was no way to get the Withings scale measurements into the Fitbit dashboard. Fitbit also sells a sc...

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  • Getting bigger with Flask 11/2012

    My last post about creating websites with Flask covered the steps to create a simple application. What happens when it grows bigger? In this post I will take as example a common use case for a web app: a public section (homepage, tour, signup, login) a member only section (the app, user settings) an api Each member will have its own subdomain (ie: if my username is maximebf, I get t...

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  • Building websites in Python with Flask 10/2012

    For some times now, I have been doing some projects in Python and some were web applications. Flask is a small framework to do exactly that and I have found it perfect for the job. It’s really easy to use, fast, has good documentation and a good community. This is the first post in a series dedicated to building websites with Python and more notably Flask. In this post, I will talk about set...

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  • Asus UX31A 07/2012

    I have been working on a dual machine setup for some time. I have a powerful tower PC with a 22” screen and an older laptop 13” (upgraded with an SSD) for when I’m on the move. While this has been working well (thanks Dropbox), I wanted to come back to a single machine setup. I have been searching for a while for the best laptop: portable, powerful and beautiful. It seems PC constructor were...

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  • Replacing Ubuntu Unity's Dash with Synapse 07/2012

    I may be one of the few who like Unity (even if it seems things are changing). However, I never liked the Dash. I find it slow and poorly designed with a lot of unneeded information. I don’t see the point in lenses either, who’s going to search for news or videos on youtube from there? One of the first thing I do when I install a fresh Ubuntu is disable the Super key which activates the Dash...

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  • Site update 07/2012

    A quick post to present the updated site I pushed today. I wanted to add another side to the tech related stuff thus the creation of the Life & Travel Journal section. I have lived in multiple countries and visited many more but never really shared my experiences. The new section will be dedicated to my travels or cool things I’ve done. It only has two posts for now but expect more! The ...

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  • Startup Weekend 04/2012

    Last weekend I participated with a friend to a Startup Weekend event. The concept is to create a startup in a weekend. Startup is a big word here and the goal is really more to present an idea with a prototype and a possible (and coherent) business plan. If you can validate your market during the weekend, it’s an obvious bonus point. It starts with 1 minute pitches on friday night followed by...

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