Book Review: Learning Website Development with Django

Reviewing The Definitive Guide To Django a few months ago I noted that the key place that book lacked was in examples. As befits the work of the creators of a framework, it did very well at explaining the underlying philosophies and working through all manner of implementation details, but it wasn’t the book for those who just want to dive in and build something. If that’s how you like to use technical books, then Learning Website Development With Django may be more what you’re looking for.

Following the iterative development of a delicious/digg hybrid social bookmarking application, Ayman Hourieh’s book moves quickly through a range of Django features, from setting up your initial models, and using the built in user and admin sections, to supporting AJAX with jQuery, speeding up your app with caching and (briefly) writing automated tests. The pace is fairly measured and Ayman Hourieh does a good job of explaining what’s going on at each step. An experienced web developer should find most of the information they need to get up and running with django, ready to get to work on their own apps.

Perhaps appropriately, where this book is lacking is in explaining how the different parts of the framework fit together. There’s plenty you can pick up by inference, but there are no detailed explanations of, say, the routing system that maps URLs to code. This book’s weaknesses are the former volumes strengths, and while you’ll find much repeated between them a combination of the two is likely to be a good way to get a fully rounded sense of what django is and how you can use it.

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book for review by the publisher. You can find it at packt, amazon US, amazon UK and all sorts of other places.

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