Five Things I Hate About Django.

The five things I hate about * meme seems have died down, and memes, should not be allowed to die.

Of course I love Django, and have bet very heavily on it. But we do not know a topic, until we know it warts, so here you go. The listing is in no particular order, so sorry no numbering.

Ajax with Django is hard:

Most of the Django Community has decided that bundling Javascript helpers with a python framework is bad idea. Though I can understand the reasoning, (argued here and rebuttal), that Javascript is so basic that you can not be expected to not know it, I can not agree with it. SQL is as basic as Javascript, and yet we have ORM for abstracting away the common and the tedious.

Of Course, with simplejson, and a good Javascript library, you can build Ajax apps fast and with only a minimal amout of fuss. And yet switching between Python and Javascript, twice every hour is a huge time drain. Eg. I put commas after the last element in Python arrays, with JS this would work in FF, but fail with weird errors in IE.

Lack of identity map:

If you get the same row from the DB twice using Model.objects.get, you will get two different objects. Apart from the performance problems of two DB queries, when only one should have done, when you update one of them, the other does not get updated, and you will have interesting things happening in your application. And if you update both of them, you might write two inconsistent changes to the DB.

Look at this code for example.

Whether Sessions are browser length/persistent are set sitewide:

You can set whether you want sessions to be browser length/persistent using SESSION_EXPIRE_AT_BROWSER_CLOSE in But you can not set them per user, without mucking with django internal. This might seem a minor annoyance, yet this is something which you need to do for every app, as the remember me, function will not work without this.

Newforms is very limited:

Let us say you want the Form to contain a varible number of fields. How can you define the NewForms class to do your biddings.

from django import newforms as forms
class MyForm(forms.Form):
    foo = froms.CharField()
	bar = froms.CharField()

This can only create a form with a fixed number of fields. While there are ways to generate forms with variable number of fields, (generate the Form class programatically), they are not easy or well documented. (Remind me to write such tutorial sometime.)

Bonus question: How can you generate a form with same form elements multiple (and variable number) times, ala what happens with edit_inline?

Settings mixes application configuration which should be public and passwords, which should be private:

If I am distributing an app MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES is something which I would assume users would not (generally) modify. Similarly, in most of the cases, INSTALLED_APPS, would also be something which users would not change, (unless you are distributing standalone_apps). This means, I want to source control But also contain my DB setiings, and SECRET_KEY, which means, I cannot source control

And while we are at it, can we refactor, so it works without

os.environ['DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE'] = 'settings'


Two things which used to bug me but no more.

  1. You cannot extend Models - Well now you can if you use queryset-refactor, or soon can if you are on trunc.
  2. Url configuration using regexes. - Now they have two problems. joke notwithstanding, mapping URLs to views is one problem where regexes fit the problem beautifully. With less that 50 lines of code, you can manage a large number of views, and Url patterns.

Now stay tuned for Five things I love about Django

Thank you for reading the Agiliq blog. This article was written by shabda on Apr 18, 2008 in python .

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