Most people in the Django world probably use pip to install everything. I (and the company were I work, Nelen & Schuurmans) use buildout instead. If there are any other buildout users left outside of zope/plone, I’d love to hear it :-)
First the news about the new update, after that I’ll add a quick note about what’s good about buildout, ok?
Djangorecipe 2.1.1 is out. The two main improvements:
Lots of old unused functionality has been removed. Project generation, for
instance. Django’s own
startproject is good enough right now. And you
can also look at cookiecutter.
wsgilog are gone as they’re not needed
The latest gunicorn releases didn’t come with django support anymore. You
used to have a
bin/django run_gunicorn (or
run_gunicorn) management command, but now you just have to run
bin/gunicorn yourproject.wsgi. And pass along an environment variable
that points at your django settings.
With the latest djangorecipe, you can add a
gunicorn option and it’ll create a
for you that sets the environment variable automatically. Handy!
Advantage of buildout. To me, the advantage of buildout is threefold:
Buildout is more fool-proof. With pip/virtualenv you should remember to
activate the virtualenv. With buildout, the scripts themselves make sure the
sys.path is set.
pip install something you shouldn’t forget the
requirements.txt option. With buildout, the requirement restrictions
(“versions”) are applied automatically.
With pip, you need to set the django settings environment variable in
production and staging. With buildout, it is just
bin/django like in
development: it includes the correct reference to the correct settings file
There just isn’t anything you can forget!
Buildout is extensible. You can extend it with “recipes”. Like a django recipe that helps with the settings and so. Or a template recipe that generates an ngnix config based on a template with the django port and hostname already filled in from the buildout config file. Or a sysegg recipe that selectively injects system packages (=hard to compile things like numpy, scipy, netcdf4).
Buildout “composes” your entire site, as far as possible. Pip “just” grabs
your python packages. Buildout can also build NPM and run grunt to grab your
bin/django collectstatic -y when
you install it in production. And generate an nginx/apache file based on
your config’s gunicorn port. And generate a supervisord config with the
correct gunicorn call with the same port number.
Of course there are drawbacks:
Why do I still use it?
bin/buildoutand everything is set up correctly. Do you trust every colleague (including yourself) to remember 5 different commands to set up a full environment?
So… hurray for buildout and for the updated djangorecipe functionality! If you still use it, please give me some feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments below. I’ve removed quite some old functionality and I might have broken some usecases. And buildout/django ideas and thoughts are always welcome.
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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