Dutch Django meeting in Amsterdam summaries

Tags: pun, django, djangocon

Class based views - Reinout van Rees

I gave a 30 minute talk about Django 1.3’s great wonderful class based views. I don’t have a textual summary, but here are some of my articles that cover the same ground:

My slides are at http://www.slideshare.net/rvanrees/django-class-based-views-dutch-django-meeting-presentation

Oh, and we’re hiring again! Mail me if you’re interested. Great 9 person Django team in a 40 people company. Oh, but you’ll have to speak Dutch. Dead smack in the middle of Utrecht next to an ice cream stand.

Django meeting cat, the regular visitor

Results of the general meeting of the Dutch Django Association - Remco Wendt

The Dutch Django Association was started to organize the Amsterdam djangocon.eu, which was a wild success. There’s even some money left, so we can pass along some money to next year’s organizers. And there’s still left for helping organize future activities. At the meeting we brainstormed about such possible activities.

Become a member for just 10 Euro!

Django admin magic - Martin van Buuren

I saw him demo his “adjustments” to django’s default admin interface to someone. Wow! So I asked him to demo it. Looked great. Graphs in the admin interface, updated on the fly with javascript. Loads of tables. All in the admin. I didn’t know it was possible. Wow. Everybody was suitably impressed.

Oh, and this was his first Django project, so we’re waiting what his 10th project will look like :-)

Offshoring Django Development - Tom Kruijsen

Tom is here to take away our jobs :-) He works at west and they started experimenting with offshoring some Django work to Malaysia, one of the apparently up-and-coming IT countries. The conditions there are good.

Very important: the culture is relatively similar. They don’t mind asking questions, for instance.

Django’s documentation is really good. So they could basically point developers there at Django and told ‘em to build isolated chunks of functionality. Which works pretty well. Django’s documentation helps here.

Cherrypicks of DjangoCon US - Roald de Vries

Roald won a ticket to Djangocon US at the Amsterdam djangocon.eu, so here’s his trip report. Btw, the videos of that conference are at http://blip.tv/djangocon .

Some general impressions: documentation and testing were big topics. The team of core developers is growing: they’re mostly adding specialists.

Regarding tests: make tests.py a test/ package instead of a 6000 line file. Oh, and use Mock objects. Write more tests, as making code testable makes code better. Use coverage.py to look at your test coverage and make it into a game.

Russell talked about the Django software foundation (DSF). DSF owns the django trademarks and copyright. If you submit patches, you should sign a contributor agreement. (If you work for a company, your company should sign it, too). You can become a member of the DSF, but it isn’t clear what it means and they don’t have any members yet anyway.

A talk about django packages, about what makes it good. By the creator of http://djangopackages.com .

  • Do one thing well > do many things.

  • Docs folder > docstrings > no docs.

  • Jenkins > just tests > no tests. (Note to self: make our jenkins public).

  • Many contributors > 1 contributor.

  • All versions on pypi > current version on pypi > not on pypi.

  • All versions on pypi > pypi not up to date > not on pypi.

  • Github or bitbucket > launchpad or sourceforge > google code.

Some noticable verdicts from these criteria:

  • Djangorestframework is a better api than django-tastypie, by these criteria.

  • South is better than nashvegas, but the difference is not that big here.

Best practices for front-end developers:

  • Use only one javascript library (jquery!) and stick to it.

  • Avoid plug-in overkill.

  • Namespace your javascript.

  • Look at backbone.js and underscore.js for front-end heavy websites.

  • Use normalize.css and modernizr for html5.

According ot Idan (“benevolent designer for life”), creating a site should start with design. He started https://ux.djangoproject.com/ to start a django user experience team.

The number one talk he’d recommend everyone to watch is Glyph Lefkowitz’ keynote: http://blip.tv/djangocon/keynote-glyph-lefkowitz-5573264

Building a Django ORM-like REST client (with added magic) - Joeri Bekker

He demoed some REST api they developed. With urls in there that you can follow. So from a list of books to an author to a birth city. But that’s three hops. Someone asked them if it could be possible to turn it into somehting more django-model-like. So book.author.born_in or so.

He made a subclass of dict called RestObject that does some nice magic so that you can call attributes on it and it’ll traverse the REST “tree” for you. Limited amount of code and quite some fun.

Mail-in enable a Django application (smtp2http bridge) - Henk Vos

The company he works for recently migrated a Lotus Notes application to a web-based one build on Django with Sencha (extjs) as a front-end. For computer, phone and tablet.

Their mobile version uses sencha touch. The desktop is based on sencha extjs. The application is for career counseling. One of the important things is email communication from and to the system. Those emails need to be logged. A job coach needs to be able to add/log/file emails to a client dossier.

Inbound emails can be forwarded to the application and then appear on the coach’s desktop for filing. Outgoing emails are bcc’ed to the application. Attachements are stored on S3 and are also added to a person’s dossier.

Once you deal with email on such an integrated scale, there are quite some requirements.

They looked at a couple of alternatives. www.smtp2web.com is a twisted app. CloudMailIn is a commercial offering, which was pretty good. In the end they made their own custom smtp service (“SMTPasso”) using twisted and a couple of other python libraries.

Sass and compass

Just google sass: http://sass-lang.com/. A format that outputs css, but that uses a maintainable and readable and more object-oriented syntax as an input format.

Compass, the actual preprocessor, can be integrated/used in a Django project. http://compass-style.org/blog/2011/05/09/compass-django/

“Everything I hate about css is now gone!” was the comment from one of the attendees. “It is just awesome.”

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About me

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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