Simple Ajax with Django

Published on Friday, June 1, 2007

So, the Django developers, in my opinion, are freaking smart. Instead of bundling Django with a particular library, they have added XML and JSON serialization; us humble users can choose whatever AJAX library we want. Prototype 1.5.1 has been pretty fun to work with, so I'll kick off this demo with a really simple example.
How simple? The intended goal is to have the total number of 'dirts' update without user intervention. Laaaammmeee. If you are a visual type of person, take a look on the Colddirt huh page. That number automatically increases without user intervention. And this is how.
The process (some pseudocode) will go like this:

check /dirt_count/ for an update

if update:

make number bigger


check less frequently

Pretty simple, eh?

    (r'^dirt_count/$', views.dirt_count),

As you can see, it just sends the request to the view.

def dirt_count(request):
    from django.http import HttpResponse
    countd = str(Dirt.objects.all().count())
    return HttpResponse(countd, mimetype='text/plain')

Pretty simple -- count the dirts. That makes sense.


new Ajax.PeriodicalUpdater('dirtcount', '/dirt_count/', {
  method: 'get',
  frequency: 3,
  decay: 2,

Yea, Prototype makes that real easy. Just make sure to have a element in your template somewhere with an id of 'dirtcount'.