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A Django-based CMS with a focus on extensibility and concise code
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FeinCMS - An extensible Django-based CMS

When was the last time, that a pre-built software package you wanted to use got many things right, but in the end, you still needed to modify the core parts of the code just because it wasn't (easily) possible to customize the way, a certain part of the system behaved?

Django came to rescue all of us, who were not happy with either doing everything on our own or customizing another software package until it was impossible to update.

The biggest strength of a framework-like design is, that it tries not to have a too strong view of what the user should do. It should make some things easy, but just GET OUT OF THE WAY most of the time.

Just after discovering the benefits of a framework-like approach to software design, we fall back into the rewrite everything all the time mindset and build a CMS which has very strong views how content should be structured. One rich text area, a media library and some templates, and we have a simple CMS which will be good enough for many pages. But what if we want more? If we want to be able to add custom content? What if the user can't be trusted to resize images before uploading them? What if you'd like to add a gallery somewhere in between other content? What if the user should be able to administer not only the main content, but also a sidebar, the footer?

With FeinCMS, this does not sound too good to be true anymore. And it's not even complicated.

FeinCMS is an extremely stupid content management system. It knows nothing about content -- just enough to create an admin interface for your own page content types. It lets you reorder page content blocks using a drag-drop interface, and you can add as many content blocks to a region (f.e. the sidebar, the main content region or something else which I haven't thought of yet). It provides helper functions, which provide ordered lists of page content blocks. That's all.

Adding your own content types is extremely easy. Do you like textile that much, that you'd rather die than using a rich text editor? Then add the following code to your project, and you can go on using the CMS without being forced to use whatever the developers deemed best:

from import Page
from django.contrib.markup.templatetags.markup import textile
from django.db import models

class TextilePageContent(models.Model):
    content = models.TextField()

    class Meta:
        abstract = True

    def render(self, **kwargs):
        return textile(self.content)


That's it. Not even ten code lines for your own page content type.

Getting started

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Optional Packages

  • pytidylib can be installed to perform HTML validation and cleanup using HTML Tidy while editing content. Install pytidylib and add FEINCMS_TIDY_HTML = True to your

  • Alternately, lxml can be installed to perform silent HTML cleanup to remove non-standard markup while editing content. Install lxml and add cleanse=True when you register RichTextContent or SectionContent:

    RichTextContentType = Page.create_content_type(RichTextContent, cleanse=True)

Repository branches

The FeinCMS repository on github has several branches. Their purpose and rewinding policies are described below.

  • maint: Maintenance branch for the second-newest version of FeinCMS.
  • master: Stable version of FeinCMS.

master and maint are never rebased or rewound.

  • next: Upcoming version of FeinCMS. This branch is rarely rebased if ever, but this might happen. A note will be sent to the official mailing list whenever next has been rebased.
  • pu or feature branches are used for short-lived projects. These branches aren't guaranteed to stay around and are not meant to be deployed into production environments.
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