Thursday, November 14, 2013

Book Review: Instant Flask Web Development

I was recently given the opportunity to review one of Packt Publishing's new books Instant Flask Web Development.  Instant Flask Web Development by Ron DuPlain is a short, roughly 50 page, jump start that shows how to use Python and Flask to build a web application. Despite being a short book, it covers a lot of material. Starting at the beginning with installation and setup instructions, the book goes on to covers routing requests, serving static files, integrating with a database, templates, forms, session management, authentication, error handling and production deployment. While the book does not go into depth on each topic, it does present an thorough introduction including examples, explanations and references where you can learn more about each topic.

Overall I enjoyed this book! It's short and was easy to read through over the weekend, but at the same time gave me a good look at developing web applications using Flask. The chapters were organized nicely with each one building well on what was learned in previous chapters. I also felt that the book did a good job on picking the topics to cover. It's a short book so it can't include everything, but what's there is pertinent for a developer looking to get up-to-speed with Flask quickly.

The one issue that I had with the book was that the sample code and instructions were not sufficient for me to build a complete application that matched the screenshots in the book. Perhaps I missed a step, but once I hit a certain point in the book there were some parts of the application like the navigation bar that did not look the same in my application. It's not a huge deal since the differences were non-function and the book packages the complete source code along with it, however it would have been nice if working through each section of the book resulted in a complete application at the end.

In summary, I would most certainly recommend this book. Any developer who is already familiar with Python should be able to pick it up and follow along. While not required, if you've had experience with any other web framework (Python or Not) you may get a little more out of the book, but either way at the end you'll have a good basic understanding of developing web applications with Flask.

In the interest of full disclosure:  I was not paid for this review, I do not receive money if you purchase this book through the links on my blog but I was given a free copy of the e-book to perform the review.

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