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The Definitive Guide to Django: Web Development Done Right (Expert's Voice in Web Development) Paperback – July 1, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1430219361 ISBN-10: 143021936X Edition: 2nd ed. 2009

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Product Details

  • Series: Expert's Voice in Web Development
  • Paperback: 536 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2nd ed. 2009 edition (July 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143021936X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430219361
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #518,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 WashingtonPost.com, 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 ChicagoCrime.org, which won the 2005 Batten Award for Innovations in Journalism. He lives in Chicago and maintains a weblog at www.Holovaty.com.

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 lawrence.com, LJWorld.com, and KUsports.com, 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.

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Customer Reviews

With that Django experience, read this book cover-to-cover.
ShawnMilo
I strongly recommend this book for those who wants to learn or improve the Django skills.
Marcelo Moreira de Mello
The things the book doesn't really cover are my biggest problem.
Jason Mickela

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By ShawnMilo on 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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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Wilson VINE VOICE on March 27, 2010
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 By Li from New York City on April 24, 2013
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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 By Paul D. Hartley on 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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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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