Django 1.0 alpha release notes

Welcome to Django 1.0 alpha!

This is the first in a series of preview/development releases leading up to the eventual release of Django 1.0, currently scheduled to take place in early September 2008. This release is primarily targeted at developers who are interested in testing the Django codebase and helping to identify and resolve bugs prior to the final 1.0 release.

As such, this release is not intended for production use, and any such use is strongly discouraged.

What’s new in Django 1.0 alpha

Django’s development trunk has been the site of nearly constant activity over the past year, with several major new features landing since the 0.96 release. Some of the highlights include:

Refactored admin application (newforms-admin)

The Django administrative interface (django.contrib.admin) has been completely refactored; admin definitions are now completely decoupled from model definitions (no more class Admin declaration in models!), rewritten to use Django’s new form-handling library (introduced in the 0.96 release as django.newforms, and now available as simply django.forms) and redesigned with extensibility and customization in mind. Full documentation for the admin application is available online in the official Django documentation:

Improved Unicode handling

Django’s internals have been refactored to use Unicode throughout; this drastically simplifies the task of dealing with non-Western-European content and data in Django. Additionally, utility functions have been provided to ease interoperability with third-party libraries and systems which may or may not handle Unicode gracefully. Details are available in Django’s Unicode-handling documentation:

An improved Django ORM

Django’s object-relational mapper – the component which provides the mapping between Django model classes and your database, and which mediates your database queries – has been dramatically improved by a massive refactoring. For most users of Django this is backwards-compatible; the public-facing API for database querying underwent a few minor changes, but most of the updates took place in the ORM’s internals. A guide to the changes, including backwards-incompatible modifications and mentions of new features opened up by this refactoring, is available on the Django wiki:

Automatic escaping of template variables
To provide improved security against cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities, Django’s template system now automatically escapes the output of variables. This behavior is configurable, and allows both variables and larger template constructs to be marked as safe (requiring no escaping) or unsafe (requiring escaping). A full guide to this feature is in the documentation for the autoescape tag.

There are many more new features, many bugfixes and many enhancements to existing features from previous releases. The newforms library, for example, has undergone massive improvements including several useful add-ons in django.contrib which complement and build on Django’s form-handling capabilities, and Django’s file-uploading handlers have been refactored to allow finer-grained control over the uploading process as well as streaming uploads of large files.

Along with these improvements and additions, we’ve made a number of of backwards-incompatible changes to the framework, as features have been fleshed out and APIs have been finalized for the 1.0 release. A complete guide to these changes will be available as part of the final Django 1.0 release, and a comprehensive list of backwards-incompatible changes is also available on the Django wiki for those who want to begin developing and testing their upgrade process:

The Django 1.0 roadmap

One of the primary goals of this alpha release is to focus attention on the remaining features to be implemented for Django 1.0, and on the bugs that need to be resolved before the final release. Following this release, we’ll be conducting a series of sprints building up to a series of beta releases and a release-candidate stage, followed soon after by Django 1.0. The timeline is projected to be:

  • August 1, 2008: Sprint (based in Washington, DC, and online).
  • August 5, 2008: Django 1.0 beta 1 release. This will also constitute the feature freeze for 1.0. Any feature to be included in 1.0 must be completed and in trunk by this time.
  • August 8, 2008: Sprint (based in Lawrence, KS, and online).
  • August 12, 2008: Django 1.0 beta 2 release.
  • August 15, 2008: Sprint (based in Austin, TX, and online).
  • August 19, 2008: Django 1.0 release candidate 1.
  • August 22, 2008: Sprint (based in Portland, OR, and online).
  • August 26, 2008: Django 1.0 release candidate 2.
  • September 2, 2008: Django 1.0 final release. The official Django 1.0 release party will take place during the first-ever DjangoCon, to be held in Mountain View, CA, September 6-7.

Of course, like any estimated timeline, this is subject to change as requirements dictate. The latest information will always be available on the Django project wiki:

What you can do to help

In order to provide a high-quality 1.0 release, we need your help. Although this alpha release is, again, not intended for production use, you can help the Django team by trying out the alpha codebase in a safe test environment and reporting any bugs or issues you encounter. The Django ticket tracker is the central place to search for open issues:

Please open new tickets if no existing ticket corresponds to a problem you’re running into.

Additionally, discussion of Django development, including progress toward the 1.0 release, takes place daily on the django-developers mailing list:

...and in the #django-dev IRC channel on If you’re interested in helping out with Django’s development, feel free to join the discussions there.

Django’s online documentation also includes pointers on how to contribute to Django:

Contributions on any level – developing code, writing documentation or simply triaging tickets and helping to test proposed bugfixes – are always welcome and appreciated.