The Definitive Guide to Django: Web Development Done Right

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Apress, Jul 1, 2009 - Computers - 499 pages
2 Reviews

This latest edition of The Definitive Guide to Django is updated for Django 1.1, and, with the forward–compatibility guarantee that Django now provides, should serve as the ultimate tutorial and reference for this popular framework for years to come.

Django, the Python–based equivalent to Ruby’s Rails web development framework, is one of the hottest topics in web development today. Lead developer Jacob Kaplan–Moss and Django creator Adrian Holovaty show you how they use this framework to create award–winning web sites by guiding you through the creation of a web application reminiscent of

The Definitive Guide to Django is broken into three parts, with the first introducing Django fundamentals such as installation and configuration, and creating the components that together power a Django–driven web site. The second part delves into the more sophisticated features of Django, including outputting non–HTML content such as RSS feeds and PDFs, caching, and user management. The appendixes serve as a detailed reference to Django’s many configuration options and commands.

What you’ll learn
  • The first half of this book explains in depth how to build web applications using Django including the basics of dynamic web pages, the Django templating system interacting with databases, and web forms.
  • The second half of this book discusses higher-level concepts such as caching, security, and how to deploy Django.
  • The appendixes form a reference for the commands and configurations available in Django.
Who this book is for

Anyone who wants to use the powerful Django framework to build dynamic web sites quickly and easily.

Table of Contents
  1. Introduction to Django
  2. Getting Started
  3. Views and URLconfs
  4. Templates
  5. Models
  6. The Django Admin Site
  7. Forms
  8. Advanced Views and URLconfs
  9. Advanced Templates
  10. Advanced Models
  11. Generic Views
  12. Deploying Django
  13. Generating Non-HTML Content
  14. Sessions, Users, and Registration
  15. Caching
  16. django.contrib
  17. Middleware
  18. Integrating with Legacy Databases and Applications
  19. Internationalization
  20. Security

What people are saying - Write a review

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Although I am a huge Java fan, about a year ago I started a Django based project, I knew that there has to be a better way to develop web applications (without tons of xml). I was right! I decided to buy a book about this framework. I chose APress position, “The Definitive Guide to django Web Development Done Right” because of the authors: Adrian Holovaty and Jacob Kaplan-Moss. Jacob used to work for the Lawrence Journal-World, the newspaper in Lawrence, Kansas where Django was developed.
This is the second edition of this book, it is updated for Django 1.1. Adrian and Jacob say that the goal of this book is to make you a Django expert and I confirm it. What is more important, you don’t have to be an expert before reading it. You should have basic knowledge about programming (e.g. if, while, data structures, lists, hashes, variables, classes and objects). It is helpful to have some experience with web development, but it is not necessary. It is strange but you don’t even have to be a Python programmer - I wasn’t. If you don’t know syntax, you can learn it while reading this book.
“The Definitive Guide to django…” is also known as “The Django Book” and it is available for free in the Internet, see Take a look at it, read some chapters and check if it is worth buying. In my opinion it is. You can use online version to find out something during coding but it is much easier to learn and read paper version.
I’ve noticed one flaw, there is no information about unit testing. In my opinion it is very important, because there isn’t any compiler or IDE which shows you problems after for example changing method signature :/ Since you can do unit testing in Python ( and Django supports it (, authors of the book should take it into consideration and mention about it.

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About the author (2009)

Adrian Holovaty, a web developer and journalist, is one of the creators and core developers of Django. He works at, where he builds database web applications and does "journalism as computer programming." Previously, he was lead developer for World Online in Lawrence, Kansas, where Django was created. When not working on Django improvements, Adrian hacks on side projects for the public good, such as, which won the 2005 Batten Award for Innovations in Journalism. He lives in Chicago and maintains a weblog at