Reflection on DjangoCon Europe 2015

Ben Ackland

DjangoCon Europe showcased impressive progress on RESTful APIs (supporting modern JavaScript frameworks such as Angular, React), Real-Time Web (swampdragon, Andrew Godwin’s proposed WebSocket interface layer), flexible and extensible content management, dynamic web forms, and scalability.

The community behind Django is clearly going from strength to strength. As of June 2015, the community website reports 10,459 people are involved from 161 countries, which is quite impressive. The conference itself was one of many Django events this year and has similar counterparts in the US and Asia. Over 300 people attended the event in Cardiff, primarily representing developers but also business owners, designers, end-users etc. I attended the open day and one of our developers (Ben Cole) attended the three-day conference.

Our Highlights

Content Management – It was great to see the support for DjangoCMS growing. Netsight historically works with the fully-featured Plone CMS, and while DjangoCMS takes quite a different approach, it certainly offers a comparable core feature set. This isn’t a comparison between the two as they have different strengths and are suited to different projects. One thing’s for sure, like Plone it’s very flexible and extensible making it a sound base for content-managed websites.

Integration and APIs – There have been a number of REST frameworks for Django for many years, but they’ve seen a recent resurgence in interest due in no small part to the growing popularity of JavaScript frameworks such as Angular (by Google) and React (by Facebook). Having a simple way to create RESTful APIs to your data makes Django an obvious choice for a backend to sites using these modern in-browser technologies.

Real-Time Web – Most web frameworks as yet aren’t directly addressing the case for real-time web applications, so it was good to see projects like swampdragon getting attention. Also speaking to Andrew Godwin about his now published proposal to go Beyond Request-Response was encouraging.

Forms Management – Many of our customer projects require online forms of one variety or another — can you think of a website that doesn’t use form fields in some way? The¬†django-dynamic-forms package lets users create and manage online forms out-of-the-box – adding fields of varying types to build up the overall form before connecting it to a recipient or database.

Scalability and Load Testing – Django can be a great choice for high-load web projects, and it’s essential to get an idea of how scalable a web app is as early in a project as possible. The conference was a good opportunity to evaluate our approach to benchmarking the framework and load testing prototype apps in popular cloud-hosting environments. Watch this space for a summary of our results.

A big thanks to everyone involved with organising and delivering this year’s¬†DjangoCon Europe. We look forward to seeing you again at Django: Under The Hood later in the year.

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