Popularising Django - Part 2

By : Shabda Raaj

If you would have read my Popularizing Django post, you might know that I consider building a killer packaged app to be the best way to popularize Django. This is a post about what that app must be.

For PHP it was Wordpress and PhpBB. Both were free, very easy to install and came with every thing packaged. If you have followed the history of either you must know that they have always been plagued by security problems. Assertion: Most users, even programmers, value ease of use and install over technical superiority. Case in point, Windows vs Linux.

For Rails, arguably it is Basecamp. This is a website people can use for free, and can see that building complex, rich and engaging applications is possible with Rails. With the build a weblog in 15 minutes, Rails already proves that building webapps is fast and easy. Assertion: Killer apps need to prove easy things are easy, but complex things are possible.


Can a blog application be Django's killer app? We have many, many Blog applications written with Django. If we build a technically better application than Wordpress, can this be Django's killer app? Sorry, if you are still writing a Blogging app, (apart from personal use/learning), you are deluding itself. You can build an awesome application, but can you get Chris Pearson to designs a theme for your app for free. Wordpress's three gazillion free themes/plugins make competing against them with a blogging application almost impossible. Same goes for competing against MediaWiki or PhpBB or Drupal.

The other end of the spectrum is building say a CRM as the killer app for Django. There is SugarCRM, but it is not widespread, and a technically superior solution can knock this off its pedestal. Of might be a open source project management application? Yet with killer apps you want width of penetration, not depth of penetration. With a CRM you can get a few Rabid fans, but not an army of people who are tweaking your application everyday.

So what can be the killer app of Django? Are there still applications left which can have a depth of penetration, and are not yet in widespread use? Yes. A lot of people want to build a Social news site, and they are forced to use Pligg, and Pligg absolute sucks. Or maybe a social network app?

But I am most hopeful about Everyblock. Once the source for Everyblock is released, a ton of localities and cities not served by Everyblock would like to build such a site. Imagine a large number of Everyblock clones, and a million people hacking on Django. Never underestimate the power of large number of college kids tweaking small little things.


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