Django – A Framework for Python

Django – A Framework for Python

The web development field has changed quite a lot since the earlier days. When websites were first introduced, they were nothing but glorified brochures. They were static, and all you could really do is go through them. Then came gif animations, and you could see some movement – maybe the logo rotating, or a flashing ‘click here’ kind of button. The introduction of CSS paved way for more suave, sophisticated websites as stylesheets gave designers more control over the layout. JavaScript, which was introduced after that, added a bit of interactivity to the websites, making them more utilitarian. However, the power of the Internet was truly leveraged when web applications were first introduced, and allowed users to really accomplish things that mattered in day to day life. Ordering online from an e-commerce site, accessing your bank account, transacting online, and other web applications really revolutionized the way people conducted businesses and communicated with each other.

Web development was possible only by the use of backend programming. These backend tools include different languages that accept user input, perform mathematical / logical operations, and send user output based on their inputs. They do this with the help of a database, which is nothing but a collection of organized data. Some of the popular languages used for web development include Java, .ASP and PHP. Python, another programming language, has shot into limelight for the benefits it offers, mostly in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Big Data. All these concepts are connected to the paradigm called Industry 4.0, which is touted as the next disruptive technology. While the first three industrial revolutions were all about processes, the 4th industrial revolution is all about technology and data crunching. Python, with its inherent advantages, is one of the most ideal languages for AI / ML applications. This includes robotics, autonomous cars and many other applications.

Frameworks for Python
Unless and until someone is well versed with coding, developing any kind of web based applications is a tedious and time consuming task. Coding languages are notorious for adherence to strict rules and syntax, and even a small comma can make a difference between a program running properly or crashing. A web framework is software that standardizes and abstracts away common difficulties and redundancies involved in making a website. A framework is nothing more than a collection of pre-defined modules that make development easier. Like the name implies, a framework provides a structure for coders to build upon. and saves coding time. For example, most websites need to connect to a database, deploy to a server, handle URL routing, security, user registration, generate templates, and so on. In the early days, programmers had to do all of this from scratch but they quickly recognized the commonalities and started creating web frameworks. More importantly, web frameworks avoid costly coding errors involved in mundane tasks, allowing developers to focus on their task. Frameworks allow websites – even simple ones designed by a single person – to include advanced functionality like authentication support, management and admin panels, contact forms, comment boxes, file upload support, and more. They are grouped together, and allow you to create applications or websites from an existing source, instead of from scratch.

What is Django?
Django is a free and open source web application framework written in Python. The most important thing about DJango, and what its USP is – is that the Django framework was created with front-end developers in mind. “Django’s template language is designed to feel comfortable and easy-to-learn to those used to working with HTML, like designers and front-end developers. But it is also flexible and highly extensible, allowing developers to augment the template language as needed.” The official project site describes Django as “a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design. Built by experienced developers, it takes care of much of the hassle of Web development, so you can focus on writing your app without needing to reinvent the wheel. It’s free and open source.”

The name ‘DJango’ is in honour of the famous jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. Django is used by some of the largest websites in the world including National Geographic, Mozilla, and Instagram. However, it is also lightweight enough to be a popular choice for very small projects and startups. The user friendly features that Django has means that a feature-rich website can be generated quickly in the hands of a skilled developer. Yes, Django has competition like Flask, but there is a difference between their working. While Flask provides for complete customization (and therefore control), Django’s modular and simple philosophy of not repeating constructs and logic throughout a project’s structure make it a very popular framework choice among Python developers.

The Django framework began in 2003 as a project started by Adrian Holovaty and Simon Willison at the Journal-World newspaper in Lawrence, Kansas, in the United States. They were part of a web team who were responsible for creating and maintaining newspaper websites. The first public version of Django was released in 2005, and the framework has not looked back after that. The Django framework has remained true to its origins as a Model-View-Controller (MVC) server-side framework designed to operate with relational databases. However, it has also embraced newer technologies – via third-party packages – including working with non-relational databases like NoSQL and real-time Internet communication.

Here are the advantages of Django as a Python framework tool:

Speed: Django is fast. It’s ‘batteries included’ philosophy provides almost everything developers might want to do “out of the box”
Secure: Django provides excellent security by helping developers avoid many common security mistakes
Components: It has a bouquet of components that accelerates development. It can work with any client-side framework, and can deliver content in almost any format (including HTML, RSS feeds, JSON, XML, etc).
Scalability: Django allows scaling of websites and is multi-user framework. It does this by using a component-based “shared-nothing” architecture, wherein each part of the architecture is independent of the others
Portable: Django is written in Python, which runs on many platforms.

If you want to further your programming career in Python, the Django framework certainly merits your attention.