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The Definitive Guide to Django: Web Development Done Right (Expert's Voice in Web Development) [Kindle Edition]

Adrian Holovaty , Jacob Kaplan-Moss
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This latest edition of The Definitive Guide to Django is updated for Django 1.1, and, with the forward–compatibility guarantee that Django now provides, should serve as the ultimate tutorial and reference for this popular framework for years to come.

Django, the Python–based equivalent to Ruby’s Rails web development framework, is one of the hottest topics in web development today. Lead developer Jacob Kaplan–Moss and Django creator Adrian Holovaty show you how they use this framework to create award–winning web sites by guiding you through the creation of a web application reminiscent of

The Definitive Guide to Django is broken into three parts, with the first introducing Django fundamentals such as installation and configuration, and creating the components that together power a Django–driven web site. The second part delves into the more sophisticated features of Django, including outputting non–HTML content such as RSS feeds and PDFs, caching, and user management. The appendixes serve as a detailed reference to Django’s many configuration options and commands.

What you’ll learn

  • The first half of this book explains in depth how to build web applications using Django including the basics of dynamic web pages, the Django templating system interacting with databases, and web forms.

  • The second half of this book discusses higher-level concepts such as caching, security, and how to deploy Django.

  • The appendixes form a reference for the commands and configurations available in Django.

Who this book is for

Anyone who wants to use the powerful Django framework to build dynamic web sites quickly and easily.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Adrian Holovaty, a web developer and journalist, is one of the creators and core developers of Django. He works at, where he builds database web applications and does "journalism as computer programming." Previously, he was lead developer for World Online in Lawrence, Kansas, where Django was created. When not working on Django improvements, Adrian hacks on side projects for the public good, such as, which won the 2005 Batten Award for Innovations in Journalism. He lives in Chicago and maintains a weblog at

Jacob Kaplan-Moss is one of the lead developers of Django. At his day job, he's the lead developer for the Lawrence Journal-World, a locally owned newspaper in Lawrence, Kansas, where Django was developed. At the Journal-World, Jacob hacks on a number of sites including,, and, and he is continually embarrassed by the multitude of media awards those sites win. In his spare time what little of it there is he fancies himself a chef.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2925 KB
  • Print Length: 537 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 143021936X
  • Publisher: Apress; 2 edition (July 7, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004VJ46OM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #543,786 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you had to limit yourself to one Django book... February 23, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been working with Django full-time for the past nine months. Just from my day-to-day work, I've learned most of what's in this book (with major help from the official Django documentation and the mailing list), but I'd just been using this book as a reference. I finally took the time in the past week to read this book cover-to-cover, and it's fantastic. It really filled in the gaps in my knowledge, and gave me a deeper understanding of what's going on in the background when I use the Django features I touch every day.

If I had read this book six or eight months ago, it would have saved me a lot of time, and I would have written more reusable code. I say "six or eight" months instead of "since the beginning" because I really felt like I was able to get the most out of this book because I intimately understood the framework. If I had never used Django before reading this it would still have been fantastic, but to really get the full benefit I would have had to read it again once I had more Django under my belt.

If you're brand-new to Django, I recommend this learning path:

1. Do the official tutorial first as the bare-minimum.

2. If you have projects in mind, do them! If not, get James Bennett's Practical Django Projects, Second Edition (Expert's Voice in Web Development) in which he walks you through creating and enhancing fully-functional Django applications using the best practices of the community.

3. With that Django experience, read this book cover-to-cover. You'll be able to do pretty much anything you want with Django at that point.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I wanted to give this book more stars, but I just can't. As a reference book for Django developers, it's excellent. As a beginner's guide to learning Django, it fails because Apress didn't make a sufficient effort to ensure that the book made it to bookstores without show-stopping errors and/or omissions in the book's source code. For a somewhat experienced Django developer, the errors are simple and easy to identify and fix. For a person using this book to learn Django for the first time, it's a show-stopper because it means a lot of wasted time and confusion over code that isn't working when the problem isn't the student but a failure by the teacher.

Most people know that there is a free web-based version of this book. Personally, I like having a physical copy of the book open next to my computer when I need to reference something. However, a person learning Django for the first time is going to have to use the web site anyway to get the correct source code that should already be in a book with a price tag of $44.99. And, the web site has the added benefit of having additional tips and suggestions from other members of the Django community that may be useful for a newcomer to the framework.

Another gripe I have with the book is that a substantial amount of time and space is dedicated to walking you through specific ways of doing things only to later tell you that you just wasted your time learning how not to do it because there is a better, simpler, and faster way. I understand the importance of learning why things work a certain way, but it's frustrating for me to spend time wrapping my brain around a concept only to later be told that I spent that mental energy trying to remember something I don't need to know.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a very book to start with if you are new to django. April 24, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a software engineer but new to django. I found this book is well organized and clearly written. The examples and exercises help me understand the concepts quickly. If you follow through the book and do some of the exercises, you will feel very comfortable and confident in working with django by the time you reach the end of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reference book May 7, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Despite the django team doing everything in their power to make sure that online tutorials are so out of date that they cannot be used, this book is reasonably up-to-date and quite useful as a reference book when learning django.

I found the tutorial at the main django web site a useful start, but it did not cover practical details like using static files (i.e. images, css files and js files). The book covers their usage and provides other required information to get a practical web site up and running.

Usually I find online examples and tutorials better than trying to look up syntax in a book, but due to the changes to django 1.4 from earlier versions this proved difficult which is where the book was an advantage.

For the record, I bought the kindle version to be read on my pc (it cannot be read on the Kindle devlice - as is the case with most technical books.)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide to the inner workings of Django 1.1 February 11, 2010
By Ke Sun
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great book because the authors makes a lot of the details of Django very clear and easy to understand to the reader.

I read some reviews where people complain about not enough coding examples. I agree that there are not as much code in this book as a guide to developing projects in Django, but I think there is more than enough code in describing _how_ Django works, and most importantly _why_ they work that way.

The authors also included sidebars that provide supplemental information that the reader might need to put the book down to find. I thought that was extremely helpful and thoughtful.

This book won't teach you how to write a complete project in Django. But if one is resourceful enough, they can either download an open sourced finished project to study or buy another book to accomplish this. What this book does teach you, and does very well at, is the fundamentals and design decisions of Django 1.1. After reading and digesting the chapters, you can point to a Django project's code/settings file/template tag and say: "This is here because of 'abc', and it works because 'xyz'...".

I first read this book online, and it took me some time to decide to buy it, but having the physical book proved to be a very good idea. I made many notes and highlighting points that mattered to me. In the end the book has become a very personal manual of mine for Django.

For those that want a coverage of Django 1.1's features, and understand why and how to use them, I suggest reading this book before going too far into Django 1.1.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars it looks to me that the database update methods have been changed...
I started reading it as a tutorial, but soon switched to just using it as a reference manual in conjunction with Django web documentation. Read more
Published 12 days ago by A. (Saied) Seghatoleslami
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book for learning Django, altough the book is already available for free on the web
Published 27 days ago by Eduardo Barretto
5.0 out of 5 stars The book is great, it tells specifically how to apply Django (no ...
The book is great, it tells specifically how to apply Django (no beating around the bush, no stupid joking, etc, etc). Read more
Published 9 months ago by Leonid Sukharnikov
3.0 out of 5 stars Not that different from the tutorial
The book calls itself "The Definitive Guide to Django" but I feel that the it is not much better than the Django tutorial on the framework's website.
Published 12 months ago by College Student
3.0 out of 5 stars Seems like a great book, Installation can be a huge hassle
I had a similar difficulty as another reviewer, I had absolutely no idea how to load Django. It has taken me 3 days, and hours of searched to decipher the sparse instructions that... Read more
Published 21 months ago by djangolearner
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but starting to show its age
I like this book generally, it was pitched at the right level for my state of knowledge, except for the chapter on forms, where I felt uneasy because I did not have a clear idea of... Read more
Published on April 22, 2013 by M. Henri De Feraudy
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!!
This book helped me a lot to understand and deploy software using Django.

I strongly recommend this book for those who wants to learn or improve the Django skills.
Published on March 17, 2013 by Marcelo Moreira de Mello
2.0 out of 5 stars Has a lot of good content, but the structure makes it hard to find.
For the things this book covers, it does a great job. A lot of detail and explanations.

The things the book doesn't really cover are my biggest problem. Read more
Published on February 21, 2013 by Jason Mickela
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for Python web development
If you trying to develop your website using python. You must learn Django in the first place. It gives you whole and clear vision of web development using Python and MVC structure. Read more
Published on March 22, 2012 by Steven Yue
1.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Guide to django
Nice collection of seemingly helpful headings. Would be a helpful and useful book if the headings contained detailed and useful information. Read more
Published on June 23, 2011 by Amazon Customer
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