Yeah, so… Doug said if I was looking to make friends with Python for anything other than systems work, I should probably have a look at Django. Then I found this install on OS X guide the other day, and went ahead and downloaded Django. About 15 minutes later, I was looking at the “It worked!” page. Nice.
One big win for me here is that I can do dev work on Django with just… Django. I don’t have to configure mod_python and apache and mysql and generally play sysadmin on my laptop to get work done. The thing comes with a simple web server meant strictly for development, and it’ll use sqlite as a database for development as well.
That bit about sqlite had me slightly concerned at first, because I thought I was going to have to recode parts of whatever I produced to work with MySQL or PostgreSQL when I was ready to deploy it, but since your data model essentially lives in Django, and not the database, I’m told it’s trivial to move Django to another box, point it at a different database, and tell it to go create the existing data model there.
I just don’t think it gets a whole lot easier than this to get started, and I think for lots of people, myself included, that’s always the hardest part. I don’t know if I’ll like Django enough to use it in production — it’s just too early to tell — but I love the way this has been packaged to make it easy to get going.