This week we’ve been putting together two websites: one was an emergency code hack’n’slash – very messy, and the other a pristine jewel of a site. What is incredible is that we completed their development in 7 days (one website took a grand total of 7 hours).

What I’m getting at is how incredibly quick it is to get going with Django once you have a codebase, the reason everything went so quickly was:

  1. We had code setup already that just needed modification
  2. We had very clean designs ready for integration beforehand
  3. Django’s plugins and open codebase is awesome – most of the heavy lifting had already been done

I’d aprticularly like to highlight two resources that were incredibly helpfull:

  1. django-forum – it’s a roll-it-yourself forum base with full tempalte control, really usefull if you need some outmoded community features ;-)
  2. django-registration – this is the more interesting one, it takes the hastle out of rolling your own registration system (even with django’s wonderfull built in auth system). It’s primary benefits are that most of the registration tidbits are already done for you, such as the registration page, the password reset, email confirmation and login/logout.

On a realted note, I recently had to write a polling app for one of our websites, and I noticed that creating graphs is a pain in the proverbial arse, after a lot of research on PIL and other graphing libraries for python, I decided that I didn’t actually want to do anything complicated and most charting libraries are for producing reports of sorts, complete overkill for something as simple as a poll – and that’s where Google came and saved me.

Google has a charting API, and it’s completely open (you don’t even need an API key), and I found this sweet python library that acted as a wrapper for google charts, you can find it here if you need it. Using the library and protoculous I managed to create an interactive and sleek little widget in very short time (getting the Javascript right took the longest – particulalry if you’re not an adept)

The library inself is not very well documented (the basics, yes, but figuring out how to customise your graphs may require you looking at the source). But for what we needed it for it served it’s purpose adequately. I might write a little tutorial here in the future.

These websites brought together so many technologies and resources in such a short timespan at such a low time overhead that it’s a wonder anyone bothers with other frameworks ;-)