Fortunately for me my work and my personal hobbies sometimes coincide in unexpected ways. At work I’ve recently completed a year long project with altimetry data and am moving on to work with the Mars Science Laboratory. While I gear up to do that work I have a hand full of projects that I think would be better served with web databases than the old Excel spreadsheet paradigm that people seem to love so much. This brought me to a great crossroads. I could quickly build and deploy websites to handle my number crunching work, do it faster than compiling even more spreadsheets, and in the end give a whole new tool to my project. I liked this idea so I’ve begun to pursue it.
I have recently been involved in a love affair with Django. It’s robust, responsive, and allows me to quickly build things that integrate with existing python scripts that I have floating around. The problem was that I’m used to doing my development with an actual MySQL database on hand, not the sqllite3 that comes preinstalled with python. Solution? Install a MAMP Server stack on my laptop so I could develop like I would deploy.
Deploying a MAMP Server and serving up Django websites provided a number of challenges. Thankfully most of the resources I needed were online and could be handled by MacPorts. After a day and a half of hard work I’ve managed to do it and document the results in two pages on my wiki:
I thought I’d write all of my experience up in one place so that others could use the same information in the future. The only thing I wasn’t able to figure out was how to serve up multiple Django websites on my computer, though that’s not terribly important to me at this juncture.
I’m excited that I’m going to get a chance to do my work using Django. I’m even confident that my project might take my project and deploy it for the project and maybe the lab to use. I guess we’ll see. I’ve got a lot of work ahead but I think I’ll manage to get it done in time.