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An easy way to define complex urls in django

branch: master


django-urls-sugar aims to make defining complex urls in django easier. It provides a `patterns' method that extends the django.conf.urls.defaults functionalities, allowing to define more complex structured urls.

Its implementation takes inspiration from django-templatetags-sugar.


Just run pip install django-urls-sugar in a terminal to do the magic.


In order to use django-urls-sugar you just need to slightly alter your files, using the redefined patterns (which just extends the default one, allowing you to define usual urls as well). For example:

from django.conf.urls.defaults import url
from urls_sugar.utils import patterns, url_sugar
from urls_sugar.classes import Constant, Variable

urlpatterns = patterns('',
    url('^home$', home_view, name='home'),
               Variable('pk', '\d+'),
              ], page_view, name='page'),

This two urls will handle:


The first parameter of url_sugar is a list of urls_sugar elements, which can be any of the following:


A constant is, as the name suggests, a constant part of the url. It accepts a single parameter, that can be eather a string or a list of strings (in which case multiple urls will be generated). For example

  • Constant('home') will generate the simple url ^home/$;
  • Constant(['home', 'homepage']) will generate two urls, ^home/$ and ^homepage$, pointing to the same view.

This allows you to define in a simple way multiple (constant) urls, avoiding redirects or allowing to translate urls.


A variable is more complex. In general, it allows to define a variable in the url that will be passed to the view, as for usual urls. It accepts two parameters, the variable name, and the regular expression to be matched. A simple example is:

  • Variable('language', '[a-z]{2}') which will, easy to guess, generate the url ^(?P<language>[a-z]{2}')$.

Variables allows however more complex interaction. Suppose you want the variable to be an hyphen-separated list of something. Variable allows you to specify this with a simple

  • Variable('languages', '[a-z]{2}', separator='-').

You can also set the min and max parameters to specify a lower / upper bound for such list.


The Optional element allows us to define optional parts in the url. Optional takes (multiple) urls_sugar elements as parameters. For example:

  • Optional(Constant('home'), Constant('index')) will generate ^/$ and ^home/index/$, while
  • Optional(Constant('home')), Optional(Constant('index')) will generate ^/$, ^home/$, ^index/$ and ^home/index/$.

Special cases

Prefix and Suffix

Constant and Variable allow to specify a prefix and a suffix, which are by default respectively '' and '/'. In this way, Constant('home') generates ^home/$. Using custom prefixes and suffixes can be useful for example when handling special resource types:

           Variable('slug', '[a-z0-9-]+', suffix=''),
           Variable('type', '[a-z]+', prefix='.'),
           ], resource_view, name='resource')

This will handle urls like /resource/my-awesome-resource.json

Variable disambiguation

When having too many optional variables, it may become impossible for Django to understand which variable should get the given value. For example:

           Optional(Variable('language', '[a-z]{2}')),
           Optional(Variable('filter', [a-z]+')),
           ], page_view, name='page')

In this case it is impossible to distinguish between /pages/it/ and pages/blogposts/. Variable allows then to be disambiguated, setting the unambiguous flag:

           Optional(Variable('language', '[a-z]{2}', unambiguous=True)),
           Optional(Variable('filter', [a-z]+'), unambiguous=True),
           ], page_view, name='page')

Which will handle urls such as /pages/language:it/, /pages/filter:blogposts/ or /pages/language:it/filter:blogposts/.

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