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Django roundup: August 26

  • Django sites and projects of note:
    • Satchmo is a robust web shop application written purely on top of Django. The Satchmo project hit a major milestone in its development this past week with version 0.5 (tarball) hitting the virtual shelves. Some highlights from the release notes: “100% template driven design using the django template system, integration with authorize.net, Paypal and google payment processing systems, flexible product management, PDF creation of invoices; packing slips and mailing labels, flexible tax; shipping and discount modules, newsletter management support including mailman integration, account management features” Congratulations are in order for the hard-working Satchmo team, they’ve been working on this release for quite a while!
    • Matt Waite wrote in this week about the most recently Django-powered application he’s developed for his employer, The St. Petersburg Times. It’s called PolitiFact: “It’s a Django driven take on the old newspaper “truth squad” story. We’re taking things the presidential candidates are saying during the campaign and fact checking them. All of them get put into our databases, and users can browse by all kinds of different things.” Matt has more to say about the application, PolitiFact, on his blog.
    • Justin Driscoll also wrote in about his new Django Google Code projects. The first is django-pressroom which serves as a complete public relations section for your site, complete with articles, photos, galleries, and file attachments. The next application was abstracted out of django-pressroom’s photo gallery functionality. This application is named django-photologue and should be a perfectly suitable photo gallery for any Django application you’re already working on. On what makes his applications special, Justin had the following to say: “The highlight of both apps (in my opinion) is the ability to specify PhotoSizes in the database. These PhotoSizes define the dimensions and parameters of resized copies of the uploaded image that will be generated from the source image and cached upon first request. If the PhotoSize is changed or deleted these cashed versions are removed. In addition, methods are added to the Photo model at runtime to access the cached images such as ” photo.get_mysize_url()” where “mysize” is the name of a defined PhotoSize in the database.
  • Code snippets and tutorials:
    • Joe Heck, driven by his experiences at OSCON, has developed a local queueing service in Django, django-queue-service. Joe wanted to provide a foundation for a tool that would help developers queue background tasks from their Django applications in a fashion similar to Amazon’s Simple Queue Service: “At OSCON 2007, I was hunting around for something to use to deal with background processing initiated from my web application. Not finding anything that I could immediately use and implement, I took it as a challenge to knock out something in the time I was there. The result is the django queue service.
    • Since Jacob’s initial success at getting Django installed on the iPhone, Jay Baird has been hard at work documenting the process as well as developing an application for the device: “The most intriguing [idea] to me has been the use of django as a full fledged framework for on/off-line applications where edge network usage just seems silly… I’ve been working on an online flight database for a while now and decided that it’d be cool to create an iPhone application that does the same that can sync with the main database when we become connected and want to push these records up.
    • Björn Kempén has developed a very simple middleware-based IP banning solution: “I wanted a simple way to ban users from accessing one of my django made homepages, and then having them redirected to a page with an explanation why. The IP’s and explanations should be entered through the django admin interface. For this django middleware is a decent choice.
    • If you use Mint for analytics on your site, you might be interested in Maura Chace’s post, Minty Django. Maura was interested in being able to view her website statistics along side all of the data in her custom-built Django weblog. In the post above, she details the process she undertook and the two small issues she encountered.
    • Thanassis Tsiodras has an excellent and in-depth tutorial on how he was able to build an offline Wikipedia browser using Django as the front-end.
    • Frederik Lundh moved his site, effbot.org to Django a few weeks back and has now posted some useful snippets of code that he’s developed for monitoring his memcached instance.
    • James Tinksy has posted a tutorial on paginating filtered query sets in a generic view: “I’m no Django expert. Hopefully someday I can call myself one but for now I’m stumbling through learning the basics. Most of it’s deceptively easy once you grok the concepts. You see I come from ASP classic and PHP 4 world where spaghetti code is the norm. In other words, I wasn’t groking the simple, elegance of Django.” James wasn’t kidding when he said this tutorial’s name packed a mouthful, but it doesn’t make the content any less interesting or useful; James does an excellent job of detailing his thought process throughout the article.

If you have any tips, project announcements, or generally interesting Django news, email me at clintecker+djangotips@gmail.com.

Posted by Clint Ecker on August 26, 2007