- Series: Expert's Voice in Web Development
- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Apress; 2nd ed. edition (June 24, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781430219385
- ISBN-13: 978-1430219385
- ASIN: 1430219386
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,135,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Practical Django Projects (Expert's Voice in Web Development) 2nd ed. Edition
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About the Author
James Bennett is a web developer for the World Company of Lawrence, Kansas, and is a major contributor to the Django project. His current role within the Django community is as the software project's release manager.
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There are several cases in the book where I feel the author introduces something, but leaves off pertinent information required to override Django defaults and get what he suggested to work (e.g. using the numerical representation for months in a URL rather than the three-digit representation).
Also, there are many places in the book where the author is describing code, but doesn't state very clearly where the code should go.
Finally, the author refers to the book's accompanying source code, but that source code doesn't exist. The publisher told me a month ago that they've been in contact with the author, and that the source code will be available "shortly," but it is still unavailable. How many months has the book been out?
On the plus side, I think the author's projects are useful, and with the exception of his use of Markdown for submitting blog entries (in my opinion, he should have showed the use of TinyMCE there as well), well thought out. I also think the author does a good job of introducing the reader to a wide range of Django knowledge.
I'm taking one star away for the lack of clarity in several areas, and one away for the missing source code. If the publisher had fixed the ambiguities, missing information, and had the source code available prior to release, this could easily have been a five-star book for learning Django.
But what if you want to learn to use Django, but don't have a project in mind? How cool would it be if one of the core Django developers created a couple of fully-functional applications, step-by-step, and let you follow along? That's exactly what James Bennett has done here. You can literally be brand-new to Django and finish this book having written multiple Django applications, learning all the major functionality of Django along the way, and even implementing best-practices for creating reusable applications.
If you've been working with Django for any length of time, a lot of this book will feel like review, because it does explain templates, views, URLs, models, and the MTV concept. However, there's a lot in here for you as well.
Here are some of the cool things in this book that you don't find in any of the standard documentation sources:
* How to (easily) integrate a rich-text editor into the Django admin interface
* Use third-party modules such as pygment, the Delicious API, and Akismet spam-blocking
* In-depth examples of creating custom template tags
* Complete examples of integrating django.contrib applications (such as comments and feeds)
* Notes on version control, distributing apps, building and deploying apps
All that and more, plus this is probably the definitive guide to writing your Django applications to be reusable.
In conclusion, if you're brand-new to Django and want a yellow-brick road to walk down, here it is. If you're an experienced Django programmer, you don't need this book, but I practically guarantee you'd learn a couple of things you didn't know. If you are new to Django, however, I highly recommend that once you finish this book you read The Definitive Guide to Django: Web Development Done Right, Second Edition cover-to-cover once you finish this book. It will fill in all the gaps and you'll really be able to do pretty much anything in Django.
I am new to Django, but not new to programming. I have been playing with Python for about a year now part-time, so I am still learning Python concurrently with Django. I have built my first production website using Django and was impressed by how little code it took to build a fairly flexible website and application. After reading this book I will go back and reduce my code by about 50% to get the same functionality.
In regards to the code not working or not being freely accessible for this book, I think that if you need the code from this book you are not ready for this book. My meaning is that this book is trying to teach you how to fish and it sounds like you want the fish. I picked up a great deal on how to extend Django in small but powerful ways. In the fairly small project of building a robust CMS website, the author introduced a ton of features that I did not pick up from The Definitive Guide to Django: Web Development Done Right, Second Edition (which was my first book and true introduction to Django).
About a year ago I left my development world of Java and was looking for a smaller, faster web development framework/language. I first tried Ruby on Rails and thought it was awesome! Especially coming from the over verbose, massive framework world of Java, Hibernate, Struts, etc. I probably would have chose that environment to develop in, but I saw a couple of Google I/O presentations on Python and thought I would check it out. I really like Python over Ruby and decided that I wanted to develop with that language and so I started playing with Django. Django just does not have the documentation that RoR does, which is a bummer (technical term). It would be nice to have more Django documentation.
If you are new to Django and Python (not a Python guru), I think this is a really good second book to buy. Why did I not give it 5 stars, well 5 stars is basically perfection and the book is good not perfect.