django / docs / release_notes_0.95.txt

=================================
Django version 0.95 release notes
=================================


Welcome to the Django 0.95 release.

This represents a significant advance in Django development since the 0.91
release in January 2006. The details of every change in this release would be
too extensive to list in full, but a summary is presented below.

Suitability and API stability
=============================

This release is intended to provide a stable reference point for developers
wanting to work on production-level applications that use Django.

However, it's not the 1.0 release, and we'll be introducing further changes
before 1.0. For a clear look at which areas of the framework will change (and
which ones will *not* change) before 1.0, see the api-stability.txt file, which
lives in the docs/ directory of the distribution.

You may have a need to use some of the features that are marked as
"subject to API change" in that document, but that's OK with us as long as it's
OK with you, and as long as you understand APIs may change in the future.

Fortunately, most of Django's core APIs won't be changing before version 1.0.
There likely won't be as big of a change between 0.95 and 1.0 versions as there
was between 0.91 and 0.95.

Changes and new features
========================

The major changes in this release (for developers currently using the 0.91
release) are a result of merging the 'magic-removal' branch of development.
This branch removed a number of constraints in the way Django code had to be
written that were a consequence of decisions made in the early days of Django,
prior to its open-source release. It's now possible to write more natural,
Pythonic code that works as expected, and there's less "black magic" happening
behind the scenes.

Aside from that, another main theme of this release is a dramatic increase in
usability. We've made countless improvements in error messages, documentation,
etc., to improve developers' quality of life.

The new features and changes introduced in 0.95 include:

    * Django now uses a more consistent and natural filtering interface for
      retrieving objects from the database.

    * User-defined models, functions and constants now appear in the module
      namespace they were defined in. (Previously everything was magically
      transferred to the django.models.* namespace.)

    * Some optional applications, such as the FlatPage, Sites and Redirects
      apps, have been decoupled and moved into django.contrib. If you don't
      want to use these applications, you no longer have to install their
      database tables.

    * Django now has support for managing database transactions.

    * We've added the ability to write custom authentication and authorization
      backends for authenticating users against alternate systems, such as
      LDAP.

    * We've made it easier to add custom table-level functions to models,
      through a new "Manager" API.

    * It's now possible to use Django without a database. This simply means
      that the framework no longer requires you to have a working database set
      up just to serve dynamic pages. In other words, you can just use
      URLconfs/views on their own. Previously, the framework required that a
      database be configured, regardless of whether you actually used it.

    * It's now more explicit and natural to override save() and delete()
      methods on models, rather than needing to hook into the pre_save() and
      post_save() method hooks.

    * Individual pieces of the framework now can be configured without
      requiring the setting of an environment variable. This permits use of,
      for example, the Django templating system inside other applications.

    * More and more parts of the framework have been internationalized, as
      we've expanded internationalization (i18n) support. The Django
      codebase, including code and templates, has now been translated, at least
      in part, into 31 languages. From Arabic to Chinese to Hungarian to Welsh,
      it is now possible to use Django's admin site in your native language.

The number of changes required to port from 0.91-compatible code to the 0.95
code base are significant in some cases. However, they are, for the most part,
reasonably routine and only need to be done once. A list of the necessary
changes is described in the `Removing The Magic`_ wiki page. There is also an
easy checklist_ for reference when undertaking the porting operation.

.. _Removing The Magic: http://code.djangoproject.com/wiki/RemovingTheMagic
.. _checklist: http://code.djangoproject.com/wiki/MagicRemovalCheatSheet1

Problem reports and getting help
================================

Need help resolving a problem with Django? The documentation in the
distribution is also available online_ at the `Django website`_. The FAQ_
document is especially recommended, as it contains a number of issues that
come up time and again.

For more personalized help, the `django-users`_ mailing list is a very active
list, with more than 2,000 subscribers who can help you solve any sort of
Django problem. We recommend you search the archives first, though, because
many common questions appear with some regularity, and any particular problem
may already have been answered.

Finally, for those who prefer the more immediate feedback offered by IRC,
there's a #django channel on irc.freenode.net that is regularly populated by
Django users and developers from around the world. Friendly people are usually
available at any hour of the day -- to help, or just to chat.

.. _online: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/
.. _Django website: http://www.djangoproject.com/
.. _FAQ: http://www.djangoproject.com/documentation/faq/
.. _django-users: http://groups.google.com/group/django-users

Thanks for using Django!

The Django Team
July 2006
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