Django documentation

Coding style

Please follow these coding standards when writing code for inclusion in Django.

Python style

  • Unless otherwise specified, follow PEP 8.

    You could use a tool like pep8 to check for some problems in this area, but remember that PEP 8 is only a guide, so respect the style of the surrounding code as a primary goal.

    One big exception to PEP 8 is our preference of longer line lengths. We’re well into the 21st Century, and we have high-resolution computer screens that can fit way more than 79 characters on a screen. Don’t limit lines of code to 79 characters if it means the code looks significantly uglier or is harder to read.

  • Use four spaces for indentation.

  • Use underscores, not camelCase, for variable, function and method names (i.e. poll.get_unique_voters(), not poll.getUniqueVoters).

  • Use InitialCaps for class names (or for factory functions that return classes).

  • In docstrings, use “action words” such as:

    def foo():
        """
        Calculates something and returns the result.
        """
        pass
    

    Here’s an example of what not to do:

    def foo():
        """
        Calculate something and return the result.
        """
        pass
    

Template style

  • In Django template code, put one (and only one) space between the curly brackets and the tag contents.

    Do this:

    {{ foo }}
    

    Don’t do this:

    {{foo}}
    

View style

  • In Django views, the first parameter in a view function should be called request.

    Do this:

    def my_view(request, foo):
        # ...

    Don’t do this:

    def my_view(req, foo):
        # ...

Model style

  • Field names should be all lowercase, using underscores instead of camelCase.

    Do this:

    class Person(models.Model):
        first_name = models.CharField(max_length=20)
        last_name = models.CharField(max_length=40)
    

    Don’t do this:

    class Person(models.Model):
        FirstName = models.CharField(max_length=20)
        Last_Name = models.CharField(max_length=40)
    
  • The class Meta should appear after the fields are defined, with a single blank line separating the fields and the class definition.

    Do this:

    class Person(models.Model):
        first_name = models.CharField(max_length=20)
        last_name = models.CharField(max_length=40)
    
        class Meta:
            verbose_name_plural = 'people'
    

    Don’t do this:

    class Person(models.Model):
        first_name = models.CharField(max_length=20)
        last_name = models.CharField(max_length=40)
        class Meta:
            verbose_name_plural = 'people'
    

    Don’t do this, either:

    class Person(models.Model):
        class Meta:
            verbose_name_plural = 'people'
    
        first_name = models.CharField(max_length=20)
        last_name = models.CharField(max_length=40)
    
  • The order of model inner classes and standard methods should be as follows (noting that these are not all required):

    • All database fields
    • Custom manager attributes
    • class Meta
    • def __unicode__()
    • def __str__()
    • def save()
    • def get_absolute_url()
    • Any custom methods
  • If choices is defined for a given model field, define the choices as a tuple of tuples, with an all-uppercase name, either near the top of the model module or just above the model class. Example:

    GENDER_CHOICES = (
        ('M', 'Male'),
        ('F', 'Female'),
    )
    

Use of django.conf.settings

Modules should not in general use settings stored in django.conf.settings at the top level (i.e. evaluated when the module is imported). The explanation for this is as follows:

Manual configuration of settings (i.e. not relying on the DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE environment variable) is allowed and possible as follows:

from django.conf import settings

settings.configure({}, SOME_SETTING='foo')

However, if any setting is accessed before the settings.configure line, this will not work. (Internally, settings is a LazyObject which configures itself automatically when the settings are accessed if it has not already been configured).

So, if there is a module containing some code as follows:

from django.conf import settings
from django.core.urlresolvers import get_callable

default_foo_view = get_callable(settings.FOO_VIEW)

...then importing this module will cause the settings object to be configured. That means that the ability for third parties to import the module at the top level is incompatible with the ability to configure the settings object manually, or makes it very difficult in some circumstances.

Instead of the above code, a level of laziness or indirection must be used, such as django.utils.functional.LazyObject, django.utils.functional.lazy() or lambda.

Miscellaneous

  • Mark all strings for internationalization; see the i18n documentation for details.
  • Remove import statements that are no longer used when you change code. The most common tools for this task are pyflakes and pylint.
  • Systematically remove all trailing whitespaces from your code as those add unnecessary bytes, add visual clutter to the patches and can also occasionally cause unnecessary merge conflicts. Some IDE’s can be configured to automatically remove them and most VCS tools can be set to highlight them in diff outputs. Note, however, that patches which only remove whitespace (or only make changes for nominal PEP 8 conformance) are likely to be rejected, since they only introduce noise rather than code improvement. Tidy up when you’re next changing code in the area.
  • Please don’t put your name in the code you contribute. Our policy is to keep contributors’ names in the AUTHORS file distributed with Django – not scattered throughout the codebase itself. Feel free to include a change to the AUTHORS file in your patch if you make more than a single trivial change.

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