I’d just like to announce our latest creation – a django website, designed by the very talented Andy Shaw and developed purely in python by yours truly: Jetstar Magazine.

The site, in all it’s glory, is in fact two websites – the same application manages two seperate magazines, one for Asia and one for Australia, the site uses a simple cookie system to distinguish between the two and GeoIP location to direct users.

I’d like to highlight some of the cooler features of the design:

  • Time based style switcher – when the clock hit’s 6pm, you get to see a rather awesome night view
  • Region based style switching, the two editions have completely seperate designs for nigth and day, and they switch accordingly – making a total of 4 designs possibilities for th website…

Under the hood, we’ve got some rather spanking features:

  • GeoIP based region checking – we forward users based on their IP, we did this using MaxMind’s free GeoIP libraries and databases
  • Google maps integration – the destination guide map is built on modal box displaying a custom google map mashup
  • Yahoo weather integration – the destination map pulls live weather data from Yahoo weather and inserts it into the map ‘hover bubbles’ along with a link to a destination story index, this was very cool to put together, if a bit fiddly given the PyMaps wrapper we were using
  • OpenCalais integration – as always, OpenCalais is used to drive our recommendation engine, with this iteration we’re using more entities to derive valid matches
  • A blog – that’s right, we rolled our own blog app, given how flexible django is it was really simple to attach the blogs to the different editions and their own comments, giving us a single input mechanism for multiple pulication possibilities

For the first time we’re using a lot of third party django apps:

  • django-registration and django-profiles: both excellent pieces of software and very easy to modify, they presented a decent platform to create a solid user system
  • django-comments: we integrated this with our last site, CNBCEB.com, and quickly ditched it for a more robust alternative with IntenseDebate, something we may eventually do with Jetstar, simply for it’s integration of Akismet and excellent comment threading. However, the comment system did integrate with our user-system beautifully

All in all it’s a pretty massive site, with some very cool things going on under the hood and in the browser, I’m going to use some of the code form this site as a basis for a tutorial on how to create a Google Maps / Yahoo Weather Mashup (it was surprisingly easy).

Anyway, hope you like the site!

M.