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Django Form Snippets

Django forms are very convenient tools for Django development, but sometimes I find myself wrangling with them to get them to do what I want them to do.  I’ve compiled a few simple form examples that I find useful for various form-related tasks. Say you have a model that looks...

Top 5 Favorite Django Modules

Of all the Django modules that are out there, several stand out as ones that I keep coming back to.  These are some of my favorites:  Django Debug Toolbar Django Debug Toolbar is an extremely useful Django application for debugging a site from “Django’s perspective.”  It should only be used...

Our Django Server Setup: How and Why

One of the most important decisions you make in the process of building a new Django application is what software stack you use to serve it to the world. You're not lacking for options: people run Django on Apache, lighty, nginx, and Cherokee. You also need to decide how to...

Magic Links

The first time I used the new link attachment tool found on sites like Facebook, I thought I had experienced something magical.  After pasting an external webpage URL into my wall-post form, an image, page title, and page description of the linked webpage appeared beneath my post as though out...

Thoughts on our sponsorship of PyCon

We have just completed our third year as a sponsor of PyCon and I thought I'd take a few minutes to reflect on our use of Python as well as the conference itself. Pretty much everyone I spoke to was impressed that we've been programming Web sites in Python since...

Django Settings in the Database

There's been a healthy amount of discussion about how applications should handle settings. As the creator of Mingus pointed out, it's a weird situation. You want anyone to be able to use your application with as little fuss as possible, but at the same time you just need to have...

Django Multiple Page Forms

I recently started working on another new project here at Imaginary Landscape, and this one looked rather enticing as it threw some stuff my way that I haven't had a chance to play with much recently. First on that chopping block was a multi-page registration form application. Immediately I remembered...

Permission Based File Serving

One issue I've run into a couple times while working with Django is the need to serve files to users based on permissions. The first situation occurred with a store we were building that would allow for electronic versions of books to be sold. These books would typically be distributed...

Tangled Webs of Django Applications

At Imaginary Landscape, we definitely enjoy leveraging the many open source applications that exist out in the wild. We also create some of our own open source applications, along with a few closed source applications that are either too customized for one particular customer, or for a number of other...

Django Template Tags

It seems like I frequently find myself needing to write template tags for the various projects I work on here at Imaginary Landscape. The most common reason is generally so that I can adhere to the ideas of the DRY principle. For instance, YaBa has the potential to craft a...

Django and Continuous Integration

There are a wide variety of reasons why we should worry about testing in our Django applications, obviously. However, as a former system administrator, I have some ideals that are absolutely engraved straight into my brain I think. The main idiom being: "Never do the same thing three times. Do...

Keep masking passwords, for now

I always find Jakob Nielsen's usability columns interesting. I rarely disagree with his mostly common sense approach, however I found myself at odds with a recent Alertbox column, entitled "Stop Password Masking." In a nutshell, he believes the common practice of displaying dots or asterisks when typing in a password...

The Importance of Daily Briefings

Even as a small company, we face our share of communication challenges. Not a week goes by without someone uttering, "we need to communicate better." Communication struggles cause a myriad of problems - project misdirection, irritations, management involvement. Production makes up the bulk of our staff - programmers, user interface...

Form security, under the hood

I recently wrote a feature article for eHealthcare Strategy & Trends magazine entitled, "How secure are your Web-based forms?" The article explored what happens after you press the submit button. It turns out that lots of things can happen - many of them bad. To clarify, "bad" is the wrong...

New study compares short and long "contact us" form

I've been experimenting with the contact form on our Web site. It is an important - perhaps the most important - aspect of our Web presence. For all the blogging and news releasing and testimonials and marketing, our primary method of gathering online feedback is the contact form. We have...

Who controls your domain name?

Every domain name must be registered. Network Solutions, GoDaddy and examples of domain name registrars. The owner of a domain name is referred to as the Registrant. To check your domain name registration, go to the WHOIS page at Network Solutions. Network Solutions will report on all domains regardless of...

Are Web forms really secure?

So, how secure is that sensitive information? Most people are familiar with the front-line form security - the secure Web page. This is the Web page that contains the form and is characterized by a lock icon appearing on the browser (also indicated in the address bar with https preceding...

Web site accessibility takes a front seat

It is a class action suit brought against Target alleging that target.com is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act because the site is not accessible to the blind. Specifically, the site lacked alternative text used by screen reading software. This week a federal judge certified the class action...

The placement of links on a page affects click rates

The Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication is a peer-reviewed Internet journal that contains some deep and informative research papers. To wit, a study released in the January 2006 issue goes into great depth about click habits as they relate to positioning. In short, two experiments demonstrate an increased tendency for visitors...