Django, still amazing me after all these years

Written by Adrian Holovaty on September 4, 2008

Django, a project I have helped nurture for more than four years (including some time as a proprietary project when I worked at the Lawrence Journal-World) has today reached a milestone: we've given it a "1.0" status. In the world of open-source programming, this means it's stable, well-tested and generally a strong piece of software that its developers are proud of.

Given the milestone, I was reminded of an early Django memory that has stayed with me for years. Soon after we casually open-sourced the framework in July 2005, a Web developer, somewhere many time zones away from Chicago, posted a screenshot of his Django-powered Web site. It was the Django admin login page, and I remember feeling a strong sense of astonishment.

What? Some random guy halfway across the planet, whom I'll most likely never meet, actually took the time to learn and use this software that we'd built? And, what's more, he actually found it useful?

I was quite struck by that. Obviously, we'd intended this to happen -- the whole point of releasing code under an open-source license is to make it available to as many people as possible -- but it was an amazing feeling, nonetheless.

Over time, I've grown accustomed to the fact that, yes, people use Django -- so seeing a screenshot of the Django admin doesn't faze me much anymore. But the cool thing is: Bigger and bigger things are happening, and I still get amazed, time and time again.

A print version of a Django book that I cowrote is actually sitting on the shelf in the bookstore down the street from my house? And, what's more, readers actually pay money for it, given that we released a free version online? People take the time to record a weekly podcast devoted to our community? We formed a non-profit foundation? Google supports Django in its App Engine product? And there's a Django conference this weekend?

It all continues to amaze me, and it all continues to inspire me. Here's to a fantastic community and a great piece of software. Thanks for the experience so far.

Comments

Posted by Nathan Youngman on September 4, 2008 at 3:09 a.m.:

Wonderful that Django 1.0 is out, it's definitely made a lot of progress, and the documentation is getting much better too. I can't wait to sink my teeth in with a real full-fledged project.

I'm sure the community support will only get better. Definitely cool how far it has come. What an amazing sense of accomplishment for you and all those involved.

Posted by Adam Javurek on September 4, 2008 at 3:27 a.m.:

Congrats! I'm a journalist without programming skills, but Django amazes me as well. I really want to dive into it sometimes.

(and a shameless question from an impatient reader: what about your next book about database-driven online journalism? I'm soooo curious)

Posted by Nicola Larosa on September 4, 2008 at 4:04 a.m.:

Oh man, reading these words fills my heart. :-) Here's to your vision, and your impact on the world. Amazement is what it's all about! ;-)

Posted by Carlos Yoder on September 4, 2008 at 4:18 a.m.:

What can I say, Adrian!

In these 2.5 years I've been around Django (using, testing, lurking the groups) I've learned so much about a business I thought I knew, being a Web developer since 1996, that I can't thank the Django community enough. Next year is looking to me like the year I went back to self-employment, and back to technologies I love working with -- and that means Django of course.

Watching you and the rest of the gang putting Django together was a fantastic, eye-opening, amazing experience. Can't thank you guys enough!

And keep up the good work -- and the guitar practise! ;-)

Posted by m on September 4, 2008 at 4:29 a.m.:

no no no thank YOU. And dont you dare leaving the django community!

Posted by ilya on September 4, 2008 at 5:29 a.m.:

Congrats, Adrian!

As Carlos, I've been about 2.5 years with Django too. I can't stop amaze on community and quality grow.

With Django r1.0 Python web development gone highway!

Respect! What can I say so... :-)

Posted by frederic sidler on September 4, 2008 at 6:04 a.m.:

Great news and nice milestone.

First time I heard about it was when I was working in a journalism office and the different innovations you made with ljworld.com. I tried to convince my direction to use django or ellingtoncms.com, without success.

But when starting a new project, we evaluate all current framework/languages (ruby, php, django) and we choose it for

- performances

- rapid development (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6297126166376226181)

- internationalization features

- community activity

We are using it for almost 1 year now and we are very happy with it

Posted by Dougal Matthews on September 4, 2008 at 6:21 a.m.:

It is amazing what you've created and the community behind it. It's awesome.

It would be interesting to see the distribution of django devs around the world!

Posted by Marco Beri on September 4, 2008 at 9:17 a.m.:

Just one simple word: thanks!

Posted by Alex Zhang on September 4, 2008 at 10:32 a.m.:

I started using Django almost 3 years ago and it's been nothing but my first choice for web development since then (I've used PHP, AOLserver, Java, ASP, Zope/Plone and would never go back). Not only is its documentation, code quality, cohesiveness, and overall performance first-rate, but its community is one of most rational, skilled, and friendly around. Thank you for outstanding work and leadership.

Posted by jcburns on September 4, 2008 at 11:16 a.m.:

Congratulations on the 1.0. It's a testament to the framework that even design goofballs like me can make it work...and continue to update my apps through all the changes on the way to 1.0 without getting too lost.

Keep an eye on that incredulity, though. It leads to posts with...you know? Too many question marks? And your voice can get stuck in the raised position if you go up at the end of sentences that often.

Posted by sean on September 4, 2008 at 11:29 a.m.:

django is part of my life now!

Posted by Traci on September 4, 2008 at 1:07 p.m.:

Congrats on the milestone release!

Posted by Scot Hacker on September 4, 2008 at 9:02 p.m.:

I'm a neophyte Djangonaut, cramming hard to fill my brain with as much info as possible before DjangoCon. Loving so much of what I see in this framework. Thanks for birthing this baby, Adrian!

Posted by Mauricio Quiros on September 4, 2008 at 9:29 p.m.:

Greetings from Costa Rica! best wishes and respect.

Posted by Abe USher on September 4, 2008 at 10:29 p.m.:

Great work Adrian and Django team members!

Posted by anonymous on September 5, 2008 at 12:01 a.m.:

Thank you (for you, the core team, and all the contributors) for creating Django. It is really neat.

Posted by Kevin on September 5, 2008 at 8:13 a.m.:

Thanks for a great piece of software. Django has made my life easier.

Posted by tsal on September 5, 2008 at 11:44 a.m.:

Adrian, I came here as soon as I heard the news! Congrats, man! Maybe you should write a song for the occasion. :)

I just wish I was still doing development work. :/

Thanks for the hard work, and congrats on the 1.0!

Posted by Scott Johnson on September 9, 2008 at 12:20 a.m.:

Adrian, congrats on the Django success! I'm quite excited that I'm now using v1.0 on my own websites. :)

Posted by Iman on September 10, 2008 at 7:57 p.m.:

Although I've never had the pleasure of using Django, the 1.0 is a good incentive as any to dig in and learn! nice one. :-D

Posted by Shaal on September 19, 2008 at 4:34 p.m.:

Hey Adrian, glad to see you back in action, quite some time since heard of you, BTW congrats on the Django's success.

Comments have been turned off for this entry.