Indeed, the Django framework is known as the Web framework "for perfectionists with deadlines," as the technology comes out of a newspaper operation where its developers created Django out of the need for technology to help journalists meet deadlines.
Adrian Holovaty, the principal developer of Django, and himself a journalist, said, "We had spent a few years building and perfecting a framework that let us create intensive database Web sites quickly."
The ease-of-use and rapid development capabilities in Django bring to Python developers similar benefits to those that the popular Ruby on Rails framework delivers to Ruby developers, observers said.
Indeed, if Ruby on Rails speeds up Ruby-based Web development, Django could be considered as "Python on a plane" for what it provides Python developers, one observer said.
Django originated when Holovaty was working at the World Online, the online arm of the Lawrence Journal-World newspaper in Lawrence, Kan. In the fall of 2003, Holovaty and a colleague, Simon Willison, decided against using the PHP language and began using Python to develop World Onlines sites. They soon created a framework to help the organization turn out Web applications under deadline pressure. Sometimes they only had a matter of hours between coming up with the concept for an application and the time it was publicly launched, Holovaty said.
Then, in July of last year, World Online open-sourced the software that became known as Django, he said.
Holovaty, who now works for Washingtonpost.com, said the initial purpose for Django was "to automate the repetitive stuff and make it fun and easy to build database-driven Web sites. We decided to open-source it for a variety of reasons, including getting development help and bug fixes from programmers around the world and marketing our commercial news CMS [content management system] product, Ellington."
Ellington is a Django-powered content management system.