Django for Designers

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Introduction

In this tutorial, we will explain topics and provide commands for you to run on your own computer. You will leave with a working social bookmarking web app!

This is a tutorial on web programming, so we will go beyond just Django and discuss third-party Django apps and other real-world web development tools. We'll also be emphasizing areas of Django that particularly affect designers, such as static files, template inheritance, and AJAX.

Things you should know already

  • HTML familiarity
  • Basic Python proficiency
  • Basic or better Javascript proficiency
  • Pre-requisites that we will help with

We expect you to have git, Python, and a few other elements ready on your laptop before the tutorial. We will publish a laptop setup guide that steps you through:

  • Installing Python, git, pip, virtualenv, and a reasonable text editor
  • Setting up your env with Django, South, and django-debug-toolbar
  • Basic command line knowledge (cd, ls, etc)
  • Basic git knowledge
  • Setting up your git repo for the tutorial

Things you do not need to know already:

  • Django :)
  • What an ORM is
  • Anything database related

Curriculum

Part 1: Starting our project

What we're building today -- a simple social bookmarking application

Activate your env

Start your project

Set up your settings and database

Projects vs. apps distinction

Set up tests, watch them fail

Start your first app

Syncdb

Part 2: URLs, basic views, templates, static files

M-V-C separation concept

Writing our URLs

Handling those URLs with placeholder views

Django templates 101

Static files

Part 3: Models, our database, and making it visible

Introduction to databases and the ORM, or: finally, something we couldn't've done with plain HTML/CSS/JS!

Creating a basic model, in models.py

Creating tables (carefully, with South)

Add data to your app via the command line

Database migrations and South, part 2

Modify views and templates to use model data

Part 4: Reusing others' apps

Users and authentication

CRUD with Django forms

Part 5: AJAX and style time

Adding and updating bookmarks with JSON and asynchronous Javascript

(sync up here)

Time to make our CSS and/or JS more awesome!

Part 6: Sharing with others

Surfing to classmates' "runserver" instances

Deployment on Heroku

Brief discussion of other deployment options

Part 7: Exercises for the reader

Writing your own tests

Write your own styles / JS frontend behavior

Handling user-uploaded media

Accessing a Django-powered API (Tastypie)