Introduction to Django

Django is a Python-based free and open-source web framework, which follows the model-template-view (MTV) architectural pattern. It is maintained by the Django Software Foundation (DSF), an independent organization established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

Django’s primary goal is to ease the creation of complex, database-driven websites. The framework emphasizes reusability and “pluggability” of components, less code, low coupling, rapid development, and the principle of don’t repeat yourself. Python is used throughout, even for settings files and data models. Django also provides an optional administrative create, read, update and delete interface that is generated dynamically through introspection and configured via admin models.

Some well-known sites that use Django include the Public Broadcasting Service, Instagram, Mozilla, The Washington Times, Disqus, Bitbucket, and Nextdoor. It was used on Pinterest, but later the site moved to a framework built over Flask.

Django was created in the fall of 2003, when the web programmers at the Lawrence Journal-World newspaper, Adrian Holovaty and Simon Willison, began using Python to build applications. It was released publicly under a BSD license in July 2005. The framework was named after guitarist Django Reinhardt.

In June 2008, it was announced that a newly formed Django Software Foundation (DSF) would maintain Django in the future.

Despite having its own nomenclature, such as naming the callable objects generating the HTTP responses “views”, the core Django framework can be seen as an MVC architecture. It consists of an object-relational mapper (ORM) that mediates between data models(defined as Python classes) and a relational database (“Model”), a system for processing HTTP requests with a web templating system(“View”), and a regular-expression-based URL dispatcher (“Controller”).

Also included in the core framework are:

  • a lightweight and standalone web server for development and testing
  • a form serialization and validation system that can translate between HTML forms and values suitable for storage in the database
  • a template system that utilizes the concept of inheritance borrowed from object-oriented programming
  • a caching framework that can use any of several cache methods
  • support for middleware classes that can intervene at various stages of request processing and carry out custom functions
  • an internal dispatcher system that allows components of an application to communicate events to each other via pre-defined signals
  • an internationalization system, including translations of Django’s own components into a variety of languages
  • a serialization system that can produce and read XML and/or JSON representations of Django model instances
  • a system for extending the capabilities of the template engine
  • an interface to Python’s built-in unit test framework
  • Django REST framework is a powerful and flexible toolkit for building Web APIs.

Bundled applications:

The main Django distribution also bundles a number of applications in its “contrib” package, including:

  • an extensible authentication system
  • the dynamic administrative interface
  • tools for generating RSS and Atom syndication feeds
  • a “Sites” framework that allows one Django installation to run multiple websites, each with their own content and applications
  • tools for generating Google Sitemaps
  • built-in mitigation for cross-site request forgery, cross-site scripting, SQL injection, password cracking and other typical web attacks, most of them turned on by default
  • a framework for creating GIS applications

For developing a Django project, no special tools are necessary, since the source code can be edited with any conventional text editor. Nevertheless, editors specialized on computer programming can help increase the productivity of development, e.g., with features such as syntax highlighting. Since Django is written in Python, text editors which are aware of Python syntax are beneficial in this regard.

The above is a brief about Django. Watch this space for more updates on the latest trends in Technology.

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