Discussion:
Getting started in Django development.
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zbelzer
2007-02-12 06:56:25 UTC
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Hi all.

I've been learning about and working with Django for a little while
now and I have decided that I would like to help contribute to the
project and community. I'm decent with python, but I still find that
looking through the entire code base is pretty intimidating and trying
to follow the execution path of even something simple can become quite
confusing.

The question I have is where does one begin on figuring out how things
work in detail (behind the scenes) and where I should start in trying
to contribute. Do I try to follow the execution of something like
syncdb or do I start somewhere else?

I think Django has some real potential, so I'd like to contribute any
expertise I might have to offer.

Thanks,
zbelzer


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James Bennett
2007-02-12 07:07:17 UTC
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Post by zbelzer
The question I have is where does one begin on figuring out how things
work in detail (behind the scenes) and where I should start in trying
to contribute. Do I try to follow the execution of something like
syncdb or do I start somewhere else?
I've written up some notes on the request/response cycle and what goes
on inside Django at each step:

http://www.b-list.org/weblog/2006/06/13/how-django-processes-request

And Malcolm contributed some documentation on the wiki concerning the
metaprogramming Django does to generate a model class:

http://code.djangoproject.com/wiki/DevModelCreation

These might be useful starting points for getting a handle on what
happens in the code; let me know if there's a specific area you're
interested in and I'll do what I can to point you at information on
it.
--
"Bureaucrat Conrad, you are technically correct -- the best kind of correct."

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Michael Radziej
2007-02-12 08:09:07 UTC
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Hi,

I'd like to add that you can learn a lot by looking into the existing
tickets, and try to follow what they do. Some areas are hard to follow,
others quite easy, poke a bit around to find what you like.

It would be a great contribution if you could look into the approved
tickets that need tests or documentation. There are quite a few patches
that could go into "ready for checkin" if they had tests or documentation.

The Django unittest system is described here:

http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/testing/


Michael



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Steven Armstrong
2007-02-12 11:21:05 UTC
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Post by zbelzer
Hi all.
I've been learning about and working with Django for a little while
now and I have decided that I would like to help contribute to the
project and community. I'm decent with python, but I still find that
looking through the entire code base is pretty intimidating and trying
to follow the execution path of even something simple can become quite
confusing.
I've found this [1] useful to get an idea of the execution path. Saved
me allot of grepping and searching.

[1] http://code.djangoproject.com/wiki/CookBookDeveloperTools


hth
Steven

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zbelzer
2007-02-12 17:29:23 UTC
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Thanks everyone!

I'll look into all your suggestions tonight after work (I'm so sick of
PHP).

I appreciate the help,
Zach


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Malcolm Tredinnick
2007-02-12 22:43:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by zbelzer
Hi all.
I've been learning about and working with Django for a little while
now and I have decided that I would like to help contribute to the
project and community. I'm decent with python, but I still find that
looking through the entire code base is pretty intimidating and trying
to follow the execution path of even something simple can become quite
confusing.
The question I have is where does one begin on figuring out how things
work in detail (behind the scenes) and where I should start in trying
to contribute. Do I try to follow the execution of something like
syncdb or do I start somewhere else?
Michael has already mentioned looking at tickets as a motivation point
(and the write-up James did is pretty handy to have around when you're
working these out). Could I also suggest looking at tickets that have
stack traces in them (or where the bug triggers a stack trace). That
gives you a road map right there on the screen for where to start
looking for the problem.

I've also used this technique in reverse: once I know that a piece of
code is being reached, I want to figure out how we got there. So
traceback.print_stack() is your friend. Sure, the output is extensive,
but it doesn't take long to start to spot the patterns. I've used this
quite a few times on difficult to figure out problems, particularly when
I was first starting to learn the code paths or trying to collect
information from other people.

Regards,
Malcolm



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zbelzer
2007-02-13 09:11:18 UTC
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I had a chance to read all of the articles you guys pointed out and
they helped tremendously. I'll take a look at some tickets and the
documentation on how I should go about fixing/submitting later today
(after some sleep and class).

I really feel like I have a much better idea now, so thank you all for
the help.

-Zach


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