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Practical Django Projects 151

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
Chromodromic writes "Apress's newest Django offering, Practical Django Projects by James Bennett, weighs in lightly at 224 pages of actual tutorial content, but trust me, they're dense pages. Filled with pragmatic examples which directly address the kinds of development issues you will encounter when first starting out with Django, this book makes an important addition to the aspiring Django developer's reference shelf. In particular, the book's emphasis on demonstrating best practices while building complete projects does an excellent job of accelerating an understanding of Django's most powerful features — in a realistic, pragmatic setting — and which a developer will be able to leverage in very short order." Read below for the rest of Greg's review.
Practical Django Projects
author James Bennett
pages 256
publisher Apress
rating 8/10
reviewer Greg McClure
ISBN 1-59059-996-9
summary A practical introduction to the Pythonic Django web framework.
This book serves an important function by providing progressive, useful examples of Django's role in the development of realistic projects. During the course of the tutorial you build three basic apps: A simple brochureware-oriented CMS, a complete blogging system (with Akismet spam protection and RSS feeds, among other features), and a social code-sharing site similar to that found at djangosnippets.org (with account signups, syntax highlighting via pygments, and bookmarking features — the whole enchilada). You may or may not find these projects immediately relevant to your work or goals, but the projects themselves are really just platforms for delving into Django's nooks and general philosophy. It's an important point to make about the book especially, because though Django itself provides potent facilities for creating reusable code while preserving a high degree of flexibility, "magic" is kept to a minimum compared to some other popular frameworks. It follows that maximizing your knowledge of Django's inner workings through familiar paradigms is critical to making the framework perform to your best advantage. The book excels at accomplishing this goal.

Along these lines, a lot of territory is covered in a short span. You're introduced to a couple of Django's contrib apps — code which comes with a normal Django installation and which cleanly plugs into your own application while remaining extremely customizable. After being ushered through a straightforward installation and database configuration, your first exposure to development is through the contrib app most frequently lauded in the Djangoverse, Django's deservedly well known admin system. But immediately, emphasis is shifted from the basic features of the system to the ways it can be customized. This approach of introducing a feature and then modifying or extending it is repeated immediately with Django's Flatpages contrib app, a very basic CMS which, again, comes with Django and installs with a single line of code and one command.

By the time you've finished the third chapter, you've built the foundation of a typical brochureware site, complete with a working search system and a completely functional customized admin with which you may modify your content using a javascript-based HTML editor (TinyMCE). Pretty impressive for 41 fast-moving pages.

The strongest feature of the book, though, is not the speed or facility with which features are presented, but rather the way these features are always demonstrated with a mind to Django's strongest argument: how easy it is to create reusable code, once you understand the framework's approach. As you move through the next four chapters of building the blogging system, the establish-modify-extend technique of presentation does a good job of working you through various standard Django features — generic views (a very important concept which is illuminated nicely), code organization, ORM techniques, template inheritance, and so forth — and you're smoothly shown the ways by which you will be able to incorporate much of the code you write into your future work. As you begin your last project, the code-sharing app, you've gotten an overview of both coding and workflow techniques which work best with Django. The final chapters reinforce everything you've learned while still introducing new material on library integration, form handling and the newforms library, and code distribution.

The overall approach is very effective, though I found I had to trust the tutorial a little at first in order to get the most out of it. The projects initially seemed somewhat vanilla, so it wasn't until I really focused on the organization of the material that I discovered the book's strengths. Now I wish I'd had this book years ago.

Issues? I had only one, really. The material presents itself as a tutorial suitable for those who are just starting out with Python. For example, near the beginning of the material the def keywork is pointed out as the way Python functions are declared, and similar kinds of notes and comments pepper the tutorial, somewhat unevenly, as well. While I appreciate the impulse to make the material as accessible as possible, I'm skeptical of the book's role as truly introductory at that level, although I could see some experienced developers, especially those coming from other languages, benefiting from these quick notes. But my feeling in general would be that if you're so new to Python that the def keyword is a revelation, you might be better off starting elsewhere before you dive into Django.

This is a minor point, though, and if you're willing to give the material the time, you'll appreciate what Django has to offer more and more with every page. The book maintains a brisk pace which I truly appreciated. And if you've struggled with Django in the past, or you've wanted to learn more about what to do beyond getting the admin running, "Practical Django Projects" is an excellent foundation for your Django education. I absolutely recommend this as the Django book I've found to be, by far, the most useful.

You can purchase Practical Django Projects from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.
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Practical Django Projects

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  • by Illbay (700081) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @02:33PM (#24308653) Journal
    Here's a BUNCH of 'em! [djangobooks.com]
    • by RingDev (879105)

      Glad to know that I wasn't the only one left scratching my head about that one.

      -Rick

  • by SnarfQuest (469614) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @02:40PM (#24308753)

    What's django? Hardware? Software? Language? The fine article doesn't really clue me in.

    Should I imagine a beowulf cluster of these? Praise our new django masters? Profit? Or pour hot grits into my pants?

    • Re:Stupid question (Score:5, Informative)

      by StonedRat (837378) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @02:45PM (#24308849) Homepage Journal

      A web framework written in Python. And it's better than Rails.

      • Re:Stupid question (Score:5, Informative)

        by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @02:58PM (#24309067) Homepage Journal
        And why is Django [djangoproject.com] better than Rails? Well, for one it uses Python (obviously). But, in addition, it has:
        • An object-relational mapper so you don't have to write SQL. But you can still use SQL if needed;
        • Automatic admin interfaces. You never need to write another stinkin' admin interface again.
        • It's own template language. Althouh, you can use any other template language you want.
        • Support for memcached caches is built-in.
        • Built in support for i18n and l10n.

        Oh, yeah. And building Django apps is FAST.

        • Everytime a new framework or web development system gets hyped I can't but wonder why people get so excited about having reinvented the wheel, and a wonky one at that.

          Everything you mentioned in your post has been solved for many, many years already. Just use Perl and the Template Toolkit. Or one of the mature frameworks (Catalyst, Mason) if you hang that way.

          It is fast, stable and mature and gets the job done with little development time. Sure, it isn't the latest hype. But do you care? Should you care? If

          • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @03:48PM (#24309775)

            I have some experience using mod_perl & Django in mod_python. Django provides much that perl does not, and I love writing perl for backend utilities and CGI.

            Django templates do not allow the scriptlet mentality of others like JSP & mod_perl. They have a short list of commands, a loop, an IF-statement, and some text filters. This forces users to separate computation (in perl/python code) from display (in the template). The template takes a dictionary of named (keyed ) objects and prints the fields.

            Django has an Object-Relational Model built-in to the system. Programmers write a models.py module full of ORM classes. Then, the Django utilities build SQL database tables to match the models. The Django Object-Relational Model has no equal so far as I've seen.

            Django enforces the MVC web application. Most other web frameworks let the bad habits creep in.

            • by Intron (870560)

              All of the features that you list seem to be about limiting the options of the programmers rather than extending the capabilities of the base language.

              Any time that I hear that something is going to "force me to do it the right way" I know that the first project I try to use it on will need to do something the wrong way. If a tool provides a great way of doing something then it shouldn't need to force me to use it, I would use it that way naturally.

              • by pimpimpim (811140)
                I think stuff that limits options has a good place in about half of the websites on the internet. Think about the immense amount of small businesses. They don't want to hire a developer, but still might want an online shop. There are now many places where the whole template including secure payment system is provided by the host, and you just do the layout part. In such and similar cases, limited options are a blessing for all involved. The shop doesn't need to invest time, and you as a shopper are faced wi
              • tell the truth, there's very little related to the web that can't be done with RPG III. That's been obsolete for 10 years and runs on AS400's... What's needed on the web is not "more power" but more structure to work quickly, be reusable, and manageable 3 years later. That's why RPG is still used, because you can pick up a 15 year old program and the formating and instructions are so rigid there's little room for interpretation of what the program does. Systems like AS400 became popular because they pr

              • by ubernostrum (219442) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @01:11AM (#24314987) Homepage

                All of the features that you list seem to be about limiting the options of the programmers rather than extending the capabilities of the base language.

                Devoid of context, yes, I can see that.

                In context, however, not so much. Consider Django's built-in template system (which you don't have to use, btw; most people do because it leads to easier interoperability with arbitrary applications, but you're free to drop in whatever you like -- it's just Python code on the backend); most people instinctively get upset when they find out that it isn't just the host programming language embedded into HTML (a la PHP, ERB, "classic" ASP, etc.). But I've found that it's extremely rare for me to have a need for such a thing, and when I do the template system is extensible from the Python side, so I can implement what I need and get on with life. A good example I ran into the other night while helping someone debug: he was doing a product-review site where each product had a government-issued safety rating, from one to five stars. What he wanted was basically a way to say something like:

                {% if product.safety_rating > 3 %}This product has a high safety rating.{% endif %}

                (the curly-brace constructs are how Django's template language delimits certain constructs, such as conditionals, loop expressions, etc.)

                Now, you can't actually do this: arbitrary Python expressions like product.safety_rating > 3 aren't supported by the language. What he ended up doing was moving this logic into a method on the object representing products, so it became if product.has_high_safety_rating instead. For most cases in most applications, this is a better option (it's more reusable, and leads to easier maintenance since you don't have magic numbers hard-coded everywhere). And for times when you need it, you can dip down to the Python level and extend whatever syntax you need into the template system (one night I sat down and implemented a bunch of comparison expressions; it took about five minutes).

                The parent comment you're responding to is also slightly incorrect on a few points; for example, Django doesn't "enforce" MVC in any particular way and actually deviates from it in some ways that made sense for the Web (e.g., the concept of the controller really has no place in most web applications, since there's only a single channel for interaction with the app: HTTP). All Django cares about is that for each URL you want to handle, you provide a callable object which accepts an HTTP request as its first argument and returns an HTTP response. Beyond that, the sky's the limit. Django also doesn't force you to use its ORM; several of the bundled applications in django.contrib make use of it (since, if you've got Django installed, they can rely on the ORM being available), but nobody says you have to use it in your apps.

            • by Zarf (5735)

              Django has an Object-Relational Model built-in to the system. Programmers write a models.py module full of ORM classes. Then, the Django utilities build SQL database tables to match the models. The Django Object-Relational Model has no equal so far as I've seen.

              Django enforces the MVC web application. Most other web frameworks let the bad habits creep in.

              You have just given the exact same list of reasons I chose to use Groovy/Grails over Ruby on Rails. You have peaked my interest. So I will definitely have to take a look at Django. Especially now that there is a Django plugin for Grails: http://www.grails.org/DjangoTemplates+Plugin [grails.org] ... I have a couple of toy projects I may choose to do in Django to get a feel for the framework...

          • Everytime a new framework or web development system gets hyped I can't but wonder why people get so excited about having reinvented the wheel, and a wonky one at that.

            Everything you mentioned in your post has been solved for many, many years already. Just use Perl and the Template Toolkit.

            That's like saying that 'toilets' were solved years ago. Just go out to the outhouse and take a load off.

            Although the problem was 'solved', someone came along and did the whole indoor plumbing and a porcelain toilet thing.

            Same thing with web frameworks. Both perl and python work well. Python just works better.

            I'm sure whatever comes after Django in a few years will be even better.

        • I don't know how much you know about Ruby on Rails, but it can do all those things you mentioned by default, exception auto admin interface and i18n. For auto admin interface there's ActiveScaffold, and for i18n there are a number of third party plugins.

        • by GooberToo (74388)

          A better question, why use Django over TurboGears? Seriously, I'd really like someone to clearly point out the benefits of one over the other. If you can a link of a comprehensive review and/or comparison, I'd love to see it.

        • by Black Perl (12686)

          Hmm. I don't think you have proven its better than Rails. All you've proven is that you don't know Rails, so you *want* Django to be better. The truth is, they're more similar than you think. And they are both great frameworks.

          Let me address your comments...

          An object-relational mapper so you don't have to write SQL. But you can still use SQL if needed;

          Exactly like Rails.

          Automatic admin interfaces. You never need to write another stinkin' admin interface again.

          In Rails, you can pick from many plugins that gi

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by FooBarWidget (556006)

        "And it's better than Rails."

        Then where are the Django killer apps? No seriously, where are they? I can't find more than a hand full of Django apps. And when I asked this question on #django and #python, multiple times, nobody - not even a single person - could tell me even one killer app written in Django. If Django is so great then where are the apps?

        • by Teilo (91279)

          I'm calling you on this one. Your premise is silly. Rails has some very visible killer apps, not because Rails is intrinsically better, but because Rails was first with many new, innovative, and tightly integrated ideas that created a large and well-deserved fan base.

          And, guess what? When those developers signed on, there were no killer apps on Rails either.

          There is nothing intrinsic in either Rails or Django that makes either more likely to be the platform for the next "killer app", except for one thin

          • Django was open sourced in 2005 while Rails was open sourced in 2004, and yet Django still isn't at Rails's popularity of 1 year ago.

            "It also has a more muted philosophy of hype"

            Sure, but is that a good thing? Marketing is important. Programmers too often underestimate the value of marketing. If Microsoft never marketed then it wouldn't have 95% market share on the desktop. If Apple never marketed then there would be a lot less OS X/Ipod/Iphone users.

            But more importantly: marketing/hype creates the opportun

            • by Teilo (91279)

              There is little to nothing you can do to convince clueless executives who can't see beyond J2EE. That is besides the point.

              Also, a 1 year lead on something as new and fresh as RoR is huge, I mean, really friggin' huge. Fact is, it's taken about three years for Rail's hype to die down enough for people to realize that, just maybe it isn't "all that". It is at this point that development decisions become less starry-eyed and more pragmatic.

              So perhaps that explains why Django is on the upswing now. That, and i

    • Re:Stupid question (Score:5, Informative)

      by discord5 (798235) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @02:47PM (#24308875)

      What's django?

      I'm sure this'll upset someone, but it's rails for python. Django Project Homepage [djangoproject.com]

      It's pretty neat and in a couple of evenings reading and experimenting you'll have figured most of it out (even if you're new to python).

      I've used it for a few personal projects, but not at work yet so I don't have any experience with it on larger projects. Still, it's pretty neat to get something done quickly.

    • by Kingrames (858416) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @02:52PM (#24308967)

      Boba Fett's dad.

    • Only a day ago I would have been asking the same question. I have been a long time Java Developer and decided to trying deploying an application to the Google App Engine. Unfortunately, for me at least, only Python is supported so I have been forced to take a deeper look into Python.

      The Google App Engine already has the Django libraries available. It's seems like a pretty useful template system, however I really wish they had chosen to use xml tags instead of parenthesis tags so that native xml tools, ev
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Just Some Guy (3352)

        pylint [logilab.org]. It has some annoying style checks that I often disable, but is good at finding unused and undeclared variables and that sort of stuff.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by imbaczek (690596)
        there are tools like pychecker [sourceforge.net], they help quite a bit. junit is right there in the standard library of python, see docs for the unittest module; there's also the doctest module for simple cases.
      • by Vornzog (409419) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @04:02PM (#24309977)

        The Google App Engine already has the Django libraries available.

        Have a little care, there. The GAE caused quite a stir in the Django community, because it is only a partial implementation of the database interface that Django normally uses. It is backed by BigTable, which is blazing fast, but not a full blown relational database. If that works for you, go for it - it looks like a sweet platform for certain kinds of projects.

        As for your question about Java->Python, I'm a former C++ convert myself, but I can help a little here. For some 'compile time' checking, look at PyLint [logilab.org] It may check too much for you, but you can turn off the stuff you don't want.

        As for unit testing, PyUnit [sourceforge.net] is a pretty straight port of JUnit, so that should look familiar. However, I actually find nose [somethingaboutorange.com] to be a little better. It has many of the same capabilities, but with less boilerplate needed, and it integrates well with any existing PyUnit or DocTest [python.org] tests.

        • Just wanted to say thanks for the links and information. I'll be sure to read the Python documentation more, but it's always helpful to get some advice. Cheers.
          • Just to follow up: Python has two flavors of tests -- unittest [python.org], which was originally the PyUnit software you've already been pointed to, and doctest [python.org] which lets you write interactive examples -- and Django's test framework [djangoproject.com] has baked-in support for both of them, along with extension points to plug in your own system if you prefer. There's also a dummy HTTP client which can send requests and inspect the responses being sent back (including verifying data-processing from the backend), and a co-worker of mine ha

    • by keziahw (869748)

      Look it up! From Wikipedia:

      Django is a Romany term meaning "I awake". It is best known as the nickname of Belgian jazz guitarist Jean Baptiste "Django" Reinhardt, whose fame has led to its use throughout music.
      .

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by DeathGod321 (1126621)
      That django ate your baby.
  • I must be getting old. Never heard of this before, so the article was confusion at first. For info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Django_(web_framework) [wikipedia.org]
  • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @02:48PM (#24308891) Homepage Journal

    I'm getting ready to port a fairly large web app from Zope to either Django or Turbogears (easier development, more scalable for us, etc.). From what I've heard, Django is kind of the Ruby On Rails of the Python world, and while outstanding for writing small mostly-read apps, it's not the greatest for large interactive applications. Conversely, Turbogears seems to have the reputation for a higher initial learning curve and startup cost, but better interactivity.

    Any thoughts on the matter? I've used Django for some small projects and my experience kind of mirrored what I'd read: it's brilliant when you want to work with it, and a complete PITA when you're trying to do something unexpected. I haven't written anything with Turbogears yet so I can't personally compare them.

    No, I'm not going to make my decision solely on the opinions of Slashdot. Consider this the start of my research, not the end. :-)

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Why not keep the application in Zope? You'll have the ability to better fine tune the application from Zope if the application is truly large. if the issue is it's written in Zope 2, you might as well fix it for Zope 3. Django/TG more scalable than Zope? No. In fact you've more limitations with Django, but only because of how restrictive the ORM can be in certain situations.

      • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @03:04PM (#24309167) Homepage Journal

        My company is moving toward using a unified codebase for our applications. Whether you're viewing an invoice in a desktop app or on the web, it's calling the same function (written in Python, using SQLAlchemy). Every time I've looked at using code in the filesystem from Zope, it's been overly complicated and problematic. Right now we use External Methods to make specific functions available inside Zope, but the side effect of that is that we have to restart the Zope process every time we want to run new code.

        Another problem is that a lot of our pages take a long time to generate - think reports that take a minute or so. Because Zope is so minimally threaded, that means that other page views are delayed until those reports are finished. We use a pool of 8 Zope instances connecting to a Zeo server, with Apache sending queries to random instances to balance the load a bit. It's still too common for a use trying to view the front page to accidentally get queued up behind another using running "Financials 2004" and cursing at a blank screen until that report is done.

        Add those together and you get an environment where most development is done over Webdav and is consequently a lot harder to manage with version control, 8 giant server processes are splitting the load, and changing a line of code can require a complete restart of the whole mess.

        Yeah, we're ready to migrate.

        • Why not just run the heavy reports in a separate instance or on a separate machine? That way reporting won't cause standard transactional traffic to be queued up behind it, but without any more than a day of time investment.

          And, if I may add my two cents, might it not be easier to code a wrapper around External Methods that abstracts the complicated elements of loading code from the file system, and that is able to dynamically load new methods from the file system (or check for changes)? And even if yo
          • Well, by the time I was done with all that, I'd basically be reimplementing a different framework. With Django or Turbogears, I can let Apache spawn off as many child processes as it needs and not worry if a few of them are running slowly.

            Sometimes we make quite a few changes during the day, or more specifically, we'd like to make more changes but can't easily because of the architecture we're up against.

            Here's how I explained it to my boss:

            Zope is an excellent product and it was absolutely the right choic

            • by Daimaou (97573)

              If you are going to use Django, I would recommend using memcached, of course, and also using a light-weight webserver like Nginx to serve your static content and only use Apache to serve the dynamic Django content. There is no reason to have Apache serve static content when other servers can do it more efficiently.

              • Actually, we have precious little static content. There's the odd cacheable JavaScript or CSS file, but that's about it. I wholeheartedly agree with the concept, though. I've worked at places where we used multiple Apache daemons on the same machine, some running mod_perl etc. and the others stripped down for nothing but static content.

      • by dedazo (737510)

        In my experience, Zope is overkill in most situations. And I (personally) have never liked ZODB at all.

    • by VGPowerlord (621254) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @03:21PM (#24309401)

      The biggest problem I have with Django is that it was created with newspapers in mind and that sometimes causes problems, particularly in the model.

      For example, the FileField isn't friendly for organizing things by users... the upload directory is fixed in the model, and it only takes strftime arguments if you want dynamic subdirectories... and for whatever reason, there is no move method in the FileField model. I have no use for files sorted by time, as this system is user-driven.

      Which means you need to manually move the file and update the FileField's value in the model, in addition to doing checks to make sure you don't try to move one file over another. (Note: I haven't tried this, I just assume it works, as the FileField is just a varchar(100) / CharField(max_length=100).)

      Oh, and I don't know how Django internally handles <input type="file">, or I'd say to just use a CharField.

      • That's exactly the kind of stuff that had me wringing my hands. Our site involves a lot of data entry, like allowing customers to enter complex invoice information. I've heard that Turbogears is a lot better about that stuff because it doesn't make as many assumptions on your behalf, which conversely means that you have to make them yourself.

      • by moep (1132491)
        While I agree with you that the "default" FileField implementation is not very well suited for more advanced use cases, I have to strongly disagree that this is actually a problem. Beeing django and not rails you can very easily enhance or even replace every part of the framework without writing everything from scratch. This partly due to the nature of python and partly due to the design of the framework. And I really cannot see why the implementation of the FileField is in anyway newspaper related???
        • And I really cannot see why the implementation of the FileField is in anyway newspaper related???

          Because news stories are usually sorted by date, so it makes sense that files and images (ImageField inherits from FileField) are sorted by date as well.

      • by mweather (1089505)
        Why do you need the files in specific directories? Can't the app figure out which file belongs to which user?
        • It could, but I want to periodically create a compressed archive of all the files each user has. It's much easier if I can just do that using a small program to compress all the files in each directory rather than having to query the database to find all the files for a user.

        • by imbaczek (690596)
          so the users can organize stuff by themselves if they wish?
        • by Daimaou (97573)

          That was what I was going to say as well. If your model keeps track of who owns what files, who cares where they are?

      • For example, the FileField isn't friendly for organizing things by users

        Which will change with the swappable file backends being introduced by ticket #5361 [djangoproject.com], which is scheduled to land for 1.0 beta (and thus to be part of the 1.0 release in September). That ticket's been held up a bit by a related piece of work which landed not too long ago: configurable file-upload handlers [djangoproject.com].

        • The scary part is, I know the person who filed that ticket... and the person this is assigned to; they're the same person.

          I do find it strange that a potentially large change that hasn't been included as part of 1.0 alpha will appear in 1.0 beta.

          • The scary part is, I know the person who filed that ticket... and the person this is assigned to; they're the same person.

            And why is that scary, exactly? Marty wanted the feature, knew what needed to be done and put in the work to write the code. Should we forbid that?

            I do find it strange that a potentially large change that hasn't been included as part of 1.0 alpha will appear in 1.0 beta.

            There's a release roadmap explaining what's being worked on, when it's due, when feature freeze will happen, etc.

    • by Daimaou (97573)

      I've used Django, Turbogears, and Zope. I hate Zope, so I wouldn't use it for anything. I liked Turbogears OK, but Django has a more unified feel to it. It seems a lot cleaner and more straight forward to me as well, so I would recommend Django over the other two, but that is just my opinion.

  • by gorbachev (512743) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @02:53PM (#24308991) Homepage

    I just got a newsletter about a sale at Bookpool.com for APress books. APress books are 45% off until 8/31.

    This particular book is $5 cheaper at Bookpool.com than Amazon right now.

  • by Eberlin (570874) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @02:59PM (#24309087) Homepage
    SPOILER ALERT!!!

    Storm Dtroopers were imperfect clones of Django.

    Dboba is a perfect clone of Django.

    If you want to stop the Django process, you have to su to Windu and kill -9 Django

    If you're looking for Dboba, try this command: cat \dev\sarlac | grep Mandalorian

  • Django n00b (Score:5, Informative)

    by spaceyhackerlady (462530) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @03:05PM (#24309179)

    I recently had a look at web application frameworks for some new development and ended up doing it with Django.

    I find it handy. It's logically put together, the Python back end is fast, and, once you figure out a few basic concepts, you can put web apps together very quickly. The template system is particularly clever. I find that I like to set up my database tables first, then let Django create the model classes. Not the other way around. I also like to do table joins as views in the database, rather than gluing things together in Django. YMMV.

    My last experience with web application development was with Tomcat. I still have nightmares. :-(

    ...laura

  • I'm just finishing up a project with django. It is a lot of fun, quick, and useful. It is very well designed. One issue, however, is that it is still changing rather quickly. Things in version .95 or .96 can be substantially different than the current development version. This isn't unusual for such a young project, and since the documentation is quite clear and useful it's not a problem, but is something you may want to consider before you plunk down your hard-earned cash on a printed book.
    • by ubernostrum (219442) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @03:18PM (#24309351) Homepage

      One issue, however, is that it is still changing rather quickly. Things in version .95 or .96 can be substantially different than the current development version.

      Hi, I'm James and I wrote Practical Django Projects, and I have a confession to make: I cheated while writing the book. You see, I'm also Django's release manager, which meant I had a good idea of what would land in trunk and what would change by the time we went to press. Except for activating/hacking on the admin interface (the admin refactor just landed over the weekend), everything in the book should be up-to-date and usable on the Django 1.0 alpha we released Monday.

      • by number6x (626555)

        Cool!

        Thanks for the update.

      • by Joe Tie. (567096)
        That actually is good to know. The api changes are the main reason I'd be hesitant to buy any book related to django at the moment. I might actually pick this one up now.
      • by Fnord666 (889225)

        Except for activating/hacking on the admin interface (the admin refactor just landed over the weekend)

        Yeah thanks. I had been working with ROR for some time and decided to give Django a try. I was working through the Django book just fine until I hit the admin pages section. After a few hours of frustration I did a little web search. Wouldn't you know it, within the last 48 hours someone had dropped a refactor of the admin system into the trunk right before I picked it up.

        This is why I don't do produ

        • Why would you be doing production work with a trunk version of an external library?
        • This is why I don't do production work with newer frameworks like these. The next time I need to change something, half of my application could be broken!

          This is why we have a document explaining which APIs are finalized and which may change prior to 1.0 [djangoproject.com].

          • by Fnord666 (889225)

            This is why we have a document explaining which APIs are finalized and which may change prior to 1.0.

            You mean the document that lists django-admin in the stable API section of this document? The section that starts off with:

            What "stable" means In this context, stable means:

            • All the public APIs -- everything documented in the linked documents, and all methods that don't begin with an underscore -- will not be moved or renamed without providing backwards-compatible aliases.
            • If new features are
      • Thanks for the clarification. And ++ on the sig :)

    • by Daimaou (97573)

      You are right! Things are changing in Django; however, I don't think this is a particularly big problem since Django is currently looking mostly as it will when 1.0 is released.

      Also, I have the book and isn't one of those Volkswagen sized Wrox cubes. It can easily be digested within a couple of weeks so you can get what you need now and be prepared to migrate to new features in the future.

      I highly recommend this book to people wanting to learn Django. It is better than most of the other Django books avai

  • by LS (57954) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @03:26PM (#24309483) Homepage

    Books about programming, especially internet programming, seem a bit archaic at this point. Or at least physical books. I find that especially with open source languages and tools, and even more so those related to the web, there is a wealth of information online, both in serial book format, tutorials, and searchable references. I haven't used a book to learn a language since Learning Perl back in about 2000. I bought a copy but I ended up using a pirated digital copy anyway because it was more useful...

    LS

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bloobloo (957543)

      I find books invaluable. Perhaps it would be different if I had 2 screens and I could put an editor on one screen and the tutorials on another, but as it stands I find it easier to flip pages to find what I am looking for.

      Unless you're copying code fragments, I don't get the benefit (other than portability) of a soft copy over a hard one.

      • The big advantage of a soft copy of book is being able to do searches for keywords which is invaluable when you don't know which set of terminology the author is using and the index doesn't cover the word or phrase you require.

        Note this is particularly invaluable in API references - particularly with php when you have no clue which daft name php uses for a function, but you are sure that php has function for that job.

    • I bought a copy but I ended up using a pirated digital copy anyway because it was more useful...

      I prefer chocolate. Does anyone even eat vanilla ice cream any more?

      I can't grep a dead tree, but neither can I read much of an ebook without getting a headache. That makes the printed version much more useful to me. It's just a preference.

      • by LS (57954)

        It's not that simple. William Gibson writes his books on an old typewriter. He can get all condescending and miss the point and say it's just his preference but the reality is that there are several advantages to using a word processor. He can continue to use his typewriter but most people have moved on.

        I don't have anything against people who use books. I'm just wondering if anyone actually uses them and why. Apparently you still do, and it's because of your eyes.

        • It's not that simple. William Gibson writes his books on an old typewriter. He can get all condescending and miss the point and say it's just his preference but the reality is that there are several advantages to using a word processor.

          Conversely, there are several disadvantages to using a word processor. I think Gibson would argue that every single feature not directly related to writing words is a distraction he doesn't want, and there's a lot to be said for being forced to plan your thoughts before committing them. I don't necessarily work that way, but it really is a style preference.

          Apparently you still do, and it's because of your eyes.

          That was the "easy" reason. Others:

          I've never found a bookmarking system as easy as a physical bookmark, and a yellow highlighter is an easier marking

  • by bedonnant (958404) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @03:26PM (#24309491)
    in a flabbergasting coincidence that will leave you all wondering about Fate, i just received my copy of this book today, and was at this very minute beginning to read it. my life has just been slashdotted.
  • Django Jobs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by daeg (828071) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @03:32PM (#24309565)

    We're running Django for basically our entire business systems. It's great. The only downside to Python is that there is a general lack of local developers (Tampa, Florida). Trying to find additional developers when you can't get relocation benefits approved is a royal PITA. (Anyone looking for a job in Tampa? =))

    We're very, very happy with Django.

  • 1.0 Real Soon Now (Score:5, Informative)

    by the_rev_matt (239420) <slashbotNO@SPAMrevmatt.com> on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @03:33PM (#24309577) Homepage

    Note that Django 1.0 is due this fall and it looks to be actually on track. I used Zope for personal and freelance projects for about 9 years and professionally for about 2. I migrated my site and the majority of the content over in about a week, and that included the process of learning django.

    I will note that one of the things I liked about Zope was the admin interface, which was clunky and minimal but a far sight better than what most other app servers had at the time (late 90's/early 00's). Django's is immensely better.

    I've also Read The Fine Book reviewed here and concur with the reviewer. This book is a great introduction to a useful tool.

  • I'm about to start a mid-sized project that I'd like to use a framework for. I'm planning on using the Zend Framework, since I know PHP very well. I do not know Python, but it's very high on my list of languages I'd like to learn (like, number 1).

    Would it be worth my time to learn Python and then do the project in Django? I'm experienced enough in OO and various languages that I don't think Python would take me too long to pick up, but is the learning curve between knowing Python and using Django steep
    • by imbaczek (690596)
      Depends on the project, as usual, but IMHO yes, Django is worth a try. I haven't used Zend though, so YMMV (particularly, I don't know what features you may expect from a framework.)
    • by Balinares (316703) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @04:36PM (#24310501)

      Firstly:

      > I'm planning on using the Zend Framework

      I understand the Zend Framework is not so much a framework as a tight collection of helper tools. If you want a framework, as in, framework, you'll probably want to look into CakePHP. Symfony is more powerful, but also kind of more complicated. (And declaring my models in XML makes my skin crawl -- but it's just me.)

      Secondly:

      > Would it be worth my time to learn Python and then do the project in Django?

      Short answer: If you know PHP really well and it works for you, it'll be less work (and less risk) to just keep using PHP.

      Long answer: If you're a fast learner, and intend to keep using Django afterwards so the overhead of learning it is worth it, then I'd say, absolutely. If I were in your shoes, I believe I would probably create a small functional site in Django in my spare time -- it doesn't take very long at all to get a blog with comments up and running, for instance -- and see how it flies with me. I understand learning Python and Django hand in hand works very fine, although I can't personally comment on that, having been into Python for many years.

      If you go the Django road, you'll probably find these resources handy:

      The Django community aggregator is at http://www.djangoproject.com/community/ [djangoproject.com] and has many good posts with great insight on how to get the best out of your new Django toy.

      The Django Snippets site at http://www.djangosnippets.org/ [djangosnippets.org] is a great catalog of small, useful bits of code. I read it in my RSS aggregator, personally.

      And of course, there's the #django IRC channel, and the various mailing-lists.

      Enjoy exploring Django! I've been following it for a few months already and still don't hate it, and for an old bitter bastard like me, that's the biggest praise.

    • by Daimaou (97573)

      I have used Zend and PHP and I think Django is easier to program in and the framework strongly encourages good programming practices.

      Python is easy to learn and Django apps run significantly faster than PHP-based apps (at least this has been my experience).

      As a side note, if you decide to use Django and/or Python, I would recommend getting either the WingIDE editor from WingWare (expensive) or the PyDev Extensions plugin for Eclipse (fairly cheap). Both of these provide code completion and can really help

  • In related news (Score:3, Informative)

    by dedazo (737510) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @03:52PM (#24309843) Journal

    After a loooong time, 1.0 Alpha was just released [djangoproject.com].

  • Great Book!!! (Score:2, Informative)

    by chrisdev (1331643)
    I got this book last week and it's worth the money!! I was having trouble with custom templates tags. After reading The Definitive Guide, writing filters and include tags were easy but the examples given for custom tags were too complex to start off with. However, when i saw James' examples (latest_entries) it all clicked !!! I've already written some custom tags to generate charts from ChartDirector Also i wish i had read his CMS stuff when i first started django it really shows you how to leverage the

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