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Designing an architecture for a training website

Posted on 2014-10-28
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Last Modified: 2014-10-31
Hello,

I'm trying to design a website that would allow people to receive training through videos, there shouldn't be much traffic, here are the requirements:
- have hooks into YouTube API
- provide email updates
- allow users to take quizzes
- view/download PDF's

I'm using Django and MySQL to build this website, but I'm new to Django and I'm trying to figure out the best way to keep this site maintainable. I'd appreciate any suggestions on database system, or general django practices.

I'm going to be keeping each module isolated, and keep them loosely coupled; but are there any other practices that make a website more manageable?

Appreciate any help!
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Question by:Errang Genevre
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Jernej Navotnik earned 500 total points
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Dear Errang Genevre,

Well, to be honest, your question is quite broad, and hard to answer (and I know little of Django but have a bit of python knowledge), so my 5 cents are not here "to be accepted", just to give you some experience I've gotten in these past years, and someone else will probably be more on the spot.

1. Your application must work on a sheet of paper - if you catch my drift. Sketch, but do not "over-sketch", at first, keep things simple(r).  
2. Write down the application "plan" (or objects) from this sketch. This will give you quite an insight, where your building blocks will connect (if you will want to), and will also provide an insight what should come first. I've started a few times exactly on the the "wrong end"... :)
3. If you will work alone, it is important that you document what you write. If you'll work with a team, than this is even more important.
4. Write with caching in mind - as I said, keep it simple at first, but caching can come handy later (with python, you can do good caching, I am shure Django has somethings already built-in).
5. Not to repeat stuff, but try not to "hardcode" vars.
6. Make the most use of the framework you've chosen. I am not sure how to say this, but "It's easier to adjust yourself to work with the framework than to adjust the framework to work like yourself."
7. If needed, make good use of MySQL indexes and relations (FK) - It will enable you to do less checking in the code

That's about it. :)

Best of luck, Jernej
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