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Django status update: July 8

  • After several months of hard work, the unicode branch has been officially merged into trunk on July 4, 2007. The branch had been under constant development since April 7th, fixes a number of bugs, and makes Django fully unicode-friendly from top to bottom. For those developers tracking trunk, please be aware that there may be a number of changes you may have to make to your applications to keep them from breaking. For help, see the quick checklist for porting your applications to work well with the new unicode-friendly version of Django.
  • David Cramer, part of the development team over at Curse Gaming, has been involved in one of their internal projects that they’ve dubbed CacheManager. David leads off with the tease: “Tired of writing cache.set code?” The Curse team got tired of dealing with the relatively simplistic cache.get and cache.set methods that the Django caching framework exposes and built a friendly manager class to “store and retrieve cached objects.” The project also claims to help prevent data duplication as well as help you implement smart caching in your application with less headaches.
  • There have been several updates on the Google Summer of Code front this past week:
    • Jannis Leidel has been making progress on the django-package project. This project aims to make packaging and distributing Django applications as easy and pain-free as possible: “This week I continued to work on the “startapp” command of django.core.management and changed its default behaviour to create a standalone application (with skeleton files) when you run: “django-admin.py startapp myapp”. Current skeleton files are: release.py, setup.py, MANIFEST.in, docs/, test/, myapp/, myapp/templates/myapp…
    • Thejaswi Puthraya’s django-check-constraints project gained compatibility with the newly-checked-in Oracle code and is rapidly gaining doctests. The project’s Google Code page also gained a test project, complete with applications, readme files, install files, and screenshots of for those who were unable to watch Thejaswi’s screencasts.
    • Finally, Andreas Stuhlmüller’s django-rest-interface project is nearing a stable state: “The basic framework is done. If you feel experimental, give it a try and take a look at the RESTful API for your Django models, the serialized (JSON, XML) or templated output, the authentication mechanisms and the automatically generated URL patterns. Of course, I can’t give any guarantee that by the end of the SoC project any specific feature will still look like it does now—and I am fairly certain that it will be a lot easier to use custom URLs then than it is now.
  • In addition to the Django En Español and Django-FR user groups, there is also a Django Brasil group for Portuguese-speaking Djangoists. The group has been fairly active since December 2006 and shows no signs of slowing down!
  • Since our highlight of the new Django-powered social messaging application Pownce last week, the site’s notoriety and exposure have exploded. Mike Malone interviewed the lead developer of Pownce, Leah Culver, about Pownce’s roots as well as the technologies that power the site.
  • It’s a good bet that if you’re reading this post you’re at least a little interested in Django. Are you also interested Adobe’s cross-platform framework, Flex? If so, you might find Ian Millington’s Django and Flex blog to be very interesting.
  • This last bit isn’t strictly Django-related, but I think enough Django developers would be appreciative of Adrian Holovaty’s newest project, TemplateMaker. TemplateMaker is a Python library that takes any number of inputs, raw HTML for example, and learns which bits of that input are constant and which change from page to page. The end result is a template, with holes present where the dynamic content once was. I’m envisioning the endless uses of this library in my own Django applications. Read Adrian’s introduction of the project on his blog.

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

Posted by Clint Ecker on July 8, 2007