A blog post a day keeps the doctor away

November blog posting month has a special moment in my Django history. It was this time last year that I really got serious into Django. With the help of James Bennett’s and Marty Alchin’s blog post a month streak, I got an incredibly valuable insight into Django. It showed me a lot of the power and other great things about Django (especially the community).

In that spirit, I figured that I would jump on the blog post a month bandwagon (that looks like it’s going to be big in Djangoland this year). All of my posts won’t be about Django, most of them will probably be about programming, or technical in nature. However, I promise nothing along these lines. Writing 31 posts back to back is quite a lot of work. So I might blank out somewhere halfway through for a day and resort to posting my philosophical musing that used to be most of this blog. You are thusly warned ;)

I mentioned that some other people in the community are doing post-a-day for the month. So expect to get your fill of awesome Django and Tech related content. Brian Rosner, Eric Florenzano, Justin Lilly, James Tauber, and Greg Newman will be trying this gargantuan task along with me!

Some of the things that you can look forward to in this month of blog posts from my side:

  • At least 2 code releases. One is a new addition and release to testmaker, the other is another neat new testing tool.
  • Pinax related material. They have their first release, and most of us posters are in that community.
  • Screencasts. These are time consuming, but I have plans for at least a couple news ones over the month.
  • A new design. The finishing touches are being put on this site as we speak. So there will be a new version launched sometime early this month.
  • A newish approach to testing code that I have been thinking about for a while. Hopefully it isn’t new and the Google-fu isn’t strong with this one.
  • Some talk about template tags and how to make them better
  • Multiple viewpoints expressed on topics around the different people doing this.
  • Lots more!

I hope that you all stayed tuned and even join in on these posts throughout the month. In talking about doing it, one of the big wins of doing it at the same time was to enable the separate view points on the same topic to be discussed. The point of blogs is to have a discussion, and I think it will be neat to see what kind of discourse we have throughout this month.

It looks like James Tauber has already posted his first functional combinatorial mind bender over on his blog already. Let the games begin!

Now on with regularly scheduled programming.

And because I feel bad that there isn’t really any content in this post, here is a little tip:

Doing template testing is a pain sometimes because it suppresses your errors. You can load your templates on the command line to test them, and it will show you the errors if they are having any.

>>> from django.template.loader import get_template
>>> get_template('mine/index.html')
<django.template.Template object at 0xa833d0>
>>> get_template('mine/error.html')
Traceback (most recent call last):
 [Chopped a bunch off]
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/django/template/__init__.py", line 362, in find_filter
    raise TemplateSyntaxError("Invalid filter: '%s'" % filter_name)
django.template.TemplateSyntaxError: Invalid filter: 'wtf'

This is incredibly useful, and great for debugging templates without worrying about caching and other things like that. Also note that this isn’t anything special used just for testing. This is actually the way to load templates inside of your code. Check out the docs for more. select_template is another really useful thing to know about, so check it out!

Hey there. I'm Eric and I do consulting and provide other services around software documentation. Feel free to email me if you want to chat.