May 23 2017
Frontend styling doesn’t appeal to me as much as the backend work. I think this is pretty obvious in my completed (sort of) app using the Hello Web App tutorial. You can see it here: https://rejoicecinema.herokuapp.com/. It looks… 1998-ish, no? At least, there are no animated gif background images so, yeah. There’s that. #silverlining
Side note: When I showed off the finished product, one of my Code Club mates said “That’s it?? You went through that whole book and THAT is all you ended up with??”
The backend… the files and code structure… now THAT is beauty. I’m really happy with how that turned out and I ordered the second book, Hello Web App: Intermediate Concepts, to continue building upon what I’ve learned. It looks like we will cover Gulp, Sass, and Bootstrap so I’m not really worried about what the site looks like right now.
Back to the first Hello Web App book. In Chapter 6 we set up a database and admin which seemed very similar to my experience with Rails, although, I do think the admin section for Django is more aesthetically pleasing. Then we created object pages and set up forms and registration pages. In Chapter 11, we learned how to associate users with objects. I don’t know if it was the way the book was written but this made a lot more sense to me than “belongs to” and “has many” that we use with Rails. I may change my mind as I learn more but for now, I like!
Later we set up “browse” pages, created 404 and 500 pages, did some testing, and set up a requirements.txt. It is my understanding, and I could be wrong, that this file will make it easier to duplicate should I decide to create a second project. That is so handy! I don’t know if I would ever do that (versus starting from scratch) but I appreciate the jump start. Finally, we deploy to Heroku, just like with Rails. Easy.
Getting everything set up wasn’t error-free. I spent many hours on Google trying to solve minor problems. The biggest issue turned out to be a wayward tab. I accidentally hit tab instead of space and Python did NOT like that at all. I also had an “if then” statement that wasn’t aligned properly that had me pulling out my eyebrows in frustration. (Bad habit, kids. Don’t pull out your eyebrows!)
Overall, I really enjoyed the tutorial and look forward to the next book. I did not intend for this to be a book review, but since we’re here… I give it 5 stars and I highly recommend checking it out if you’re new to Django and Python. It is written well and easy to follow.