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Django 1.4 release notes
*March 23, 2012*
Welcome to Django 1.4!
These release notes cover the :ref:`new features <whats-new-1.4>`, as well as
some :ref:`backwards incompatible changes <backwards-incompatible-1.4>` you'll
want to be aware of when upgrading from Django 1.3 or older versions. We've
also dropped some features, which are detailed in :ref:`our deprecation plan
<deprecation-removed-in-1.4>`, and we've :ref:`begun the deprecation process
for some features <deprecated-features-1.4>`.
The biggest new feature in Django 1.4 is `support for time zones`_ when
handling date/times. When enabled, this Django will store date/times in UTC,
use timezone-aware objects internally, and translate them to users' local
timezones for display.
If you're upgrading an existing project to Django 1.4, switching to the time-
zone aware mode may take some care: the new mode disallows some rather sloppy
behavior that used to be accepted. We encourage anyone who's upgrading to check
out the :ref:`timezone migration guide <time-zones-migration-guide>` and the
:ref:`timezone FAQ <time-zones-faq>` for useful pointers.
Other notable new features in Django 1.4 include:
* A number of ORM improvements, including `SELECT FOR UPDATE support`_,
the ability to `bulk insert <#model-objects-bulk-create-in-the-orm>`_
large datasets for improved performance, and
`QuerySet.prefetch_related`_, a method to batch-load related objects
in areas where :meth:`~django.db.models.query.QuerySet.select_related`
doesn't work.
* Some nice security additions, including `improved password hashing`_
(featuring PBKDF2_ and bcrypt_ support), new `tools for cryptographic
signing`_, several `CSRF improvements`_, and `simple clickjacking
* An `updated default project layout and`_ that removes the "magic"
from prior versions. And for those who don't like the new layout, you can
use `custom project and app templates`_ instead!
* `Support for in-browser testing frameworks`_ (like Selenium_).
* ... and a whole lot more; `see below <#what-s-new-in-django-1-4>`_!
Wherever possible we try to introduce new features in a backwards-compatible
manner per :doc:`our API stability policy </misc/api-stability>` policy.
However, as with previous releases, Django 1.4 ships with some minor
:ref:`backwards incompatible changes <backwards-incompatible-1.4>`; people
upgrading from previous versions of Django should read that list carefully.
Python compatibility
Django 1.4 has dropped support for Python 2.4. Python 2.5 is now the minimum
required Python version. Django is tested and supported on Python 2.5, 2.6 and
This change should affect only a small number of Django users, as most
operating-system vendors today are shipping Python 2.5 or newer as their default
version. If you're still using Python 2.4, however, you'll need to stick to
Django 1.3 until you can upgrade. Per :doc:`our support policy
</internals/release-process>`, Django 1.3 will continue to receive security
support until the release of Django 1.5.
Django does not support Python 3.x at this time. At some point before the
release of Django 1.4, we plan to publish a document outlining our full
timeline for deprecating Python 2.x and moving to Python 3.x.
.. _whats-new-1.4:
What's new in Django 1.4
Support for time zones
In previous versions, Django used "naive" date/times (that is, date/times
without an associated time zone), leaving it up to each developer to interpret
what a given date/time "really means". This can cause all sorts of subtle
timezone-related bugs.
In Django 1.4, you can now switch Django into a more correct, time-zone aware
mode. In this mode, Django stores date and time information in UTC in the
database, uses time-zone-aware datetime objects internally and translates them
to the end user's time zone in templates and forms. Reasons for using this
feature include:
- Customizing date and time display for users around the world.
- Storing datetimes in UTC for database portability and interoperability.
(This argument doesn't apply to PostgreSQL, because it already stores
timestamps with time zone information in Django 1.3.)
- Avoiding data corruption problems around DST transitions.
Time zone support is enabled by default in new projects created with
:djadmin:`startproject`. If you want to use this feature in an existing
project, read the :ref:`migration guide <time-zones-migration-guide>`. If you
encounter problems, there's a helpful :ref:`FAQ <time-zones-faq>`.
Support for in-browser testing frameworks
Django 1.4 supports integration with in-browser testing frameworks like
Selenium_. The new :class:`django.test.LiveServerTestCase` base class lets you
test the interactions between your site's front and back ends more
comprehensively. See the
:class:`documentation<django.test.LiveServerTestCase>` for more details and
concrete examples.
.. _Selenium:
Updated default project layout and ````
Django 1.4 ships with an updated default project layout and ```` file
for the :djadmin:`startproject` management command. These fix some issues with
the previous ```` handling of Python import paths that caused double
imports, trouble moving from development to deployment, and other
difficult-to-debug path issues.
The previous ```` called functions that are now deprecated, and thus
projects upgrading to Django 1.4 should update their ````. (The
old-style ```` will continue to work as before until Django 1.6. In
1.5 it will raise ``DeprecationWarning``).
The new recommended ```` file should look like this::
#!/usr/bin/env python
import os, sys
if __name__ == "__main__":
os.environ.setdefault("DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE", "{{ project_name }}.settings")
from import execute_from_command_line
``{{ project_name }}`` should be replaced with the Python package name of the
actual project.
If settings, URLconfs and apps within the project are imported or referenced
using the project name prefix (e.g. ``myproject.settings``, ``ROOT_URLCONF =
"myproject.urls"``, etc.), the new ```` will need to be moved one
directory up, so it is outside the project package rather than adjacent to
```` and ````.
For instance, with the following layout::
You could import ``mysite.settings``, ``mysite.urls``, and ``mysite.myapp``,
but not ``settings``, ``urls``, or ``myapp`` as top-level modules.
Anything imported as a top-level module can be placed adjacent to the new
````. For instance, to decouple "myapp" from the project module and
import it as just ``myapp``, place it outside the ``mysite/`` directory::
If the same code is imported inconsistently (some places with the project
prefix, some places without it), the imports will need to be cleaned up when
switching to the new ````.
Custom project and app templates
The :djadmin:`startapp` and :djadmin:`startproject` management commands
now have a ``--template`` option for specifying a path or URL to a custom app
or project template.
For example, Django will use the ``/path/to/my_project_template`` directory
when you run the following command:: startproject --template=/path/to/my_project_template myproject
You can also now provide a destination directory as the second
argument to both :djadmin:`startapp` and :djadmin:`startproject`:: startapp myapp /path/to/new/app startproject myproject /path/to/new/project
For more information, see the :djadmin:`startapp` and :djadmin:`startproject`
Improved WSGI support
The :djadmin:`startproject` management command now adds a :file:``
module to the initial project layout, containing a simple WSGI application that
can be used for :doc:`deploying with WSGI app
The :djadmin:`built-in development server<runserver>` now supports using an
externally-defined WSGI callable, which makes it possible to run runserver
with the same WSGI configuration that is used for deployment. The new
:setting:`WSGI_APPLICATION` setting lets you configure which WSGI callable
:djadmin:`runserver` uses.
(The ``runfcgi`` management command also internally wraps the WSGI
callable configured via :setting:`WSGI_APPLICATION`.)
Django 1.4 includes a :meth:`QuerySet.select_for_update()
<django.db.models.query.QuerySet.select_for_update>` method, which generates a
``SELECT ... FOR UPDATE`` SQL query. This will lock rows until the end of the
transaction, meaning other transactions cannot modify or delete rows matched by
a ``FOR UPDATE`` query.
For more details, see the documentation for
``Model.objects.bulk_create`` in the ORM
This method lets you create multiple objects more efficiently. It can result in
significant performance increases if you have many objects.
Django makes use of this internally, meaning some operations (such as database
setup for test suites) have seen a performance benefit as a result.
See the :meth:`~django.db.models.query.QuerySet.bulk_create` docs for more
Similar to :meth:`~django.db.models.query.QuerySet.select_related` but with a
different strategy and broader scope,
:meth:`~django.db.models.query.QuerySet.prefetch_related` has been added to
:class:`~django.db.models.query.QuerySet`. This method returns a new
``QuerySet`` that will prefetch each of the specified related lookups in a
single batch as soon as the query begins to be evaluated. Unlike
``select_related``, it does the joins in Python, not in the database, and
supports many-to-many relationships, ``GenericForeignKey`` and more. This
allows you to fix a very common performance problem in which your code ends up
doing O(n) database queries (or worse) if objects on your primary ``QuerySet``
each have many related objects that you also need to fetch.
Improved password hashing
Django's auth system (``django.contrib.auth``) stores passwords using a one-way
algorithm. Django 1.3 uses the SHA1_ algorithm, but increasing processor speeds
and theoretical attacks have revealed that SHA1 isn't as secure as we'd like.
Thus, Django 1.4 introduces a new password storage system: by default Django now
uses the PBKDF2_ algorithm (as recommended by NIST_). You can also easily choose
a different algorithm (including the popular bcrypt_ algorithm). For more
details, see :ref:`auth_password_storage`.
.. _sha1:
.. _pbkdf2:
.. _nist:
.. _bcrypt:
HTML5 doctype
We've switched the admin and other bundled templates to use the HTML5
doctype. While Django will be careful to maintain compatibility with older
browsers, this change means that you can use any HTML5 features you need in
admin pages without having to lose HTML validity or override the provided
templates to change the doctype.
List filters in admin interface
Prior to Django 1.4, the :mod:`~django.contrib.admin` app let you specify
change list filters by specifying a field lookup, but it didn't allow you to
create custom filters. This has been rectified with a simple API (previously
used internally and known as "FilterSpec"). For more details, see the
documentation for :attr:`~django.contrib.admin.ModelAdmin.list_filter`.
Multiple sort in admin interface
The admin change list now supports sorting on multiple columns. It respects all
elements of the :attr:`~django.contrib.admin.ModelAdmin.ordering` attribute, and
sorting on multiple columns by clicking on headers is designed to mimic the
behavior of desktop GUIs. We also added a
:meth:`~django.contrib.admin.ModelAdmin.get_ordering` method for specifying the
ordering dynamically (i.e., depending on the request).
New ``ModelAdmin`` methods
We added a :meth:`~django.contrib.admin.ModelAdmin.save_related` method to
:mod:`~django.contrib.admin.ModelAdmin` to ease customization of how
related objects are saved in the admin.
Two other new :class:`~django.contrib.admin.ModelAdmin` methods,
:meth:`~django.contrib.admin.ModelAdmin.get_list_display` and
enable dynamic customization of fields and links displayed on the admin
change list.
Admin inlines respect user permissions
Admin inlines now only allow those actions for which the user has
permission. For ``ManyToMany`` relationships with an auto-created intermediate
model (which does not have its own permissions), the change permission for the
related model determines if the user has the permission to add, change or
delete relationships.
Tools for cryptographic signing
Django 1.4 adds both a low-level API for signing values and a high-level API
for setting and reading signed cookies, one of the most common uses of
signing in Web applications.
See the :doc:`cryptographic signing </topics/signing>` docs for more
Cookie-based session backend
Django 1.4 introduces a cookie-based session backend that uses the tools for
:doc:`cryptographic signing </topics/signing>` to store the session data in
the client's browser.
.. warning::
Session data is signed and validated by the server, but it's not
encrypted. This means a user can view any data stored in the
session but cannot change it. Please read the documentation for
further clarification before using this backend.
See the :ref:`cookie-based session backend <cookie-session-backend>` docs for
more information.
New form wizard
The previous ``FormWizard`` from ``django.contrib.formtools`` has been
replaced with a new implementation based on the class-based views
introduced in Django 1.3. It features a pluggable storage API and doesn't
require the wizard to pass around hidden fields for every previous step.
Django 1.4 ships with a session-based storage backend and a cookie-based
storage backend. The latter uses the tools for
:doc:`cryptographic signing </topics/signing>` also introduced in
Django 1.4 to store the wizard's state in the user's cookies.
A lazily evaluated version of ``reverse()`` was added to allow using URL
reversals before the project's URLconf gets loaded.
Translating URL patterns
Django can now look for a language prefix in the URLpattern when using the new
:func:`~django.conf.urls.i18n.i18n_patterns` helper function.
It's also now possible to define translatable URL patterns using
:func:`~django.utils.translation.ugettext_lazy`. See
:ref:`url-internationalization` for more information about the language prefix
and how to internationalize URL patterns.
Contextual translation support for ``{% trans %}`` and ``{% blocktrans %}``
The :ref:`contextual translation<contextual-markers>` support introduced in
Django 1.3 via the ``pgettext`` function has been extended to the
:ttag:`trans` and :ttag:`blocktrans` template tags using the new ``context``
Customizable ``SingleObjectMixin`` URLConf kwargs
Two new attributes,
have been added to :class:`~django.views.generic.detail.SingleObjectMixin` to
enable the customization of URLconf keyword arguments used for single
object generic views.
Assignment template tags
A new ``assignment_tag`` helper function was added to ``template.Library`` to
ease the creation of template tags that store data in a specified context
``*args`` and ``**kwargs`` support for template tag helper functions
The :ref:`simple_tag<howto-custom-template-tags-simple-tags>`,
:ref:`inclusion_tag <howto-custom-template-tags-inclusion-tags>` and newly
introduced ``assignment_tag`` template helper functions may now accept any
number of positional or keyword arguments. For example::
def my_tag(a, b, *args, **kwargs):
warning = kwargs['warning']
profile = kwargs['profile']
return ...
Then, in the template, any number of arguments may be passed to the template tag.
For example:
.. code-block:: html+django
{% my_tag 123 "abcd" book.title warning=message|lower profile=user.profile %}
No wrapping of exceptions in ``TEMPLATE_DEBUG`` mode
In previous versions of Django, whenever the ``TEMPLATE_DEBUG`` setting
was ``True``, any exception raised during template rendering (even exceptions
unrelated to template syntax) were wrapped in ``TemplateSyntaxError`` and
re-raised. This was done in order to provide detailed template source location
information in the debug 500 page.
In Django 1.4, exceptions are no longer wrapped. Instead, the original
exception is annotated with the source information. This means that catching
exceptions from template rendering is now consistent regardless of the value of
``TEMPLATE_DEBUG``, and there's no need to catch and unwrap
``TemplateSyntaxError`` in order to catch other errors.
``truncatechars`` template filter
This new filter truncates a string to be no longer than the specified
number of characters. Truncated strings end with a translatable ellipsis
sequence ("..."). See the documentation for :tfilter:`truncatechars` for
more details.
``static`` template tag
The :mod:`staticfiles<django.contrib.staticfiles>` contrib app has a new
``static`` template tag to refer to files saved with the
:setting:`STATICFILES_STORAGE` storage backend. It uses the storage backend's
``url`` method and therefore supports advanced features such as :ref:`serving
files from a cloud service<staticfiles-from-cdn>`.
``CachedStaticFilesStorage`` storage backend
The :mod:`staticfiles<django.contrib.staticfiles>` contrib app now has a
:class:`` backend
that caches the files it saves (when running the :djadmin:`collectstatic`
management command) by appending the MD5 hash of the file's content to the
filename. For example, the file ``css/styles.css`` would also be saved as
See the :class:``
docs for more information.
Simple clickjacking protection
We've added a middleware to provide easy protection against `clickjacking
<>`_ using the ``X-Frame-Options``
header. It's not enabled by default for backwards compatibility reasons, but
you'll almost certainly want to :doc:`enable it </ref/clickjacking/>` to help
plug that security hole for browsers that support the header.
CSRF improvements
We've made various improvements to our CSRF features, including the
:func:`~django.views.decorators.csrf.ensure_csrf_cookie` decorator, which can
help with AJAX-heavy sites; protection for PUT and DELETE requests; and the
:setting:`CSRF_COOKIE_SECURE` and :setting:`CSRF_COOKIE_PATH` settings, which can
improve the security and usefulness of CSRF protection. See the :doc:`CSRF
docs </ref/csrf>` for more information.
Error report filtering
We added two function decorators,
:func:`~django.views.decorators.debug.sensitive_variables` and
:func:`~django.views.decorators.debug.sensitive_post_parameters`, to allow
designating the local variables and POST parameters that may contain sensitive
information and should be filtered out of error reports.
All POST parameters are now systematically filtered out of error reports for
certain views (``login``, ``password_reset_confirm``, ``password_change`` and
``add_view`` in :mod:`django.contrib.auth.views`, as well as
``user_change_password`` in the admin app) to prevent the leaking of sensitive
information such as user passwords.
You can override or customize the default filtering by writing a :ref:`custom
filter<custom-error-reports>`. For more information see the docs on
:ref:`Filtering error reports<filtering-error-reports>`.
Extended IPv6 support
Django 1.4 can now better handle IPv6 addresses with the new
:class:`~django.db.models.GenericIPAddressField` model field,
:class:`~django.forms.GenericIPAddressField` form field and
the validators :data:`~django.core.validators.validate_ipv46_address` and
HTML comparisons in tests
The base classes in :mod:`django.test` now have some helpers to
compare HTML without tripping over irrelevant differences in whitespace,
argument quoting/ordering and closing of self-closing tags. You can either
compare HTML directly with the new
:meth:`~django.test.SimpleTestCase.assertHTMLEqual` and
:meth:`~django.test.SimpleTestCase.assertHTMLNotEqual` assertions, or use
the ``html=True`` flag with
:meth:`~django.test.SimpleTestCase.assertContains` and
:meth:`~django.test.SimpleTestCase.assertNotContains` to test whether the
client's response contains a given HTML fragment. See the :ref:`assertions
documentation <assertions>` for more.
Two new date format strings
Two new :tfilter:`date` formats were added for use in template filters,
template tags and :doc:`/topics/i18n/formatting`:
- ``e`` -- the name of the timezone of the given datetime object
- ``o`` -- the ISO 8601 year number
Please make sure to update your :ref:`custom format files
<custom-format-files>` if they contain either ``e`` or ``o`` in a format
string. For example a Spanish localization format previously only escaped the
``d`` format character::
DATE_FORMAT = r'j \de F \de Y'
But now it needs to also escape ``e`` and ``o``::
DATE_FORMAT = r'j \d\e F \d\e Y'
For more information, see the :tfilter:`date` documentation.
Minor features
Django 1.4 also includes several smaller improvements worth noting:
* A more usable stacktrace in the technical 500 page. Frames in the
stack trace that reference Django's framework code are dimmed out,
while frames in application code are slightly emphasized. This change
makes it easier to scan a stacktrace for issues in application code.
* :doc:`Tablespace support </topics/db/tablespaces>` in PostgreSQL.
* Customizable names for :meth:`~django.template.Library.simple_tag`.
* In the documentation, a helpful :doc:`security overview </topics/security>`
* The ``django.contrib.auth.models.check_password`` function has been moved
to the :mod:`django.contrib.auth.hashers` module. Importing it from the old
location will still work, but you should update your imports.
* The :djadmin:`collectstatic` management command now has a ``--clear`` option
to delete all files at the destination before copying or linking the static
* It's now possible to load fixtures containing forward references when using
MySQL with the InnoDB database engine.
* A new 403 response handler has been added as
``'django.views.defaults.permission_denied'``. You can set your own handler by
setting the value of :data:`django.conf.urls.handler403`. See the
documentation about :ref:`the 403 (HTTP Forbidden) view<http_forbidden_view>`
for more information.
* The :djadmin:`makemessages` command uses a new and more accurate lexer,
`JsLex`_, for extracting translatable strings from JavaScript files.
.. _JsLex:
* The :ttag:`trans` template tag now takes an optional ``as`` argument to
be able to retrieve a translation string without displaying it but setting
a template context variable instead.
* The :ttag:`if` template tag now supports ``{% elif %}`` clauses.
* If your Django app is behind a proxy, you might find the new
:setting:`SECURE_PROXY_SSL_HEADER` setting useful. It solves the problem of your
proxy "eating" the fact that a request came in via HTTPS. But only use this
setting if you know what you're doing.
* A new, plain-text, version of the HTTP 500 status code internal error page
served when :setting:`DEBUG` is ``True`` is now sent to the client when
Django detects that the request has originated in JavaScript code.
(:meth:`~django.http.HttpRequest.is_ajax` is used for this.)
Like its HTML counterpart, it contains a collection of different
pieces of information about the state of the application.
This should make it easier to read when debugging interaction with
client-side JavaScript.
* Added the :option:`makemessages --no-location` option.
* Changed the ``locmem`` cache backend to use
``pickle.HIGHEST_PROTOCOL`` for better compatibility with the other
cache backends.
* Added support in the ORM for generating ``SELECT`` queries containing
The ``distinct()`` ``QuerySet`` method now accepts an optional list of model
field names. If specified, then the ``DISTINCT`` statement is limited to these
fields. This is only supported in PostgreSQL.
For more details, see the documentation for
* The admin login page will add a password reset link if you include a URL with
the name `'admin_password_reset'` in your, so plugging in the built-in
password reset mechanism and making it available is now much easier. For
details, see :ref:`auth_password_reset`.
* The MySQL database backend can now make use of the savepoint feature
implemented by MySQL version 5.0.3 or newer with the InnoDB storage engine.
* It's now possible to pass initial values to the model forms that are part of
both model formsets and inline model formsets as returned from factory
functions ``modelformset_factory`` and ``inlineformset_factory`` respectively
just like with regular formsets. However, initial values only apply to extra
forms, i.e. those which are not bound to an existing model instance.
* The sitemaps framework can now handle HTTPS links using the new
:attr:`Sitemap.protocol <django.contrib.sitemaps.Sitemap.protocol>` class
* A new :class:`django.test.SimpleTestCase` subclass of
that's lighter than :class:`django.test.TestCase` and company. It can be
useful in tests that don't need to hit a database. See
.. _backwards-incompatible-1.4:
Backwards incompatible changes in 1.4
SECRET_KEY setting is required
Running Django with an empty or known :setting:`SECRET_KEY` disables many of
Django's security protections and can lead to remote-code-execution
vulnerabilities. No Django site should ever be run without a
In Django 1.4, starting Django with an empty :setting:`SECRET_KEY` will raise a
`DeprecationWarning`. In Django 1.5, it will raise an exception and Django will
refuse to start. This is slightly accelerated from the usual deprecation path
due to the severity of the consequences of running Django with no
The included administration app ``django.contrib.admin`` has for a long time
shipped with a default set of static files such as JavaScript, images and
stylesheets. Django 1.3 added a new contrib app ``django.contrib.staticfiles``
to handle such files in a generic way and defined conventions for static
files included in apps.
Starting in Django 1.4, the admin's static files also follow this
convention, to make the files easier to deploy. In previous versions of Django,
it was also common to define an ``ADMIN_MEDIA_PREFIX`` setting to point to the
URL where the admin's static files live on a Web server. This setting has now
been deprecated and replaced by the more general setting :setting:`STATIC_URL`.
Django will now expect to find the admin static files under the URL
If you've previously used a URL path for ``ADMIN_MEDIA_PREFIX`` (e.g.
``/media/``) simply make sure :setting:`STATIC_URL` and :setting:`STATIC_ROOT`
are configured and your Web server serves those files correctly. The
development server continues to serve the admin files just like before. Read
the :doc:`static files howto </howto/static-files/index>` for more details.
If your ``ADMIN_MEDIA_PREFIX`` is set to an specific domain (e.g.
````), make sure to also set your
:setting:`STATIC_URL` setting to the correct URL -- for example,
.. warning::
If you're implicitly relying on the path of the admin static files within
Django's source code, you'll need to update that path. The files were moved
from :file:`django/contrib/admin/media/` to
Supported browsers for the admin
Django hasn't had a clear policy on which browsers are supported by the
admin app. Our new policy formalizes existing practices: `YUI's A-grade`_
browsers should provide a fully-functional admin experience, with the notable
exception of Internet Explorer 6, which is no longer supported.
Released over 10 years ago, IE6 imposes many limitations on modern Web
development. The practical implications of this policy are that contributors
are free to improve the admin without consideration for these limitations.
Obviously, this new policy **has no impact** on sites you develop using Django.
It only applies to the Django admin. Feel free to develop apps compatible with
any range of browsers.
.. _YUI's A-grade:
Removed admin icons
As part of an effort to improve the performance and usability of the admin's
change-list sorting interface and :attr:`horizontal
<django.contrib.admin.ModelAdmin.filter_horizontal>` and :attr:`vertical
<django.contrib.admin.ModelAdmin.filter_vertical>` "filter" widgets, some icon
files were removed and grouped into two sprite files.
Specifically: ``selector-add.gif``, ``selector-addall.gif``,
``selector-remove.gif``, ``selector-removeall.gif``,
``selector_stacked-add.gif`` and ``selector_stacked-remove.gif`` were
combined into ``selector-icons.gif``; and ``arrow-up.gif`` and
``arrow-down.gif`` were combined into ``sorting-icons.gif``.
If you used those icons to customize the admin, then you'll need to replace
them with your own icons or get the files from a previous release.
CSS class names in admin forms
To avoid conflicts with other common CSS class names (e.g. "button"), we added
a prefix ("field-") to all CSS class names automatically generated from the
form field names in the main admin forms, stacked inline forms and tabular
inline cells. You'll need to take that prefix into account in your custom
style sheets or JavaScript files if you previously used plain field names as
selectors for custom styles or JavaScript transformations.
Compatibility with old signed data
Django 1.3 changed the cryptographic signing mechanisms used in a number of
places in Django. While Django 1.3 kept fallbacks that would accept hashes
produced by the previous methods, these fallbacks are removed in Django 1.4.
So, if you upgrade to Django 1.4 directly from 1.2 or earlier, you may
lose/invalidate certain pieces of data that have been cryptographically signed
using an old method. To avoid this, use Django 1.3 first for a period of time
to allow the signed data to expire naturally. The affected parts are detailed
below, with 1) the consequences of ignoring this advice and 2) the amount of
time you need to run Django 1.3 for the data to expire or become irrelevant.
* ``contrib.sessions`` data integrity check
* Consequences: The user will be logged out, and session data will be lost.
* Time period: Defined by :setting:`SESSION_COOKIE_AGE`.
* ``contrib.auth`` password reset hash
* Consequences: Password reset links from before the upgrade will not work.
* Time period: Defined by :setting:`PASSWORD_RESET_TIMEOUT_DAYS`.
Form-related hashes: these have a are much shorter lifetime and are relevant
only for the short window where a user might fill in a form generated by the
pre-upgrade Django instance and try to submit it to the upgraded Django
* ``contrib.comments`` form security hash
* Consequences: The user will see the validation error "Security hash failed."
* Time period: The amount of time you expect users to take filling out comment
* ``FormWizard`` security hash
* Consequences: The user will see an error about the form having expired
and will be sent back to the first page of the wizard, losing the data
entered so far.
* Time period: The amount of time you expect users to take filling out the
affected forms.
* CSRF check
* Note: This is actually a Django 1.1 fallback, not Django 1.2,
and it applies only if you're upgrading from 1.1.
* Consequences: The user will see a 403 error with any CSRF-protected POST
* Time period: The amount of time you expect user to take filling out
such forms.
* ``contrib.auth`` user password hash-upgrade sequence
* Consequences: Each user's password will be updated to a stronger password
hash when it's written to the database in 1.4. This means that if you
upgrade to 1.4 and then need to downgrade to 1.3, version 1.3 won't be able
to read the updated passwords.
* Remedy: Set :setting:`PASSWORD_HASHERS` to use your original password
hashing when you initially upgrade to 1.4. After you confirm your app works
well with Django 1.4 and you won't have to roll back to 1.3, enable the new
password hashes.
Starting in 1.4, the
:class:`~django.contrib.flatpages.middleware.FlatpageFallbackMiddleware` only
adds a trailing slash and redirects if the resulting URL refers to an existing
flatpage. For example, requesting ``/notaflatpageoravalidurl`` in a previous
version would redirect to ``/notaflatpageoravalidurl/``, which would
subsequently raise a 404. Requesting ``/notaflatpageoravalidurl`` now will
immediately raise a 404.
Also, redirects returned by flatpages are now permanent (with 301 status code),
to match the behavior of :class:`~django.middleware.common.CommonMiddleware`.
Serialization of :class:`~datetime.datetime` and :class:`~datetime.time`
As a consequence of time-zone support, and according to the ECMA-262
specification, we made changes to the JSON serializer:
* It includes the time zone for aware datetime objects. It raises an exception
for aware time objects.
* It includes milliseconds for datetime and time objects. There is still
some precision loss, because Python stores microseconds (6 digits) and JSON
only supports milliseconds (3 digits). However, it's better than discarding
microseconds entirely.
We changed the XML serializer to use the ISO8601 format for datetimes.
The letter ``T`` is used to separate the date part from the time part, instead
of a space. Time zone information is included in the ``[+-]HH:MM`` format.
Though the serializers now use these new formats when creating fixtures, they
can still load fixtures that use the old format.
``supports_timezone`` changed to ``False`` for SQLite
The database feature ``supports_timezone`` used to be ``True`` for SQLite.
Indeed, if you saved an aware datetime object, SQLite stored a string that
included an UTC offset. However, this offset was ignored when loading the value
back from the database, which could corrupt the data.
In the context of time-zone support, this flag was changed to ``False``, and
datetimes are now stored without time-zone information in SQLite. When
:setting:`USE_TZ` is ``False``, if you attempt to save an aware datetime
object, Django raises an exception.
``MySQLdb``-specific exceptions
The MySQL backend historically has raised ``MySQLdb.OperationalError``
when a query triggered an exception. We've fixed this bug, and we now raise
:exc:`django.db.DatabaseError` instead. If you were testing for
``MySQLdb.OperationalError``, you'll need to update your ``except``
Database connection's thread-locality
``DatabaseWrapper`` objects (i.e. the connection objects referenced by
``django.db.connection`` and ``django.db.connections["some_alias"]``) used to
be thread-local. They are now global objects in order to be potentially shared
between multiple threads. While the individual connection objects are now
global, the ``django.db.connections`` dictionary referencing those objects is
still thread-local. Therefore if you just use the ORM or
``DatabaseWrapper.cursor()`` then the behavior is still the same as before.
Note, however, that ``django.db.connection`` does not directly reference the
default ``DatabaseWrapper`` object anymore and is now a proxy to access that
object's attributes. If you need to access the actual ``DatabaseWrapper``
object, use ``django.db.connections[DEFAULT_DB_ALIAS]`` instead.
As part of this change, all underlying SQLite connections are now enabled for
potential thread-sharing (by passing the ``check_same_thread=False`` attribute
to pysqlite). ``DatabaseWrapper`` however preserves the previous behavior by
disabling thread-sharing by default, so this does not affect any existing
code that purely relies on the ORM or on ``DatabaseWrapper.cursor()``.
Finally, while it's now possible to pass connections between threads, Django
doesn't make any effort to synchronize access to the underlying backend.
Concurrency behavior is defined by the underlying backend implementation.
Check their documentation for details.
Django's comments has historically
supported excluding the comments of a special user group, but we've never
documented the feature properly and didn't enforce the exclusion in other parts
of the app such as the template tags. To fix this problem, we removed the code
from the feed class.
If you rely on the feature and want to restore the old behavior, use a custom
comment model manager to exclude the user group, like this::
from django.conf import settings
from django.contrib.comments.managers import CommentManager
class BanningCommentManager(CommentManager):
def get_query_set(self):
qs = super(BanningCommentManager, self).get_query_set()
if getattr(settings, 'COMMENTS_BANNED_USERS_GROUP', None):
where = ['user_id NOT IN (SELECT user_id FROM auth_user_groups WHERE group_id = %s)']
qs = qs.extra(where=where, params=params)
return qs
Save this model manager in your custom comment app (e.g., in
``my_comments_app/``) and add it your custom comment app model::
from django.db import models
from django.contrib.comments.models import Comment
from my_comments_app.managers import BanningCommentManager
class CommentWithTitle(Comment):
title = models.CharField(max_length=300)
objects = BanningCommentManager()
`IGNORABLE_404_STARTS` and `IGNORABLE_404_ENDS` settings
Until Django 1.3, it was possible to exclude some URLs from Django's
:doc:`404 error reporting</howto/error-reporting>` by adding prefixes to
``IGNORABLE_404_STARTS`` and suffixes to ``IGNORABLE_404_ENDS``.
In Django 1.4, these two settings are superseded by
:setting:`IGNORABLE_404_URLS`, which is a list of compiled regular
expressions. Django won't send an email for 404 errors on URLs that match any
of them.
Furthermore, the previous settings had some rather arbitrary default values::
IGNORABLE_404_STARTS = ('/cgi-bin/', '/_vti_bin', '/_vti_inf')
IGNORABLE_404_ENDS = ('', '', 'mail.cgi', 'mailform.cgi',
'favicon.ico', '.php')
It's not Django's role to decide if your website has a legacy ``/cgi-bin/``
section or a ``favicon.ico``. As a consequence, the default values of
:setting:`IGNORABLE_404_URLS`, ``IGNORABLE_404_STARTS``, and
``IGNORABLE_404_ENDS`` are all now empty.
If you have customized ``IGNORABLE_404_STARTS`` or ``IGNORABLE_404_ENDS``, or
if you want to keep the old default value, you should add the following lines
in your settings file::
import re
# for each <prefix> in IGNORABLE_404_STARTS
# for each <suffix> in IGNORABLE_404_ENDS
Don't forget to escape characters that have a special meaning in a regular
expression, such as periods.
CSRF protection extended to PUT and DELETE
Previously, Django's :doc:`CSRF protection </ref/csrf/>` provided
protection only against POST requests. Since use of PUT and DELETE methods in
AJAX applications is becoming more common, we now protect all methods not
defined as safe by :rfc:`2616` -- i.e., we exempt GET, HEAD, OPTIONS and TRACE,
and we enforce protection on everything else.
If you're using PUT or DELETE methods in AJAX applications, please see the
:ref:`instructions about using AJAX and CSRF <csrf-ajax>`.
Password reset view now accepts ``subject_template_name``
The ``password_reset`` view in ``django.contrib.auth`` now accepts a
``subject_template_name`` parameter, which is passed to the password save form
as a keyword argument. If you are using this view with a custom password reset
form, then you will need to ensure your form's ``save()`` method accepts this
keyword argument.
This was an alias to ``django.template.loader`` since 2005, and we've removed it
without emitting a warning due to the length of the deprecation. If your code
still referenced this, please use ``django.template.loader`` instead.
This functionality has been removed due to intractable performance and
security issues. Any existing usage of ``verify_exists`` should be
The ``open`` method of the base Storage class used to take an obscure parameter
``mixin`` that allowed you to dynamically change the base classes of the
returned file object. This has been removed. In the rare case you relied on the
``mixin`` parameter, you can easily achieve the same by overriding the ``open``
method, like this::
from django.core.files import File
from import FileSystemStorage
class Spam(File):
Spam, spam, spam, spam and spam.
def ham(self):
return 'eggs'
class SpamStorage(FileSystemStorage):
A custom file storage backend.
def open(self, name, mode='rb'):
return Spam(open(self.path(name), mode))
YAML deserializer now uses ``yaml.safe_load``
``yaml.load`` is able to construct any Python object, which may trigger
arbitrary code execution if you process a YAML document that comes from an
untrusted source. This feature isn't necessary for Django's YAML deserializer,
whose primary use is to load fixtures consisting of simple objects. Even though
fixtures are trusted data, the YAML deserializer now uses ``yaml.safe_load``
for additional security.
Session cookies now have the ``httponly`` flag by default
Session cookies now include the ``httponly`` attribute by default to
help reduce the impact of potential XSS attacks. As a consequence of
this change, session cookie data, including sessionid, is no longer
accessible from JavaScript in many browsers. For strict backwards
compatibility, use ``SESSION_COOKIE_HTTPONLY = False`` in your
settings file.
The :tfilter:`urlize` filter no longer escapes every URL
When a URL contains a ``%xx`` sequence, where ``xx`` are two hexadecimal
digits, :tfilter:`urlize` now assumes that the URL is already escaped and
doesn't apply URL escaping again. This is wrong for URLs whose unquoted form
contains a ``%xx`` sequence, but such URLs are very unlikely to happen in the
wild, because they would confuse browsers too.
``assertTemplateUsed`` and ``assertTemplateNotUsed`` as context manager
It's now possible to check whether a template was used within a block of
code with :meth:`~django.test.SimpleTestCase.assertTemplateUsed` and
:meth:`~django.test.SimpleTestCase.assertTemplateNotUsed`. And they
can be used as a context manager::
with self.assertTemplateUsed('index.html'):
with self.assertTemplateNotUsed('base.html'):
See the :ref:`assertion documentation<assertions>` for more.
Database connections after running the test suite
The default test runner no longer restores the database connections after
tests' execution. This prevents the production database from being exposed to
potential threads that would still be running and attempting to create new
If your code relied on connections to the production database being created
after tests' execution, then you can restore the previous behavior by
subclassing ``DjangoTestRunner`` and overriding its ``teardown_databases()``
Output of :djadmin:` help <help>`
:djadmin:` help <help>` now groups available commands by application.
If you depended on the output of this command -- if you parsed it, for example
-- then you'll need to update your code. To get a list of all available
management commands in a script, use
:djadmin:` help --commands <help>` instead.
``extends`` template tag
Previously, the :ttag:`extends` tag used a buggy method of parsing arguments,
which could lead to it erroneously considering an argument as a string literal
when it wasn't. It now uses ``parser.compile_filter``, like other tags.
The internals of the tag aren't part of the official stable API, but in the
interests of full disclosure, the ``ExtendsNode.__init__`` definition has
changed, which may break any custom tags that use this class.
Loading some incomplete fixtures no longer works
Prior to 1.4, a default value was inserted for fixture objects that were missing
a specific date or datetime value when auto_now or auto_now_add was set for the
field. This was something that should not have worked, and in 1.4 loading such
incomplete fixtures will fail. Because fixtures are a raw import, they should
explicitly specify all field values, regardless of field options on the model.
Development Server Multithreading
The development server is now is multithreaded by default. Use the
:option:`runserver --nothreading` option to disable the use of threading in the
development server:: runserver --nothreading
Attributes disabled in markdown when safe mode set
Prior to Django 1.4, attributes were included in any markdown output regardless
of safe mode setting of the filter. With version > 2.1 of the Python-Markdown
library, an enable_attributes option was added. When the safe argument is
passed to the markdown filter, both the ``safe_mode=True`` and
``enable_attributes=False`` options are set. If using a version of the
Python-Markdown library less than 2.1, a warning is issued that the output is
FormMixin get_initial returns an instance-specific dictionary
In Django 1.3, the ``get_initial`` method of the
:class:`django.views.generic.edit.FormMixin` class was returning the
class ``initial`` dictionary. This has been fixed to return a copy of this
dictionary, so form instances can modify their initial data without messing
with the class variable.
.. _deprecated-features-1.4:
Features deprecated in 1.4
Old styles of calling ``cache_page`` decorator
Some legacy ways of calling :func:`~django.views.decorators.cache.cache_page`
have been deprecated. Please see the documentation for the correct way to use
this decorator.
Support for PostgreSQL versions older than 8.2
Django 1.3 dropped support for PostgreSQL versions older than 8.0, and we
suggested using a more recent version because of performance improvements
and, more importantly, the end of upstream support periods for 8.0 and 8.1
was near (November 2010).
Django 1.4 takes that policy further and sets 8.2 as the minimum PostgreSQL
version it officially supports.
Request exceptions are now always logged
When we added :doc:`logging support </topics/logging/>` in Django in 1.3, the
admin error email support was moved into the
:class:`django.utils.log.AdminEmailHandler`, attached to the
``'django.request'`` logger. In order to maintain the established behavior of
error emails, the ``'django.request'`` logger was called only when
:setting:`DEBUG` was ``False``.
To increase the flexibility of error logging for requests, the
``'django.request'`` logger is now called regardless of the value of
:setting:`DEBUG`, and the default settings file for new projects now includes a
separate filter attached to :class:`django.utils.log.AdminEmailHandler` to
prevent admin error emails in ``DEBUG`` mode::
'filters': {
'require_debug_false': {
'()': 'django.utils.log.RequireDebugFalse'
'handlers': {
'mail_admins': {
'level': 'ERROR',
'filters': ['require_debug_false'],
'class': 'django.utils.log.AdminEmailHandler'
If your project was created prior to this change, your :setting:`LOGGING`
setting will not include this new filter. In order to maintain
backwards-compatibility, Django will detect that your ``'mail_admins'`` handler
configuration includes no ``'filters'`` section and will automatically add
this filter for you and issue a pending-deprecation warning. This will become a
deprecation warning in Django 1.5, and in Django 1.6 the
backwards-compatibility shim will be removed entirely.
The existence of any ``'filters'`` key under the ``'mail_admins'`` handler will
disable this backward-compatibility shim and deprecation warning.
Until Django 1.3, the functions :func:`~django.conf.urls.include`,
``patterns()`` and :func:`~django.conf.urls.url` plus
:data:`~django.conf.urls.handler404`, :data:`~django.conf.urls.handler500`
were located in a ``django.conf.urls.defaults`` module.
In Django 1.4, they live in :mod:`django.conf.urls`.
Databrowse has not seen active development for some time, and this does not show
any sign of changing. There had been a suggestion for a `GSOC project`_ to
integrate the functionality of databrowse into the admin, but no progress was
made. While Databrowse has been deprecated, an enhancement of
``django.contrib.admin`` providing a similar feature set is still possible.
.. _GSOC project:
The code that powers Databrowse is licensed under the same terms as Django
itself, so it's available to be adopted by an individual or group as
a third-party project.
This function temporarily modified ``sys.path`` in order to make the parent
"project" directory importable under the old flat :djadmin:`startproject`
layout. This function is now deprecated, as its path workarounds are no longer
needed with the new ```` and default project layout.
This function was never documented or part of the public API, but it was widely
recommended for use in setting up a "Django environment" for a user script.
These uses should be replaced by setting the ``DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE``
environment variable or using :func:`django.conf.settings.configure`.
This function was previously used by ```` to execute a management
command. It is identical to
````, except that it first
calls ``setup_environ``, which is now deprecated. As such, ``execute_manager``
is also deprecated; ``execute_from_command_line`` can be used instead. Neither
of these functions is documented as part of the public API, but a deprecation
path is needed due to use in existing ```` files.
``is_safe`` and ``needs_autoescape`` attributes of template filters
Two flags, ``is_safe`` and ``needs_autoescape``, define how each template filter
interacts with Django's auto-escaping behavior. They used to be attributes of
the filter function::
def noop(value):
return value
noop.is_safe = True
However, this technique caused some problems in combination with decorators,
especially :func:`@stringfilter <django.template.defaultfilters.stringfilter>`.
Now, the flags are keyword arguments of :meth:`@register.filter
def noop(value):
return value
See :ref:`filters and auto-escaping <filters-auto-escaping>` for more information.
Wildcard expansion of application names in `INSTALLED_APPS`
Until Django 1.3, :setting:`INSTALLED_APPS` accepted wildcards in application
names, like ``django.contrib.*``. The expansion was performed by a
filesystem-based implementation of ``from <package> import *``. Unfortunately,
this can't be done reliably.
This behavior was never documented. Since it is unpythonic and not obviously
useful, it was removed in Django 1.4. If you relied on it, you must edit your
settings file to list all your applications explicitly.
``HttpRequest.raw_post_data`` renamed to ``HttpRequest.body``
This attribute was confusingly named ``HttpRequest.raw_post_data``, but it
actually provided the body of the HTTP request. It's been renamed to
``HttpRequest.body``, and ``HttpRequest.raw_post_data`` has been deprecated.
``django.contrib.sitemaps`` bug fix with potential performance implications
In previous versions, ``Paginator`` objects used in sitemap classes were
cached, which could result in stale site maps. We've removed the caching, so
each request to a site map now creates a new Paginator object and calls the
:attr:`~django.contrib.sitemaps.Sitemap.items()` method of the
:class:`~django.contrib.sitemaps.Sitemap` subclass. Depending on what your
``items()`` method is doing, this may have a negative performance impact.
To mitigate the performance impact, consider using the :doc:`caching
framework </topics/cache>` within your ``Sitemap`` subclass.
Versions of Python-Markdown earlier than 2.1
Versions of Python-Markdown earlier than 2.1 do not support the option to
disable attributes. As a security issue, earlier versions of this library will
not be supported by the markup contrib app in 1.5 under an accelerated
deprecation timeline.