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Writing your first Django app, part 2

This tutorial begins where :doc:`Tutorial 1 </intro/tutorial01>` left off. We're
continuing the Web-poll application and will focus on Django's
automatically-generated admin site.

.. admonition:: Philosophy

    Generating admin sites for your staff or clients to add, change and delete
    content is tedious work that doesn't require much creativity. For that
    reason, Django entirely automates creation of admin interfaces for models.

    Django was written in a newsroom environment, with a very clear separation
    between "content publishers" and the "public" site. Site managers use the
    system to add news stories, events, sports scores, etc., and that content is
    displayed on the public site. Django solves the problem of creating a
    unified interface for site administrators to edit content.

    The admin isn't intended to be used by site visitors. It's for site

Start the development server

The Django admin site is activated by default. Let's start the development
server and explore it.

Recall from Tutorial 1 that you start the development server like so:

.. code-block:: bash

    $ python runserver

Now, open a Web browser and go to "/admin/" on your local domain -- e.g., You should see the admin's login screen:

.. image:: _images/admin01.png
   :alt: Django admin login screen

Since :doc:`translation </topics/i18n/translation>` is turned on by default,
the login screen may be displayed in your own language, depending on your
browser's settings and on whether Django has a translation for this language.

.. admonition:: Doesn't match what you see?

    If at this point, instead of the above login page, you get an error
    page reporting something like::

        ImportError at /admin/
        cannot import name patterns

    then you're probably using a version of Django that doesn't match this
    tutorial version. You'll want to either switch to the older tutorial or the
    newer Django version.

Enter the admin site

Now, try logging in. You created a superuser account in the first part of this
tutorial, remember? If you didn't create one or forgot the password you can
:ref:`create another one <topics-auth-creating-superusers>`.

You should see the Django admin index page:

.. image:: _images/admin02.png
   :alt: Django admin index page

You should see a few types of editable content: groups and users. They are
provided by :mod:`django.contrib.auth`, the authentication framework shipped
by Django.

Make the poll app modifiable in the admin

But where's our poll app? It's not displayed on the admin index page.

Just one thing to do: we need to tell the admin that ``Question``
objects have an admin interface. To do this, open the :file:`polls/`
file, and edit it to look like this:

.. snippet::
    :filename: polls/

    from django.contrib import admin
    from polls.models import Question

Explore the free admin functionality

Now that we've registered ``Question``, Django knows that it should be displayed on
the admin index page:

.. image:: _images/admin03t.png
   :alt: Django admin index page, now with polls displayed

Click "Questions". Now you're at the "change list" page for questions. This page
displays all the question in the database and lets you choose one to change it.
There's the "What's up?" question we created in the first tutorial:

.. image:: _images/admin04t.png
   :alt: Polls change list page

Click the "What's up?" question to edit it:

.. image:: _images/admin05t.png
   :alt: Editing form for question object

Things to note here:

* The form is automatically generated from the ``Question`` model.

* The different model field types (:class:`~django.db.models.DateTimeField`,
  :class:`~django.db.models.CharField`) correspond to the appropriate HTML
  input widget. Each type of field knows how to display itself in the Django

* Each :class:`~django.db.models.DateTimeField` gets free JavaScript
  shortcuts. Dates get a "Today" shortcut and calendar popup, and times get
  a "Now" shortcut and a convenient popup that lists commonly entered times.

The bottom part of the page gives you a couple of options:

* Save -- Saves changes and returns to the change-list page for this type of

* Save and continue editing -- Saves changes and reloads the admin page for
  this object.

* Save and add another -- Saves changes and loads a new, blank form for this
  type of object.

* Delete -- Displays a delete confirmation page.

If the value of "Date published" doesn't match the time when you created the
question in Tutorial 1, it probably means you forgot to set the correct value for
the :setting:`TIME_ZONE` setting. Change it, reload the page and check that
the correct value appears.

Change the "Date published" by clicking the "Today" and "Now" shortcuts. Then
click "Save and continue editing." Then click "History" in the upper right.
You'll see a page listing all changes made to this object via the Django admin,
with the timestamp and username of the person who made the change:

.. image:: _images/admin06t.png
   :alt: History page for question object

Customize the admin form

Take a few minutes to marvel at all the code you didn't have to write. By
registering the ``Question`` model with ````,
Django was able to construct a default form representation. Often, you'll want
to customize how the admin form looks and works. You'll do this by telling
Django the options you want when you register the object.

Let's see how this works by re-ordering the fields on the edit form. Replace
the ```` line with:

.. snippet::
    :filename: polls/

    from django.contrib import admin
    from polls.models import Question

    class QuestionAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
        fields = ['pub_date', 'question_text'], QuestionAdmin)

You'll follow this pattern -- create a model admin object, then pass it as the
second argument to ```` -- any time you need to change the
admin options for an object.

This particular change above makes the "Publication date" come before the
"Question" field:

.. image:: _images/admin07.png
   :alt: Fields have been reordered

This isn't impressive with only two fields, but for admin forms with dozens
of fields, choosing an intuitive order is an important usability detail.

And speaking of forms with dozens of fields, you might want to split the form
up into fieldsets:

.. snippet::
    :filename: polls/

    from django.contrib import admin
    from polls.models import Question

    class QuestionAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
        fieldsets = [
            (None, {'fields': ['question_text']}),
            ('Date information', {'fields': ['pub_date']}),
        ], QuestionAdmin)

The first element of each tuple in ``fieldsets`` is the title of the fieldset.
Here's what our form looks like now:

.. image:: _images/admin08t.png
   :alt: Form has fieldsets now

You can assign arbitrary HTML classes to each fieldset. Django provides a
``"collapse"`` class that displays a particular fieldset initially collapsed.
This is useful when you have a long form that contains a number of fields that
aren't commonly used:

.. snippet::
    :filename: polls/

    from django.contrib import admin
    from polls.models import Question

    class QuestionAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
        fieldsets = [
            (None, {'fields': ['question_text']}),
            ('Date information', {'fields': ['pub_date'], 'classes': ['collapse']}),

.. image:: _images/admin09.png
   :alt: Fieldset is initially collapsed

Adding related objects

OK, we have our Question admin page. But a ``Question`` has multiple ``Choices``, and
the admin page doesn't display choices.


There are two ways to solve this problem. The first is to register ``Choice``
with the admin just as we did with ``Question``. That's easy:

.. snippet::
    :filename: polls/

    from django.contrib import admin
    from polls.models import Choice

Now "Choices" is an available option in the Django admin. The "Add choice" form
looks like this:

.. image:: _images/admin10.png
   :alt: Choice admin page

In that form, the "Question" field is a select box containing every question in the
database. Django knows that a :class:`~django.db.models.ForeignKey` should be
represented in the admin as a ``<select>`` box. In our case, only one question
exists at this point.

Also note the "Add Another" link next to "Question." Every object with a
``ForeignKey`` relationship to another gets this for free. When you click "Add
Another," you'll get a popup window with the "Add question" form. If you add a question
in that window and click "Save," Django will save the question to the database and
dynamically add it as the selected choice on the "Add choice" form you're
looking at.

But, really, this is an inefficient way of adding ``Choice`` objects to the system.
It'd be better if you could add a bunch of Choices directly when you create the
``Question`` object. Let's make that happen.

Remove the ``register()`` call for the ``Choice`` model. Then, edit the ``Question``
registration code to read:

.. snippet::
    :filename: polls/

    from django.contrib import admin
    from polls.models import Choice, Question

    class ChoiceInline(admin.StackedInline):
        model = Choice
        extra = 3

    class QuestionAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
        fieldsets = [
            (None, {'fields': ['question_text']}),
            ('Date information', {'fields': ['pub_date'],
                                  'classes': ['collapse']}),
        inlines = [ChoiceInline], QuestionAdmin)

This tells Django: "``Choice`` objects are edited on the ``Question`` admin page. By
default, provide enough fields for 3 choices."

Load the "Add question" page to see how that looks:

.. image:: _images/admin11t.png
   :alt: Add question page now has choices on it

It works like this: There are three slots for related Choices -- as specified
by ``extra`` -- and each time you come back to the "Change" page for an
already-created object, you get another three extra slots.

At the end of the three current slots you will find an "Add another Choice"
link. If you click on it, a new slot will be added. If you want to remove the
added slot, you can click on the X to the top right of the added slot. Note
that you can't remove the original three slots. This image shows an added slot:

.. image:: _images/admin15t.png
   :alt: Additional slot added dynamically

One small problem, though. It takes a lot of screen space to display all the
fields for entering related ``Choice`` objects. For that reason, Django offers a
tabular way of displaying inline related objects; you just need to change
the ``ChoiceInline`` declaration to read:

.. snippet::
    :filename: polls/

    class ChoiceInline(admin.TabularInline):

With that ``TabularInline`` (instead of ``StackedInline``), the
related objects are displayed in a more compact, table-based format:

.. image:: _images/admin12t.png
   :alt: Add question page now has more compact choices

Note that there is an extra "Delete?" column that allows removing rows added
using the "Add Another Choice" button and rows that have already been saved.

Customize the admin change list

Now that the Question admin page is looking good, let's make some tweaks to the
"change list" page -- the one that displays all the questions in the system.

Here's what it looks like at this point:

.. image:: _images/admin04t.png
   :alt: Polls change list page

By default, Django displays the ``str()`` of each object. But sometimes it'd be
more helpful if we could display individual fields. To do that, use the
``list_display`` admin option, which is a tuple of field names to display, as
columns, on the change list page for the object:

.. snippet::
    :filename: polls/

    class QuestionAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
        # ...
        list_display = ('question_text', 'pub_date')

Just for good measure, let's also include the ``was_published_recently`` custom
method from Tutorial 1:

.. snippet::
    :filename: polls/

    class QuestionAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
        # ...
        list_display = ('question_text', 'pub_date', 'was_published_recently')

Now the question change list page looks like this:

.. image:: _images/admin13t.png
   :alt: Polls change list page, updated

You can click on the column headers to sort by those values -- except in the
case of the ``was_published_recently`` header, because sorting by the output
of an arbitrary method is not supported. Also note that the column header for
``was_published_recently`` is, by default, the name of the method (with
underscores replaced with spaces), and that each line contains the string
representation of the output.

You can improve that by giving that method (in :file:`polls/`) a few
attributes, as follows:

.. snippet::
    :filename: polls/

    class Question(models.Model):
        # ...
        def was_published_recently(self):
            return self.pub_date >= - datetime.timedelta(days=1)
        was_published_recently.admin_order_field = 'pub_date'
        was_published_recently.boolean = True
        was_published_recently.short_description = 'Published recently?'

Edit your :file:`polls/` file again and add an improvement to the Question
change list page: Filters. Add the following line to ``QuestionAdmin``::

    list_filter = ['pub_date']

That adds a "Filter" sidebar that lets people filter the change list by the
``pub_date`` field:

.. image:: _images/admin14t.png
   :alt: Polls change list page, updated

The type of filter displayed depends on the type of field you're filtering on.
Because ``pub_date`` is a :class:`~django.db.models.DateTimeField`, Django
knows to give appropriate filter options: "Any date," "Today," "Past 7 days,"
"This month," "This year."

This is shaping up well. Let's add some search capability::

    search_fields = ['question_text']

That adds a search box at the top of the change list. When somebody enters
search terms, Django will search the ``question_text`` field. You can use as many
fields as you'd like -- although because it uses a ``LIKE`` query behind the
scenes, keep it reasonable, to keep your database happy.

Now's also a good time to note that change lists give you free pagination. The
default is to display 100 items per page. Change-list pagination, search boxes,
filters, date-hierarchies and column-header-ordering all work together like you
think they should.

Customize the admin look and feel

Clearly, having "Django administration" at the top of each admin page is
ridiculous. It's just placeholder text.

That's easy to change, though, using Django's template system. The Django admin
is powered by Django itself, and its interfaces use Django's own template

.. _ref-customizing-your-projects-templates:

Customizing your *project's* templates

Create a ``templates`` directory in your project directory. Templates can
live anywhere on your filesystem that Django can access. (Django runs as
whatever user your server runs.) However, keeping your templates within the
project is a good convention to follow.

Open your settings file (:file:`mysite/`, remember) and add a
:setting:`TEMPLATE_DIRS` setting:

.. snippet::
    :filename: mysite/

    TEMPLATE_DIRS = [os.path.join(BASE_DIR, 'templates')]

:setting:`TEMPLATE_DIRS` is an iterable of filesystem directories to check when
loading Django templates; it's a search path.

Now create a directory called ``admin`` inside ``templates``, and copy the
template ``admin/base_site.html`` from within the default Django admin
template directory in the source code of Django itself
(``django/contrib/admin/templates``) into that directory.

.. admonition:: Where are the Django source files?

    If you have difficulty finding where the Django source files are located
    on your system, run the following command:

    .. code-block:: bash

        $ python -c "
        import sys
        sys.path = sys.path[1:]
        import django

Then, just edit the file and replace ``{{ site_header }}`` with your own
site's name as you see fit. We use this approach to teach you how to override
templates. In an actual project, you would probably use the
:attr:`django.contrib.admin.AdminSite.site_header` attribute to more easily
make this particular customization.

This template file contains lots of text like ``{% block branding %}``
and ``{{ title }}``. The ``{%`` and ``{{`` tags are part of Django's
template language. When Django renders ``admin/base_site.html``, this
template language will be evaluated to produce the final HTML page.
Don't worry if you can't make any sense of the template right now --
we'll delve into Django's templating language in Tutorial 3.

Note that any of Django's default admin templates can be overridden. To
override a template, just do the same thing you did with ``base_site.html`` --
copy it from the default directory into your custom directory, and make

Customizing your *application's* templates

Astute readers will ask: But if :setting:`TEMPLATE_DIRS` was empty by default,
how was Django finding the default admin templates? The answer is that, by
default, Django automatically looks for a ``templates/`` subdirectory within
each application package, for use as a fallback (don't forget that
``django.contrib.admin`` is an application).

Our poll application is not very complex and doesn't need custom admin
templates. But if it grew more sophisticated and required modification of
Django's standard admin templates for some of its functionality, it would be
more sensible to modify the *application's* templates, rather than those in the
*project*. That way, you could include the polls application in any new project
and be assured that it would find the custom templates it needed.

See the :ref:`template loader documentation <template-loaders>` for more
information about how Django finds its templates.

Customize the admin index page

On a similar note, you might want to customize the look and feel of the Django
admin index page.

By default, it displays all the apps in :setting:`INSTALLED_APPS` that have been
registered with the admin application, in alphabetical order. You may want to
make significant changes to the layout. After all, the index is probably the
most important page of the admin, and it should be easy to use.

The template to customize is ``admin/index.html``. (Do the same as with
``admin/base_site.html`` in the previous section -- copy it from the default
directory to your custom template directory.) Edit the file, and you'll see it
uses a template variable called ``app_list``. That variable contains every
installed Django app. Instead of using that, you can hard-code links to
object-specific admin pages in whatever way you think is best. Again,
don't worry if you can't understand the template language -- we'll cover that
in more detail in Tutorial 3.

When you're comfortable with the admin site, read :doc:`part 3 of this tutorial
</intro/tutorial03>` to start working on public poll views.
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