Programming A to Z - Delvicious, Django and Assignment #8

“The D is silent.”

303 words

project page here with overview and previous posts

Since I had already worked with XML and web services for my midterm project, I decided to take this week’s assignment for Programming A to Z as an opportunity to continue work on that project. I thought that a good next step would be to use App Engine’s Datastore to store the necessary information about all of a user’s bookmarks, and I would again access that data initially as an XML document obtained from the Delicious API.

I had already begun to learn the Python web framework Django for the Textonic project for Design for UNICEF, and it seemed like it would provide a rich set of useful tools for this project as well. The Datastore does not work, however, like the relational databases with which I am more familiar. Django relies by default on a relational database and is thus incompatible with Google’s Datastore out-of-the-box, but there are two software projects that aim to reconcile these differences. Google’s App Engine Helper (tutorial, code) seemed less well- and less actively-developed than app-engine-patch (tutorial, code), so I decided to go with the latter.

Django is quite powerful and gives you a lot of functionality for free, but when trying to branch out from various tutorials I encountered the somewhat strange challenge of figuring out exactly what it did for you and what it didn’t. It took me a quite a while to get the hang of working with Django on App Engine, so I didn’t have time to actually get the XML stored in a reasonable set of Models in the database. I have, however, gotten successful storage of Delicious logins to work, which is a good first step. The updated code is available on GitHub, and I should be able to make additional improvements soon.