You wouldn’t know it by looking at this site, or the HTML behind it, but I actualy started off life as a Web designer for [my college paper](http://themaneater.com).
So even though my [day job](http://www.ajc.com) revolves around application development, caching strategies, countless meetings, and worrying about things like [page views](http://heisel.org/blog/2008/11/30/what-does-cpm-mean/) and [CPMs](http://heisel.org/blog/2008/11/30/what-does-cpm-mean/) I’ve got a long background in HTML management and template systems, including [glorified template systems](http://php.net) (unfortunately).
With that in mind, I agreed to review [Django 1.0 Template Development](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1847195709?ie=UTF8&tag=heiselorg-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1847195709). I met the author (before he was an author), [Scott Newman](http://www.greencoder.com/news/), “through the Internet” as we both worked at [media](http://www.ajc.com) [organizations](http://tbo.com) and we were using [Django](http://djangoproject.com) alongside legacy content systems.
The book does a good job of focusing in on the [Django template system](http://docs.djangoproject.com/en/dev/#the-template-layer), specifically focusing on what a Web designer would need to know to work well with a back-end developer.
It includes just enough Python and Django knowledge to provide a good context and background to folks who already have to worry about balance, typography, color, standards compliance and browser incompatibilities.
I’d say that if you were a freelance Web designer who wanted to venture into doing some light development for clients you could start with [the book](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1847195709?ie=UTF8&tag=heiselorg-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1847195709) and one other Python or Django reference to have enough knowledge to leverage the admin interface, generic views, and of course [templates](http://www.packtpub.com/django-1.0-template-design-practical-guide/book).
But if you’re a designer working with a development team and you really don’t care about caching, middleware or trailing commas on tuples you can easily skip past those sections and just stay focused on template coding.
My one [pony request](http://www.djangopony.com/) is that the book should talk a bit more about strategies for template inheritance, naming conventions, includes, template management and the like. But a lot of that knowledge is only applicable to folks in largish Django deployments and I could see where it’d overwhelm a designer just trying to learn the template system.
I plan to give a copy to the design team at [work](http://www.ajc.com) and see if helps get them dived into our Django templates. (Today, our developers implement the template code based on HTML given to us by the designers).