Dutch Django meeting - lightning talks

Tags: django, pun

(Short 5 minute talks at the 2012-01-18 Dutch Django meeting)

Coffeescript & Django - Roald de Vries

Coffeescript is not really a language, but it is syntactic sugar for javascript. A nicer syntax. It compiles to javascript. It uses indentation (like Python) to indicate code blocks instead of using curly braces, for instance. And the way to declare functions is easier and less verbose.

Coffeescript also allows classes, including constructors, and inheritance.

Nice: on the coffeescript site you can type in some code and get it transformed in to javascript. Handy for trying it out.

The language isn’t difficult. You can learn it within the hour (he said ‘a bit more than 5 minutes’). You can compile it into javascript on the server with node.js. You can also include the coffeescript.js script in your page and let the browser handle the compiling automatically (at a performance penalty, but it is easier for development).

Django-coffeescript integrates the compiling into Django. And you can even put inline coffeescript in your template. But normally you’ll just point at external files.

Bonus tip: django-less. Less is css + variables + nesting + inheritance. Integrated in the same way as django-coffeescript.

One drawback of coffeescript: it makes debugging harder as you have to debug the javascript that comes out of the compiler instead of the coffeescript code you just wrote.

Django-fluent-dashboard - Diederik van der Boor

Django-fluent-dashboard - a fresh dashboard for your admin interface” was the title.

Django is a bit technical. His thought: how to make the Django admin more usable as a CMS that’s friendly? Another core thing in his thinkwork was the idea of reusable apps.

If you look at the current admin, you directly see the huge number of apps. Not nice.

Somebody made Django admin tools. Nice. A good solution. It gives the admin a nicer layout and even a menu bar that helps you find things.

The core idea: django-fluent-dashboard only modifies the first page of the admin: instead of the big list of apps you get friendly, grouped, icons.

He made a modification (or plugin, or newer version, I don’t know) that looks even nicer. More dashboard-based. See the example on the documentation site.

In the end, he hopes to turn it into a full CMS. There’s already a django-fluent-contents and django-fluent-pages on github. But they’re separate projects. django-fluent-dashboard works just fine with Django Fiber, for instance.

Who hates stdlib’s logging? - Remco Wendt

A small teaser for a bigger talk at next month’s Dutch python meeting.

Logbook is nicer logging for python than the standard library’s default logging module.

And for Django: whatever logging module you use, use django-sentry to get a website that collects your various site’s logs. He made a version that works especially nice with logbook, as logbooks gives you all logs of a web request if something goes wrong: it doesn’t only give you just the last traceback. So use debug logging liberally, it will help you debug.

30loops.net Django hosting - Christo Buschek

http://30loops.net/ is a Python and Django hosting platform, located in Amsterdam (and a bit in Berlin since he moved recently).

They have years of experience in sysadmin and hosting, so they’re building yet another django/python/wsgi hosting platform. What you normally get at such a “platform as a service:

  • Pay only for what you use.
  • Scale horizontally as needed.
  • You can concentrate on developpment, we care about the rest

They differ on two major points:

  • REST interface with json. You can build your own custom tools if needed.
  • One app can have multiple environments, like development/staging/production. You can clone environments. Handy for testing and running performance tests - all without interfering with production.

They actually abstracted away quite a lot, so you can run your apps on 30loops’ own hardware, but also on other cloud providers. Handy if you have to deploy to multiple physical locations.

You can access all logs and metrics with REST: you own all your data.

They’re also on github: https://github.com/30loops

You can sign up for private beta now, btw.

What does is take to be a professional developer? - Nicolaas Heyning

Asking around gave the usual list of “good tools”, “passion” and “emacs”. He mentioned:

  • Clients. Online like freelance.nl, linkedin, network meetings, by reference. From the audience: organize stuff; run a blog.
  • Administration. Taxes, budgetting, investments, staff. From the audience: outsourcing (but be very, very careful); having a partner in the company that wants to do this.
  • Professional work. Provide documentation. Add tests. Internationalization. Data migrations. Etcetera.

Why all these questions? Reason: there is a big need for professional software developers. You see lots of mails on the mailinglist asking for personell.

Would it be a good idea to start a “django academy”? Certification? Learning about acquiring clients? Create a network for supply and demand of professional developers?

There was quite some discussion afterwards (and I didn’t agree with some of the points, for the record).

Django Fiber - 11.000 downloads later - Dennis Bunskoek

Django fiber is a simple, user friendly CMS for your Django projects. It is getting bigger and bigger. 11k downloads since April 7, 2011. That’s about 1250 downloads per month. That’s only counted on pypi, though. Django CMS has 60k downloads since the beginning of time, as a comparison. So it is turning out to be pretty big!

What did we do since early 2011?

  • Performance and admin improvements.
  • Translations. (Via transifex, they got quite some contributed translations!)
  • Lots of spit&polish. Better WYSIWIG editor.

And... they build a lot of sites and apps with it (he said to me they build some 60 sites!)

Near-future plans:

  • Better integration of your models.
  • UI and performance improvements. They are having a sprint session tomorrow with some designers that are also users of a Fiber website. Nice.
  • Better page creation (widgets, lists and views of your model instances).
  • Versioning of pages and content.
  • More tests and even better documentation. Sass/coffeescript.

They are realizing that they need to build a community around it if they want to get it off the ground further:

  • Create a real django fiber website.
  • Better documentation: read the docs website. And videos.
  • More examples in the Django fiber example.
  • Get more use out of github. More interaction via issues and pull requests.

Nice: a couple of days ago, Luke Plant mentioned some big db optimizations for Django. They will look at that tomorrow, too.

(I wrote about an earlier 30 minute talk he gave on Django Fiber for if you want more information.)

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My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.

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