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Django status update: July 1

This is the Django Status Report where we recap important happenings in the Django-verse and cool Django-related projects, presentations, publicity, code, and groups. Let's get on with the show:

  • Perhaps the biggest news this week was the launch of a new social network in the vein of Twitter. Pownce bills itself as a “way to send stuff to your friends.” Less succinctly, it is a social messaging Web application that lets you send notes, files, links, and events to your friends. There are a lot more features and tidbits, but that’s the basic gist. The site runs on Apache/mod_python and, of course, Django and Python. The principal developer of Pownce is Leah Culver, who has a post on her blog about the site. Currently the site is in an invite-only alpha phase, but they hope to open it up to the public in the near future. I've been using the service for the past few days, and while it's definitely in beta-phase and going through growing pains, the potential there is great. I think that the team behind this site can really grow it into a fun and useful site.
  • James Bennett has posted another super-useful set of libraries that stack on top of Django’s built-in comments application: “The big feature for this app is a generic, unobtrusive, extensible system for comment moderation which includes the ability to turn on any or all of the following options, on a per-model basis: Akismet spam filtering, auto-closing comments a certain number of days after an object’s publication, auto-moderating comments a certain number of days after an object’s publication, ...” There are actually a bunch more features built-in, so you’d be remiss if you didn’t go check out the page. James also informs us that also included with his comment_utils library are a set of “moderation-oriented template tags” and a “custom manager which can figure out the ‘most-commented’ objects of any model it’s used on.” Be sure to thank James for creating such a useful set of tools.
  • GeoDjango, the GIS-enabled branch of Django, will be featured in a presentation by Justin Bronn and Travis Pinney at FOSS4G2007 —Free and Open Source Software For Geospatial 2007—taking place in Victoria, Canada. The conference takes place between the 24th and 27th of September, 2007.
  • Django is going to have a big presence at the O’Reilly OSCON this month. OSCON takes place in Portland, OR from July 23rd to the 27th. Announced on the Django wiki by Paul Bissex is that there will be a Django Master Class tutorial at the conference presented by Jacob Kaplan-Moss, Jeremy Dunck, and Simon Willison. Be sure to add your name to the Django OSCON page linked above if you’ll be attending the conference.
  • I ran across an interesting middleware, SSL Middleware, this past week that allows you to specify in your urls.py file which paths in your application should be secured by SSL. If a user attempts to access one of these URLs through standard HTTP port 80, the middleware will intercept this access and redirect the client to the appropriate HTTPS protocol over port 443 and hopefully initiate a secure session. Users have reported that this doesn’t function 100% correctly on WebFaction’s setup and have produced a slightly modified version that operates properly there: link.
  • Finally, a new group has formed to foster growth in Django-related entrepreneurial ventures. The group describes itself as follows: “Django Entrepreneurs is for people using the Django web framework to launch a startup/online business; our activities will include discussion and sharing resources (technical and business) to further one another’s success. If you’d like to join this group, please send an introductory message to the moderators – our aim is to have a small, serious community of programmer-entrepreneurs who are supportive of one another.” The Google groups page is here: Django-Entrepreneurs

Posted by Clint Ecker on July 1, 2007