Does Django need a standard blog application? 11.30.2007

James Bennet over at the B-List1 has an article wondering if Django needs a blog application. He raises a bunch of good points, and in the end, decides that, for Django, it’s probably better to have blog components rather than a monolithic standardized blog application.

That said, my own view on the necessity (or lack thereof) is this:

Building a blog is simple. In fact, following a tutorial, you can have a blog in Django running in 20 minutes, completely with tagging, archives, comments and the admin interface to manage it all.

If someone needs a blog, and they’re considering Django above other pre-made systems like Wordpress of Textpattern, then it means that the person is placing flexibility and customization above ease or quickness of deployment.

As such, it’s bit of a disservice to have everything built out. Building your own blog system in Django — from the very beginning to the very end — means that every feature is there because you needed it there.

To use as an example, initially, the blog used FreeComments. But then, I wanted something better. So I built my own comments system, with my own version of a very basic captcha. The captcha is there because I needed one. But it’s also simple and basic because I needed (and wanted) a simpe and basic captcha.

Similarly with the writing section. By building it on my own, I know exactly how it works, and as a result, I can modify it specifically to my taste.

Having a standard prepackaged blog application might be nice to get started, but honestly, I feel that it takes away a pretty vital part of the development process, and an important step in developing ownership of the code that runs a site.

  1. Who, by the way, has been posting an absolutely amazing series of articles about everything you ever wanted to know about Django, from newforms to performance, to design and models. There are a lot of ideas in those posts I’ll probably be rolling into my own code in the near future.