2 years of blogging

When I first came to University lots of people (like Rob Miles) were trying to get undergraduates to start blogging. On the 6th of March 2012 I registered this domain and started blogging, getting myself added to the awesome Hull Compsci blogs syndicate. That was two years ago and a lot has changed so I thought I would write a summary post.

Open source stuff

My first blog was a Wordpress one, but I felt that Wordpress was trying to be too much and I just wanted something a bit more lightweight. So, inspired by svbtle I created and released Simple which powers this blog. A least a few other people use it for their blogs as well which is kind of cool depite me not giving the project much attention recently.

I primarily use GitHub to share all my open source code. Over the last year I’ve made 379 contributions to both my own repositories and others that I use, and somehow gathered 48 followers. My most popular repository is Simple which has 481 stars and 96(!) forks, followed by my Django Debug toolbar panel with 191 stars.

I’ve put a few projects on the Python package index as well, and a couple seem to be used a fair bit: The Debug toolbar panel had 3690 downloads in the last month and my HtmlToWord library had 3812 (which I find weird because unlike the other package I can’t locate a single project other than mine that actually uses it).

In the last two years this blog has had 67,184 visitors with a peak of over 1,000 concurrent viewers, which is pretty neat. Simple handled every request speedily with no errors.

The most popular posts are:

  1. Purchasing a £30,000 numberplate for the price of a bus ticket
  2. Breaking out of secured Python environments
  3. Just how slow are Django templates
  4. Opera is really nice
  5. Automatically inline Python function calls
  6. Using Python metaclasses to make awesome Django model field choices
  7. Adding tail call optimization to Python

According to Google Webmaster tools some of my popular posts have quite high google rankings for some queries:

Viewer information

I use Google Analytics for my website stats and it also tracks things like browser usage, operating system and screen resolution.

Security stuff

I found a 4 “grave” security issues in some software that got issued their own CVE numbers (which is awesome!): osvdb.org/creditees/11331-tom-forbes. Slightly before I started this blog I also presented a research paper at the BlackHat security conference which was the most scary hour of my life. I haven’t really blogged about it but I intend to in the coming weeks.


I’m pretty happy with the last two years and I’m both excited for the future and a bit sad that my time at Hull is coming to a close.