Building robust web apps quickly is very difficult, time consuming and resources consuming. Each web app development programming languages and frameworks has its own disadvantages. With some web app programming languages slow development, security issues, complex and hard to learn, you need an easy and effective way to build web apps easily, quickly and efficiently.
When it comes to Python, you should know that it is one of the progressing programming languages that is easy to learn and use, yet with more functionalities. As we all know, Django is built on Python and it is regarded as the web framework for a perfectionist with deadlines. A good thing about it is, its opensource and has a massive community behind it.
A friend of mine used to mention that:
Well to me, the reason is because of its distributed structures meaning that it has different ways you can write it.
Power of Python/Django
With the release of Django 2.0, Django now has a lot of powerful features included.
Django is a high-level, MVC-style, open-source collection of libraries written in Python encouraging rapid development and pragmatic, clean design of web apps. Django, known as "the framework for perfectionists with deadlines," was originally designed for news sites since it lets developers write database-driven web applications without having to start coding from scratch.
However, with years of updates and improvements, Django has now matured to be a fully-featured web application framework.
A web application framework is a tool all web applications need to quickly get things done. The aim here is to let developers focus on the parts of their application that are new and unique to their project, instead of implementing the same solutions over and over again.
Truth be told, Django is much more fully featured than many other frameworks out there. It takes care of a lot of the hassle of Web development, letting you focus on writing your application without any need to reinvent the wheel. It's free, open source and fasts.
Besides faster completion of common web development tasks, Django helps keep the design clean and pragmatic. Django is the best place for new Python web developers as the official documentation and tutorials are some of the best in software development
Additionally, the Django framework enables you to model your domain and code classes, and before you know it, you already have an ORM.
Notable features of Django:
Django's ORM: ORM is one of the notable features of Django. This takes care of databases. So, there is nothing like issues with the Structured Query Language (SQL), which of course is used to query the database for the data needed. Django developers have a special way to manipulate the corresponding Python model object, unlike many other Python frameworks that directly deal with the database via SQL. Django by default works out-of-the-box with relational database management systems like PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite, and Oracle.
Built-in Template System: This is one of the great features about Django, it supports a template system and you can even extend it. With the help of the inheritance system, Django's templates let developers build entire, dynamic websites out of a very small amount of front-end code.
Security: Django is highly secured if you don't know that. The web framework comes with default protection against XSS attacks, CSRF attacks, SQL injections, clickjacking, user management, cookies, email header injection, cryptography, directory traversal etc.
Easy Database Migrations: With Django's migrations, you can easily change a database schema in quick time. It's also very easy to track your database schema and its associated changes. Migration names help in managing version control, and tons of options are available to merge versions and make modifications.
Flexibility and Reusability: Django apps are flexible and self-contained, thus they are reusable. You can add them to your project in the settings.py file under INSTALLED_APPS. And of Python modules can also be used in Django projects.
Power of Restful API
now let's talk about rest API, what's it all about?
By definition, Restful API is an application program interface (API) that uses HTTP requests to GET, PUT, POST and DELETE data. It is based on representational state transfer (REST) technology, an architectural style and method to communications which is often used in web services development.
Rest is the underlying architectural principle of the web. Rest decides how the API looks like and it stands for "Representational State Transfer". It is just a set of rules that developers follow when they create their API. One of these rules states that you should be able to get a piece of returned data (called a resource) when you link to a specific URL.
API is an application programming interface. It is simply a set of rules that let programs to talk to each other. The developer creates the API on the server and allows the client to talk to it.
The good thing about the web is the fact that clients (browsers) and servers can communicate in hard ways without the client knowing anything beforehand about the server and the resources it hosts. The main thing is that the server and client must both agree on the media used, which in the case of the web is HTML.
Each URL is called a request while the data sent back to you is called a response.
One of the main advantages of REST APIs is that they are flexible. Data is not tied to resources or methods, so REST can easily handle multiple types of calls, return different data formats and even change structurally with the correct implementation of hypermedia. The flexibility gives developers the ability to build powerful Rest API.
Under Rest, the request is made up of:
- The endpoint
- The method
- The headers
- The data (or body)
One of the great thing about Rest API is that it can be used on any platform and with any programming language. With Django Rest Framework, you can build a powerful Rest API that can be used to power a fully-featured web app.
Future of Web Apps
Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
Progressive Web Apps as its name implies, is a progressive web application. It is an app that works for every user no matter what browser or mobile device they are using. They are responsive and they feel like an app when used on a mobile or tablet device.
From another look, Progressive Web Apps are web applications that look great on a computer, but also feel like a native app when used on a mobile device. For example, they may use the phone camera, provide push notifications, and so on.
According To Wikipedia
There are so many definitions of PWA on the internet, but just know that it is:
A new way to deliver amazing user experiences on the web.
Key features of PWA:
- Load instantly and never show the down sour, even in uncertain network conditions. That means it can even work offline with a ditch.
- Respond quickly to user interactions with silky smooth animations and no janky scrolling. Very fast due to the caching technology implemented.
- Feel like a natural app on the device, with the immersive user experience. This gives the experience of normal mobile apps.
This new level of quality allows Progressive Web Apps to earn a place on the user's home screen.
Single-Page Applications (SPA)
To me, Single-Page Applications as it name implies is an application that does not requires reloading of the page but uses Ajax or Web Socket methods to push state and fetch data.
To put it simple, Single-page application is an app that works inside a browser and does not require page reloading during use.
According to Microsoft:
Single-Page Applications (SPAs) are Web apps that load a single HTML page and dynamically update that page as the user interacts with the app.
SPAs use AJAX and HTML5 to create a fluid and responsive Web apps, without constant page reloads.
Single-page app help to keep the user in one, comfortable web space where content is presented to the user in a simple, easy and workable fashion.
Although the SPA has a lot of disadvantages you have to deal with, it still a future web app.
Isomorphic application is simply an application whose code can run both in the server and the client. Isomorphic application can also be defined as an intersection of client-side and server-side applications.
In an isomorphic application, the first request made by the web browser is processed by the server while subsequent requests are processed by the client.
The three main reasons developers should care about isomorphism are:
- Better Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Better performance
- Better maintainability
About the Series
This might look complex because each of them are originally complex. We are only going to take one or two features from each.
For the series, we'll build a ticket-app (a laravel app stolen from one of my friends) and we only need its templates. The app will be available offline, single-paged and isomorphic.
We'll also be using build systems to manage our frontend assets.
- Vue and Gulp
- React and Webpack
- Angular and Webpack
- Ionic and Gulp
- Electron and Gulp/Grunt/Webpack