My Django Test Drive

With school out for the summer, I’ve been spending some of my free time learning to program with Django (pronounced JANG-oh — the D is silent) and Python. Over Christmas break I had spent a lot of time playing with Ruby on Rails, and I really enjoyed it, but I made a promise to some friends to try Django before committing to Ruby on Rails. I’m glad I did, because it has been pretty easy and a lot of fun. I’ve done programming for plenty of websites before, and Django took everything I wanted to do and made it much easier. Since I had to pick up Python at the same time I ran into some snags here and there, but I’ve done enough to this point that I wanted to show off my work.

My new site is really just a relaunch of one that I was writing in PHP and never really finished. was supposed to be a quotes database of funny quotes from movies and TV Shows, but I was never able to expand its humble beginnings with just one TV show. Now the new quotational has been live for a few hours and I’ll progressively add features as I learn more about Django. The idea is to get the site out there so I can get some feedback, so if you have any suggestions let me know in the comments. I’ve got plenty of ideas for things to improve, but I’m more likely to work on features suggested in the comments.

So I guess this means I’m semi-committed to Django, right? Well that’s okay, because it’s been a lot of fun and the learning curve hasn’t been too bad. Thanks to the framework makers for making web programming fun again!

2 thoughts on “My Django Test Drive

  1. Joe Parsons

    Hey Alex,

    The quotational site looks pretty cool, I’ll be curious to see how you implement the “Submit your favorite quotes” addition. Does django provide any built-in support for JS/AJAX libraries? If so I could see you doing some cool live search / filter / sorting tricks.

    I’ve been meaning to try out django one of these days before I get to deep into Ruby on Rails (I’m already using Rails for a couple of projects at work). Just curious, what advantages have you found django has over Rails?


  2. Alex Post author

    Thanks for the comments, Joe! I still have a lot to learn with Django, so some of the features mentioned may take a while (plus I’m spending this week in classes and next week on vacation in Oregon, so I may not get back to things soon).

    I recommend giving Django a try, if only to see how it feels to you. I think that the major factor on deciding between the two is how easy it is for you to use, especially in my case. There happened to be a lot of things leading me to Python, so that may have helped push me toward Django some, too. It kind of felt like Rails was pushing me to do one thing when I expected another, and that might just have been the fact that I was less experienced with MVC frameworks in general.

    I’ve found a few examples of how to integrate Django with AJAX, but they’re not as easy to follow (or as plentiful) as the Rails examples. I realized coming in that it wouldn’t be as easy, but Django does let you choose your own JavaScript library, so maybe that’s good in the end. Deployment seemed to be easier with Django, but that might also be because I’m more familiar with the environment on which I was deploying it.

    So basically there are tons of factors, but since in my case I got to choose whichever I was more comfortable with and I don’t have any outside pressure to choose one over the other, I think I’m going with Django.

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