Django 1.0 alpha 2 release notes

Welcome to Django 1.0 alpha 2!

This is the second 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 releases 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 2

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. For features which were new as of Django 1.0 alpha 1, see the 1.0 alpha 1 release notes. Since the 1.0 alpha 1 release several new features have landed, including:

django.contrib.gis (GeoDjango)
A project over a year in the making, this adds world-class GIS (Geographic Information Systems) support to Django, in the form of a contrib application. Its documentation is currently being maintained externally, and will be merged into the main Django documentation prior to the final 1.0 release. Huge thanks go to Justin Bronn, Jeremy Dunck, Brett Hoerner and Travis Pinney for their efforts in creating and completing this feature.
Pluggable file storage
Django’s built-in FileField and ImageField now can take advantage of pluggable file-storage backends, allowing extensive customization of where and how uploaded files get stored by Django. For details, see the files documentation; big thanks go to Marty Alchin for putting in the hard work to get this completed.
Jython compatibility
Thanks to a lot of work from Leo Soto during a Google Summer of Code project, Django’s codebase has been refactored to remove incompatibilities with Jython, an implementation of Python written in Java, which runs Python code on the Java Virtual Machine. Django is now compatible with the forthcoming Jython 2.5 release.

There are many other new features and improvements in this release, including two major performance boosts: strings marked for translation using Django’s internationalization system now consume far less memory, and Django’s internal dispatcher – which is invoked frequently during request/response processing and when working with Django’s object-relational mapper – is now significantly faster.

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 development sprints building up to the beta and release-candidate stages, followed soon after by Django 1.0. The timeline is projected to be:

  • August 14, 2008: Django 1.0 beta release. Past this point Django will be in a “feature freeze” for the 1.0 release; after Django 1.0 beta, the development focus will be solely on bug fixes and stabilization.
  • August 15, 2008: Sprint (based in Austin, Texas, USA, and online).
  • August 17, 2008: Sprint (based in Tel Aviv, Israel, and online).
  • August 21, 2008: Django 1.0 release candidate 1. At this point, all strings marked for translation within Django’s codebase will be frozen, to provide contributors time to check and finalize all of Django’s bundled translation files prior to the final 1.0 release.
  • August 22, 2008: Sprint (based in Portland, Oregon, USA, and online).
  • August 26, 2008: Django 1.0 release candidate 2.
  • August 30, 2008: Sprint (based in London, England, UK, and online).
  • 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, California, USA, 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.