A view is a callable which takes a request and returns a response. This can be more than just a function, and Django provides an example of some classes which can be used as views. These allow you to structure your views and reuse code by harnessing inheritance and mixins. There are also some generic views for tasks which we’ll get to later, but you may want to design your own structure of reusable views which suits your use case. For full details, see the class-based views reference documentation.
Django provides base view classes which will suit a wide range of applications.
All views inherit from the
View class, which
handles linking the view into the URLs, HTTP method dispatching and other
RedirectView provides a
HTTP redirect, and
TemplateView extends the
base class to make it also render a template.
Usage in your URLconf¶
The most direct way to use generic views is to create them directly in your
URLconf. If you’re only changing a few attributes on a class-based view, you
can pass them into the
from django.urls import path from django.views.generic import TemplateView urlpatterns = [ path('about/', TemplateView.as_view(template_name="about.html")), ]
Any arguments passed to
override attributes set on the class. In this example, we set
TemplateView. A similar overriding pattern can be used for the
url attribute on
Subclassing generic views¶
The second, more powerful way to use generic views is to inherit from an
existing view and override attributes (such as the
methods (such as
get_context_data) in your subclass to provide new values
or methods. Consider, for example, a view that just displays one template,
about.html. Django has a generic view to do this -
TemplateView - so we can subclass it, and
override the template name:
# some_app/views.py from django.views.generic import TemplateView class AboutView(TemplateView): template_name = "about.html"
Then we need to add this new view into our URLconf.
TemplateView is a class, not a function, so
we point the URL to the
method instead, which provides a function-like entry to class-based views:
# urls.py from django.urls import path from some_app.views import AboutView urlpatterns = [ path('about/', AboutView.as_view()), ]
For more information on how to use the built in generic views, consult the next topic on generic class-based views.
Supporting other HTTP methods¶
Suppose somebody wants to access our book library over HTTP using the views as an API. The API client would connect every now and then and download book data for the books published since last visit. But if no new books appeared since then, it is a waste of CPU time and bandwidth to fetch the books from the database, render a full response and send it to the client. It might be preferable to ask the API when the most recent book was published.
We map the URL to book list view in the URLconf:
from django.urls import path from books.views import BookListView urlpatterns = [ path('books/', BookListView.as_view()), ]
And the view:
from django.http import HttpResponse from django.views.generic import ListView from books.models import Book class BookListView(ListView): model = Book def head(self, *args, **kwargs): last_book = self.get_queryset().latest('publication_date') response = HttpResponse() # RFC 1123 date format response['Last-Modified'] = last_book.publication_date.strftime('%a, %d %b %Y %H:%M:%S GMT') return response
If the view is accessed from a
GET request, an object list is returned in
the response (using the
book_list.html template). But if the client issues
HEAD request, the response has an empty body and the
header indicates when the most recent book was published. Based on this
information, the client may or may not download the full object list.