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Fixed #22809 -- Added model Field API reference.

Thanks to @timgraham for the review.
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commit e1fa7dffdc1b141cb858160890d448ca778366e4 1 parent b02abd6
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Showing with 261 additions and 117 deletions.
  1. +71 −115 docs/howto/custom-model-fields.txt
  2. +190 −2 docs/ref/models/fields.txt
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186 docs/howto/custom-model-fields.txt
@@ -105,8 +105,6 @@ say, all the *north* cards first, then the *east*, *south* and *west* cards. So
What does a field class do?
---------------------------
-.. class:: Field
-
All of Django's fields (and when we say *fields* in this document, we always
mean model fields and not :doc:`form fields </ref/forms/fields>`) are subclasses
of :class:`django.db.models.Field`. Most of the information that Django records
@@ -193,10 +191,7 @@ card values plus their suits; 104 characters in total.
you want your fields to be more strict about the options they select, or to
use the simpler, more permissive behavior of the current fields.
-.. method:: Field.__init__()
-
-The :meth:`~django.db.models.Field.__init__` method takes the following
-parameters:
+The ``Field.__init__()`` method takes the following parameters:
* :attr:`~django.db.models.Field.verbose_name`
* ``name``
@@ -396,15 +391,13 @@ correct datatype.
Documenting your custom field
-----------------------------
-.. attribute:: Field.description
-
As always, you should document your field type, so users will know what it is.
In addition to providing a docstring for it, which is useful for developers,
you can also allow users of the admin app to see a short description of the
field type via the :doc:`django.contrib.admindocs
</ref/contrib/admin/admindocs>` application. To do this simply provide
-descriptive text in a ``description`` class attribute of your custom field. In
-the above example, the description displayed by the ``admindocs``
+descriptive text in a :attr:`~Field.description` class attribute of your custom
+field. In the above example, the description displayed by the ``admindocs``
application for a ``HandField`` will be 'A hand of cards (bridge style)'.
In the :mod:`django.contrib.admindocs` display, the field description is
@@ -422,17 +415,13 @@ the ``__metaclass__``, you might consider overriding a few standard methods,
depending on your field's behavior. The list of methods below is in
approximately decreasing order of importance, so start from the top.
+.. _custom-database-types:
+
Custom database types
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
-.. method:: Field.db_type(connection)
-
-Returns the database column data type for the :class:`~django.db.models.Field`,
-taking into account the connection object, and the settings associated with it.
-
-Say you've created a PostgreSQL custom type called ``mytype``. You can use this
-field with Django by subclassing ``Field`` and implementing the
-:meth:`.db_type` method, like so::
+Say you've created a PostgreSQL custom type called ``mytype``. You can
+subclass ``Field`` and implement the :meth:`~Field.db_type` method, like so::
from django.db import models
@@ -450,7 +439,7 @@ Once you have ``MytypeField``, you can use it in any model, just like any other
If you aim to build a database-agnostic application, you should account for
differences in database column types. For example, the date/time column type
in PostgreSQL is called ``timestamp``, while the same column in MySQL is called
-``datetime``. The simplest way to handle this in a :meth:`.db_type`
+``datetime``. The simplest way to handle this in a :meth:`~Field.db_type`
method is to check the ``connection.settings_dict['ENGINE']`` attribute.
For example::
@@ -462,7 +451,7 @@ For example::
else:
return 'timestamp'
-The :meth:`.db_type` method is called by Django when the framework
+The :meth:`~Field.db_type` method is called by Django when the framework
constructs the ``CREATE TABLE`` statements for your application -- that is,
when you first create your tables. It is also called when constructing a
``WHERE`` clause that includes the model field -- that is, when you retrieve data
@@ -489,7 +478,7 @@ sense to have a ``CharMaxlength25Field``, shown here::
The better way of doing this would be to make the parameter specifiable at run
time -- i.e., when the class is instantiated. To do that, just implement
-:meth:`django.db.models.Field.__init__`, like so::
+``Field.__init__()``, like so::
# This is a much more flexible example.
class BetterCharField(models.Field):
@@ -511,21 +500,14 @@ over this field. You are then responsible for creating the column in the right
table in some other way, of course, but this gives you a way to tell Django to
get out of the way.
+.. _converting-database-values-to-python-objects:
+
Converting database values to Python objects
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
-.. method:: Field.to_python(value)
-
-Converts a value as returned by your database (or a serializer) to a Python
-object.
-
-The default implementation simply returns ``value``, for the common case in
-which the database backend already returns data in the correct format (as a
-Python string, for example).
-
-If your custom :class:`~django.db.models.Field` class deals with data structures
-that are more complex than strings, dates, integers or floats, then you'll need
-to override this method. As a general rule, the method should deal gracefully
+If your custom :class:`~Field` class deals with data structures that are more
+complex than strings, dates, integers or floats, then you'll need to override
+:meth:`~Field.to_python`. As a general rule, the method should deal gracefully
with any of the following arguments:
* An instance of the correct type (e.g., ``Hand`` in our ongoing example).
@@ -560,9 +542,9 @@ Python object type we want to store in the model's attribute. If anything is
going wrong during value conversion, you should raise a
:exc:`~django.core.exceptions.ValidationError` exception.
-**Remember:** If your custom field needs the :meth:`.to_python` method to be
+**Remember:** If your custom field needs the :meth:`~Field.to_python` method to be
called when it is created, you should be using `The SubfieldBase metaclass`_
-mentioned earlier. Otherwise :meth:`.to_python` won't be called
+mentioned earlier. Otherwise :meth:`~Field.to_python` won't be called
automatically.
.. warning::
@@ -572,21 +554,14 @@ automatically.
:meth:`~Field.get_prep_value`, should handle the case when ``value`` is
``None``.
+.. _converting-python-objects-to-query-values:
+
Converting Python objects to query values
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
-.. method:: Field.get_prep_value(value)
-
-This is the reverse of :meth:`.to_python` when working with the
-database backends (as opposed to serialization). The ``value``
-parameter is the current value of the model's attribute (a field has
-no reference to its containing model, so it cannot retrieve the value
-itself), and the method should return data in a format that has been
-prepared for use as a parameter in a query.
-
-This conversion should *not* include any database-specific
-conversions. If database-specific conversions are required, they
-should be made in the call to :meth:`.get_db_prep_value`.
+Since using a database requires conversion in both ways, if you override
+:meth:`~Field.to_python` you also have to override :meth:`~Field.get_prep_value`
+to convert Python objects back to query values.
For example::
@@ -607,49 +582,38 @@ For example::
objects in their results. This problem cannot occur if you always
return a string type from :meth:`.get_prep_value`.
+.. _converting-query-values-to-database-values:
Converting query values to database values
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
-.. method:: Field.get_db_prep_value(value, connection, prepared=False)
-
Some data types (for example, dates) need to be in a specific format
before they can be used by a database backend.
-:meth:`.get_db_prep_value` is the method where those conversions should
+:meth:`~Field.get_db_prep_value` is the method where those conversions should
be made. The specific connection that will be used for the query is
passed as the ``connection`` parameter. This allows you to use
backend-specific conversion logic if it is required.
-The ``prepared`` argument describes whether or not the value has
-already been passed through :meth:`.get_prep_value` conversions. When
-``prepared`` is False, the default implementation of
-:meth:`.get_db_prep_value` will call :meth:`.get_prep_value` to do
-initial data conversions before performing any database-specific
-processing.
+For example, Django uses the following method for its
+:class:``~models.BinaryField``::
+
+ def get_db_prep_value(self, value, connection, prepared=False):
+ value = super(BinaryField, self).get_db_prep_value(value, connection, prepared)
+ if value is not None:
+ return connection.Database.Binary(value)
+ return value
-.. method:: Field.get_db_prep_save(value, connection)
+In case your custom field needs a special conversion when being saved that is
+not the same as the conversion used for normal query parameters, you can
+override :meth:`~Field.get_db_prep_save`.
-Same as the above, but called when the Field value must be *saved* to
-the database. As the default implementation just calls
-:meth:`.get_db_prep_value`, you shouldn't need to implement this method
-unless your custom field needs a special conversion when being saved
-that is not the same as the conversion used for normal query
-parameters (which is implemented by :meth:`.get_db_prep_value`).
+.. _preprocessing-values-before-saving:
Preprocessing values before saving
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
-.. method:: Field.pre_save(model_instance, add)
-
-This method is called just prior to :meth:`.get_db_prep_save` and should return
-the value of the appropriate attribute from ``model_instance`` for this field.
-The attribute name is in ``self.attname`` (this is set up by
-:class:`~django.db.models.Field`). If the model is being saved to the database
-for the first time, the ``add`` parameter will be ``True``, otherwise it will be
-``False``.
-
-You only need to override this method if you want to preprocess the value
-somehow, just before saving. For example, Django's
+If you want to preprocess the value just before saving, you can use
+:meth:`~Field.pre_save`. For example, Django's
:class:`~django.db.models.DateTimeField` uses this method to set the attribute
correctly in the case of :attr:`~django.db.models.DateField.auto_now` or
:attr:`~django.db.models.DateField.auto_now_add`.
@@ -659,20 +623,20 @@ the end. You should also update the model's attribute if you make any changes
to the value so that code holding references to the model will always see the
correct value.
+.. _preparing-values-for-use-in-database-lookups:
+
Preparing values for use in database lookups
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
As with value conversions, preparing a value for database lookups is a
two phase process.
-.. method:: Field.get_prep_lookup(lookup_type, value)
-
-:meth:`.get_prep_lookup` performs the first phase of lookup preparation,
-performing generic data validity checks
+:meth:`.get_prep_lookup` performs the first phase of lookup preparation:
+type conversion and data validation.
Prepares the ``value`` for passing to the database when used in a lookup (a
-``WHERE`` constraint in SQL). The ``lookup_type`` will be one of the valid
-Django filter lookups: ``exact``, ``iexact``, ``contains``, ``icontains``,
+``WHERE`` constraint in SQL). The ``lookup_type`` parameter will be one of the
+valid Django filter lookups: ``exact``, ``iexact``, ``contains``, ``icontains``,
``gt``, ``gte``, ``lt``, ``lte``, ``in``, ``startswith``, ``istartswith``,
``endswith``, ``iendswith``, ``range``, ``year``, ``month``, ``day``,
``isnull``, ``search``, ``regex``, and ``iregex``.
@@ -688,17 +652,18 @@ should raise either a ``ValueError`` if the ``value`` is of the wrong sort (a
list when you were expecting an object, for example) or a ``TypeError`` if
your field does not support that type of lookup. For many fields, you can get
by with handling the lookup types that need special handling for your field
-and pass the rest to the :meth:`.get_db_prep_lookup` method of the parent class.
+and pass the rest to the :meth:`~Field.get_db_prep_lookup` method of the parent
+class.
-If you needed to implement ``get_db_prep_save()``, you will usually need to
-implement ``get_prep_lookup()``. If you don't, ``get_prep_value`` will be
-called by the default implementation, to manage ``exact``, ``gt``, ``gte``,
+If you needed to implement :meth:`.get_db_prep_save`, you will usually need to
+implement :meth:`.get_prep_lookup`. If you don't, :meth:`.get_prep_value` will
+be called by the default implementation, to manage ``exact``, ``gt``, ``gte``,
``lt``, ``lte``, ``in`` and ``range`` lookups.
You may also want to implement this method to limit the lookup types that could
be used with your custom field type.
-Note that, for ``range`` and ``in`` lookups, ``get_prep_lookup`` will receive
+Note that, for ``"range"`` and ``"in"`` lookups, ``get_prep_lookup`` will receive
a list of objects (presumably of the right type) and will need to convert them
to a list of things of the right type for passing to the database. Most of the
time, you can reuse ``get_prep_value()``, or at least factor out some common
@@ -719,21 +684,16 @@ accepted lookup types to ``exact`` and ``in``::
else:
raise TypeError('Lookup type %r not supported.' % lookup_type)
-.. method:: Field.get_db_prep_lookup(lookup_type, value, connection, prepared=False)
+For performing database-specific data conversions required by a lookup,
+you can override :meth:`~Field.get_db_prep_lookup`.
-Performs any database-specific data conversions required by a lookup.
-As with :meth:`.get_db_prep_value`, the specific connection that will
-be used for the query is passed as the ``connection`` parameter.
-The ``prepared`` argument describes whether the value has already been
-prepared with :meth:`.get_prep_lookup`.
+.. _specifying-form-field-for-model-field:
Specifying the form field for a model field
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
-.. method:: Field.formfield(form_class=None, choices_form_class=None, **kwargs)
-
-Returns the default form field to use when this model field is displayed in a
-form. This method is called by the :class:`~django.forms.ModelForm` helper.
+To customize the form field used by :class:`~django.forms.ModelForm`, you can
+override :meth:`~Field.formfield`.
The form field class can be specified via the ``form_class`` and
``choices_form_class`` arguments; the latter is used if the field has choices
@@ -748,7 +708,8 @@ delegate further handling to the parent class. This might require you to write
a custom form field (and even a form widget). See the :doc:`forms documentation
</topics/forms/index>` for information about this.
-Continuing our ongoing example, we can write the :meth:`.formfield` method as::
+Continuing our ongoing example, we can write the :meth:`~Field.formfield` method
+as::
class HandField(models.Field):
# ...
@@ -767,15 +728,11 @@ fields.
.. _helper functions: ../forms/#generating-forms-for-models
.. _forms documentation: ../forms/
+.. _emulating-built-in-field-types:
+
Emulating built-in field types
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
-.. method:: Field.get_internal_type()
-
-Returns a string giving the name of the :class:`~django.db.models.Field`
-subclass we are emulating at the database level. This is used to determine the
-type of database column for simple cases.
-
If you have created a :meth:`.db_type` method, you don't need to worry about
:meth:`.get_internal_type` -- it won't be used much. Sometimes, though, your
database storage is similar in type to some other field, so you can use that
@@ -796,21 +753,21 @@ storing a string.
If :meth:`.get_internal_type` returns a string that is not known to Django for
the database backend you are using -- that is, it doesn't appear in
``django.db.backends.<db_name>.creation.data_types`` -- the string will still be
-used by the serializer, but the default :meth:`.db_type` method will return
-``None``. See the documentation of :meth:`.db_type` for reasons why this might be
-useful. Putting a descriptive string in as the type of the field for the
-serializer is a useful idea if you're ever going to be using the serializer
-output in some other place, outside of Django.
+used by the serializer, but the default :meth:`~Field.db_type` method will
+return ``None``. See the documentation of :meth:`~Field.db_type` for reasons why
+this might be useful. Putting a descriptive string in as the type of the field
+for the serializer is a useful idea if you're ever going to be using the
+serializer output in some other place, outside of Django.
+
+.. _converting-model-field-to-serialization:
Converting field data for serialization
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
-.. method:: Field.value_to_string(obj)
-
-This method is used by the serializers to convert the field into a string for
-output. Calling ``Field._get_val_from_obj(obj)`` is the best way to get the
-value to serialize. For example, since our ``HandField`` uses strings for its
-data storage anyway, we can reuse some existing conversion code::
+To customize how the values are serialized by a serializer, you can override
+:meth:`~Field.value_to_string`. Calling ``Field._get_val_from_obj(obj)`` is the
+best way to get the value serialized. For example, since our ``HandField`` uses
+strings for its data storage anyway, we can reuse some existing conversion code::
class HandField(models.Field):
# ...
@@ -841,9 +798,8 @@ smoothly:
Python 2) automatically converts to the string form of your Python object,
you can save yourself a lot of work.
-
Writing a ``FileField`` subclass
-=================================
+================================
In addition to the above methods, fields that deal with files have a few other
special requirements which must be taken into account. The majority of the
View
192 docs/ref/models/fields.txt
@@ -7,8 +7,8 @@ Model field reference
.. currentmodule:: django.db.models
-This document contains all the gory details about all the `field options`_ and
-`field types`_ Django's got to offer.
+This document contains all the API references of :class:`Field` including the
+`field options`_ and `field types`_ Django offers.
.. seealso::
@@ -1519,3 +1519,191 @@ accepted by :class:`ForeignKey`, plus one extra argument:
See :doc:`One-to-one relationships </topics/db/examples/one_to_one>` for usage
examples of ``OneToOneField``.
+
+Field API reference
+===================
+
+.. class:: Field
+
+ ``Field`` is an abstract class that represents a database table column.
+ Django uses fields to create the database table (:meth:`db_type`), to map
+ Python types to database (:meth:`get_prep_value`) and vice-versa
+ (:meth:`to_python`), and to apply :doc:`/ref/models/lookups`
+ (:meth:`get_prep_lookup`).
+
+ A field is thus a fundamental piece in different Django APIs, notably,
+ :class:`models <django.db.models.Model>` and :class:`querysets
+ <django.db.models.query.QuerySet>`.
+
+ In models, a field is instantiated as a class attribute and represents a
+ particular table column, see :doc:`/topics/db/models`. It has attributes
+ such as :attr:`null` and :attr:`unique`, and methods that Django uses to
+ map the field value to database-specific values.
+
+ A ``Field`` is a subclass of
+ :class:`~django.db.models.lookups.RegisterLookupMixin` and thus both
+ :class:`~django.db.models.Transform` and
+ :class:`~django.db.models.Lookup` can be registered on it to be used
+ in ``QuerySet``\s (e.g. ``field_name__exact="foo"``). All :ref:`built-in
+ lookups <field-lookups>` are registered by default.
+
+ All of Django's built-in fields, such as :class:`CharField`, are particular
+ implementations of ``Field``. If you need a custom field, you can either
+ subclass any of the built-in fields or write a ``Field``` from scratch. In
+ either case, see :doc:`/howto/custom-model-fields`.
+
+ .. attribute:: description
+
+ A verbose description of the field, e.g. for the
+ :mod:`django.contrib.admindocs` application.
+
+ The description can be of the form::
+
+ description = _("String (up to %(max_length)s)")
+
+ where the arguments are interpolated from the field's ``__dict__``.
+
+ To map a ``Field`` to a database-specific type, Django exposes two methods:
+
+ .. method:: get_internal_type()
+
+ Returns a string naming this field for backend specific purposes.
+ By default, it returns the class name.
+
+ See :ref:`emulating-built-in-field-types` for usage in custom fields.
+
+ .. method:: db_type(connection)
+
+ Returns the database column data type for the :class:`Field`, taking
+ into account the ``connection``.
+
+ See :ref:`custom-database-types` for usage in custom fields.
+
+ There are three main situations where Django needs to interact with the
+ database backend and fields:
+
+ * when it queries the database (Python value -> database backend value)
+ * when it loads data from the database (database backend value -> Python
+ value)
+ * when it saves to the database (Python value -> database backend value)
+
+ When querying, :meth:`get_db_prep_value` and :meth:`get_prep_value` are used:
+
+ .. method:: get_prep_value(value)
+
+ ``value`` is the current value of the model's attribute, and the method
+ should return data in a format that has been prepared for use as a
+ parameter in a query.
+
+ See :ref:`converting-python-objects-to-query-values` for usage.
+
+ .. method:: get_db_prep_value(value, connection, prepared=False)
+
+ Converts ``value`` to a backend-specific value. By default it returns
+ ``value`` if ``prepared=True`` and :meth:`~Field.get_prep_value` if is
+ ``False``.
+
+ See :ref:`converting-query-values-to-database-values` for usage.
+
+ When loading data, :meth:`to_python` is used:
+
+ .. method:: to_python(value)
+
+ Converts a value as returned by the database (or a serializer) to a
+ Python object. It is the reverse of :meth:`get_prep_value`.
+
+ The default implementation returns ``value``, which is the common case
+ when the database backend already returns the correct Python type.
+
+ See :ref:`converting-database-values-to-python-objects` for usage.
+
+ When saving, :meth:`pre_save` and :meth:`get_db_prep_save` are used:
+
+ .. method:: get_db_prep_save(value, connection)
+
+ Same as the :meth:`get_db_prep_value`, but called when the field value
+ must be *saved* to the database. By default returns
+ :meth:`get_db_prep_value`.
+
+ .. method:: pre_save(model_instance, add)
+
+ Method called prior to :meth:`get_db_prep_save` to prepare the value
+ before being saved (e.g. for :attr:`DateField.auto_now`).
+
+ ``model_instance`` is the instance this field belongs to and ``add``
+ is whether the instance is being saved to the database for the first
+ time.
+
+ It should return the value of the appropriate attribute from
+ ``model_instance`` for this field. The attribute name is in
+ ``self.attname`` (this is set up by :class:`~django.db.models.Field`).
+
+ See :ref:`preprocessing-values-before-saving` for usage.
+
+ Besides saving to the database, the field also needs to know how to
+ serialize its value (inverse of :meth:`to_python`):
+
+ .. method:: value_to_string(obj)
+
+ Converts ``obj`` to a string. Used to serialize the value of the field.
+
+ See :ref:`converting-model-field-to-serialization` for usage.
+
+ When a lookup is used on a field, the value may need to be "prepared".
+ Django exposes two methods for this:
+
+ .. method:: get_prep_lookup(lookup_type, value)
+
+ Prepares ``value`` to the database prior to be used in a lookup.
+ The ``lookup_type`` will be one of the valid Django filter lookups:
+ ``"exact"``, ``"iexact"``, ``"contains"``, ``"icontains"``,
+ ``"gt"``, ``"gte"``, ``"lt"``, ``"lte"``, ``"in"``, ``"startswith"``,
+ ``"istartswith"``, ``"endswith"``, ``"iendswith"``, ``"range"``,
+ ``"year"``, ``"month"``, ``"day"``, ``"isnull"``, ``"search"``,
+ ``"regex"``, and ``"iregex"``.
+
+ .. versionadded:: 1.7
+
+ If you are using :doc:`Custom lookups </ref/models/lookups>` the
+ ``lookup_type`` can be any ``lookup_name`` registered in the field.
+
+ See :ref:`preparing-values-for-use-in-database-lookups` for usage.
+
+ .. method:: get_db_prep_lookup(lookup_type, value, connection, prepared=False)
+
+ Similar to :meth:`get_db_prep_value`, but for performing a lookup.
+
+ As with :meth:`get_db_prep_value`, the specific connection that will
+ be used for the query is passed as ``connection``. In addition,
+ ``prepared`` describes whether the value has already been prepared with
+ :meth:`get_prep_lookup`.
+
+ When using :class:`model forms <django.forms.ModelForm>`, the ``Field``
+ needs to know which form field it should be represented by:
+
+ .. method:: formfield(form_class=None, choices_form_class=None, **kwargs)
+
+ Returns the default :class:`django.forms.Field` of this field for
+ :class:`~django.forms.ModelForm`.
+
+ By default, if both ``form_class`` and ``choices_form_class`` are
+ ``None``, it uses :class:`~django.forms.CharField`; if
+ ``choices_form_class`` is given, it returns
+ :class:`~django.forms.TypedChoiceField`.
+
+ See :ref:`specifying-form-field-for-model-field` for usage.
+
+ .. method:: deconstruct()
+
+ .. versionadded:: 1.7
+
+ Returns a 4-tuple with enough information to recreate the field:
+
+ 1. The name of the field on the model.
+ 2. The import path of the field (e.g. ``"django.db.models.IntegerField"``).
+ This should be the most portable version, so less specific may be better.
+ 3. A list of positional arguments.
+ 4. A dict of keyword arguments.
+
+ This method must be added to fields prior to 1.7 to migrate its data
+ using :doc:`/topics/migrations`.
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