I’ve read what appear to be two first-hand observers blogging about a statement Guido made to the effect that Django is “the” web framework. I found the first one on this site. Color me dense, but I can’t figure out for sure who posted this. It looks like maybe Greg Wilson, but I’m not sure. The next post was from Titus Brown. Both posts included that Django would not be included in the standard library according to Guido . The third-bit post went on to say that Guido hopes that Django and TurboGears will merge.
What does all this mean? It means that more people will likely begin their Python web development journey with Django now. It also means that more seasoned Python web developers who haven’t used Django will likely give it a peek. This may secure Django’s position as the number one Python web framework (if it’s not there already)….but temporarily. I really doubt that, though. The meat of all this is that it’s more publicity for Django, which is a good thing for that project.
But Django can’t forget that it has formidable competition. TurboGears is perhaps the most impressive competition that Django has. Kevin Dangoor of TurboGears posted a couple of days ago about Guido’s observed “announcement”. This is, in my opinion, the pivotal statement in Kevin’s post:
TurboGears has a collection of APIs and idioms that I think make it great fun to work with, and I know others agree with me. Django has its own collection of features that others like working with. That’s fine by me, and it’s not likely to change any time soon.
Kevin recognizes that there’s room for alternatives in the same space that he’s working in. But he spends a fair number of words in the same post discussing TG’s “collection of APIs and idioms” and how they make TG a more than viable alternative to anything that’s out there, whether Python-centric or not. And I have to admit that what is going on in the TG community sounds exciting. And Kevin was quick to state that a merge between TurboGears and Django is “not very likely”.
So why did Guido state such things about Django and TurboGears? Some have speculated that Guido is concerned that the fragmentation in the Python web framework space makes any Python solution a less appealing alternative to Ruby on Rails. I really doubt that. I think more than likely, Guido was just expressing his own opinion of Django and what should happen between Django and TurboGears.
My take on having a Django and TurboGears around as automonous projects is that it is a good thing for the Python web community. Each one will spur the other on to further excellence. As many of you know, I am a satisfied Django user who formerly was working with TurboGears. But I am more than happy to see TurboGears excel. If TG is doing something innovative that Django is not (which should be included in the framework), it will be just a matter of time before Django adopts it. And the converse is also true. Django is excellent. TurboGears is likewise excellent. Django is arguably dominant at the moment. But an open source project does not maintain its dominance by riding the publicity of glowing proclamations from very public open source figures; they have to keep working for it. And it looks like Django and TurboGears will each provide one another with more incentive to work for a more excellent product.