Packt Publishing was nice enough to send us a copy of Django 1.0 Template Development by Scott Newman for review recently. I get most of my technical information via the web, so picking up a technical book was a nice change of pace. This is a well written and enjoyable read for people looking to learn a little more about Django than what is provided in the Django tutorial.

Based on the title, I expected a thorough write-up of the template system for front-end developers. With the way Django was designed, template developers need little, if any, knowledge of Python and what goes on under the hood with Django requests. I was surprised, however, to see that pure front-end (HTML/CSS/JavaScript) developers were not the target audience of this book:

This book is for web developers and template authors who want to fully understand and utilize the Django template system. The reader should have completed the introductory tutorials on the Django project’s website and some experience with the framework will be very helpful. Basic knowledge of Python and HTML is assumed.

So, if you just want to work with Django templates, you may find this book to be a bit more than you bargained for. There is a fair amount of Python code throughout the book, although they’ve done a good job of keeping it very basic.

In addition to templates, the topics covered include:

  • Django’s request handling process
  • generic views
  • writing custom tags and filters
  • pagination
  • customizing the admin
  • caching
  • internationalization

I’d say this book is a great resource for jack-of-all-trade developers that write both back-end and front-end code. If you are looking to switch to Django from PHP or some other language, this (and Dive Into Python) would be helpful books to have on your shelf.