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Pro Django (The Expert's Voice in Web Development) 2009th Edition
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This book goes on a chapter-by-chapter tour of all of the major components of Django: models, views and templates, forms, etc. Each chapter is brilliantly structured with a discussion of topics followed by a real world example where the skills covered in that chapter are applied (generally to make something that is fully functional and actually useful: like a new 'PickleField' class in the chapter on models)
It is also worth mentioning that Chapter 2 of this book is perhaps the best overview of 'advanced Python' I've ever seen in print, and by the time I'd read it I'd already improved my code.
Because it may be useful to understand my skill level: I have been using Django for close to two years and have about ten Django projects under my belt and writing Django apps is part of my day job, I've also made minor contributions to django itself. The code that I was writing as I read this book was way better than the code I'd been writing for months, and I also feel a lot more confident in attempting to contribute to Django itself with my much deeper understanding of the internals.
The chapters are centered around nice little chunks of the Django system: Models, Views, Forms, Templates, etc. Each chapter is a nice, self-contained bit of Django knowledge, except for Chapter 2, which is a great survey of advanced Python like meta classes. Most chapters also include an Applied Techniques section which gives some examples of how to apply the material in the chapter.
While reading this book, what struck me was how the chapters seem to pack in a level of detail that you'd typically find only in a comprehensive reference, but yet this book is not a bunch of dry reference material, or worse yet, copies of online manuals. The reader gets serious detailed information, but it almost reads like a fluffy tutorial. It's pretty remarkable.
Something that's unique about this book at this time (Q1 2009) is that it covers the 1.0 version of Django. A bunch of the first books on Django were written against 0.96 or earlier. You'd think there wouldn't be much difference (0.04 versions), but the jump to 1.0 was significant for Django. It's nice to have a book that reflects the 1.0 world.
My only complaint is that I bought the kindle version of the book. So, if you're reading, I found that if I didn't make bookmarks as I went along, it was rather tedious to try to find material later. I've decided that I won't subtract stars for this because it's not the author's fault, but I will make notes of it.
My main problem with the book is that there is not a single word about testing and, seeing as to how testing is a large part of the Django (and Python) standard library, this is a glaring omission.
I would very much like to see a book of this quality that deals with all facets of web development which includes automated testing and web services. Issues of usability, deployment, scalability, extendability and interoperability are simply not mentioned. The book has copious web references, why not some references for operators or managers who need to show a good business reason to use Django?
My other quarrel with this book (and most books about Django) is that it it claims that Django is founded on the DRY principle (Don't Repeat Yourself) when, in fact, like most frameworks, Django has the web developer code a model, view and admin view that are nearly word for word copies of one another. In my opinion any good book on Django should challenge this claim of DRY. There are frameworks that generate all the boilerplate code, Django is not one of them.
Also get a copy of Practical Django Projects for even more guidance.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've done mostly Java backend web development, but I was intrigued to jump into the Python/Django world and give it a shot. Read morePublished on May 20, 2014 by Robert Daniels
Sometimes the author goes into long descriptions rather than providing a good, simple example. THe book is useful in exposing Django inner mechanisms.Published on June 7, 2013 by V. B. Rao
A great crash-course and reference for both Django and Python.
I am very happy with this book.
An excellent choice to have on hand.
The book explain several aspects of Django in a detailed fashion.
After this book I have had a whole understanding of django. Read more