Author: Steven Holzner
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Aimed at: Python programmers wanting to start using Django
Pros: Short and to the point
Cons: Doesn't go beyond the basics
Reviewed by: Mike James
Django is a Python framework for creating dynamic websites and this book is an introduction to working with it. If you know anything about Django then it isn't going to be of much use to you as it doesn't cover very much - it's a get you started guide. It's also a very thin book and as such you could read it quite quickly and be finished with it in a few days.
It starts off from installing and setting up Python but doesn't go into any details of how to use or program in Python. From here we move into using Django and create a very simple website using as few files and resources as possible. This is a good way to get started with any new framework.
Chapter Three moves on to focus on specific parts of Django - the Model and using a database; Chapter Four explains how to connect the view to the model and this more or less completes our overview of the major parts of Django.
The rest of the book is taken up with a range of task-oriented chapters - creating multi-page sites, styling web pages, inheriting templates, user input and forms, validating forms, logging users in and out.
Given that there are only 200 pages in the book this isn't a bad range of topics. However, it is equally obvious that a lot is left out and this means you probably will need to buy another book on the subject.
The example are all acceptably small and easy to follow and they are well explained. The biggest problem with the book is that it fails to give an adequate overview of the structure and philosophy that underpins Django. For example there is no real discussion of MVC or why Django is a good way to build a website. It would have been nice to have a few diagrams showing the different components of Django, what they do and how they relate to one another. However if you already program in Python and are looking for a very basic introduction to getting started with Django this is a good book to buy as long as you realise that it is only 200 pages.