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A feature flipper for Django.
Python JavaScript
Tag: 0.3

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Django Waffle

Django Waffle is (yet another) feature flipper for Django. You can define the conditions for which a flag should be active, and use it in a number of ways.


To start using Waffle, you just need to add it to your INSTALLED_APPS and MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES:

    # ...
    # ...

    # ...
    # ...

Since Waffle will be setting cookies on response objects, you probably want it below any middleware that tweaks cookies before sending them out.

Creating a Flag

Creating and managing flags is done through the Django admin interface. Each feature flag is represented by a Flag object, which has several properties.

The name of the flag. Will be used to identify the flag everywhere.
You can flip this flag on (Yes) or off (No) for everyone, overriding all other settings. Leave as Unknown to use normally.
A percentage of users for whom the flag will be active. This is maintained through cookies, so clever users can get around it. Still, it's the most common case.
Is this flag always active for superusers?
Is this flag always active for staff?
Is this flag always active for authenticated users?
A list of group IDs for which this flag will always be active.
A list of user IDs for which this flag will always be active.
Activate Rollout mode? (See Rollout Mode below.)

You can combine multiple settings here. For example, you could offer a feature to 12% of users and all superusers. When combining settings, the flag will be active for the user if any of the settings matches for them.

Using a Flag

Flags can be used in templates, in views, or wrapped around entire views.

If you try to use a flag that is not defined, it will always be inactive.

Using a Flag in Templates


To use a flag in a Jinja2 template via Jingo, you can simply do:

{% if waffle('flag_name') %}
  Content if flag is active
{% endif %}

You can also add an {% else %} section, of course:

{% if waffle('flag_name') %}
  Flag is active!
{% else %}
  Flag is inactive!
{% endif %}

Django Templates

To use a flag in vanilla Django templates, you can use the waffle tag:

{% load waffle_tags %}
{% waffle flag_name %}
  Content if flag is active
{% endwaffle %}

The {% waffle %} tag also supports an {% else %} section:

{% waffle flag_name %}
  Flag is active!
{% else %}
  Flag is inactive!
{% endwaffle %}

Using a Flag in Views

To use a flag in a view, you just need waffle.is_active:

import waffle

def my_view(request):
    if waffle.is_active(request, 'flag_name'):
        # Behavior if flag is active.
        # Behavior if flag is inactive.

Wraping a Whole View in a Flag

You can also wrap an entire view in a flag:

from waffle.decorators import waffle

def my_view(request):
    # View only available if flag is active.

If the flag is not active for the request, the view will be a 404.

You can reverse this by putting an exclamation point at the start of the flag name, for example:

def my_view(request):
    # View is only available if flag is INactive.

Global Settings

There are a few global settings you can define to adjust Waffle's behavior.

Setting Default Description
WAFFLE_COOKIE 'dwf_%s' The format for the cookies Waffle sets. Must contain '%s'.
WAFFLE_DEFAULT False By default, if a flag is undefined, Waffle treats it as inactive for everyone. Set this to True to treat undefined flags as active.
WAFFLE_MAX_AGE 2,529,000 How long should Waffle cookies last? (Integer, in seconds.) See the Cookies section.
WAFFLE_OVERRIDE False Whether flags can be forced to be active from the query string.
WAFFLE_SECURE False Whether to set the secure flag on cookies.

Overriding Flags

If you turn on the WAFFLE_OVERRIDE setting, you can guarantee a flag will be active for a request by putting it in the query string.

For example, if I use the flag example in a view that serves the URL /search, then I can turn on the flag by adding ?example=1 to the query string, or turn it off by adding ?example=0.

By default, WAFFLE_OVERRIDE is off. It may be useful for testing, automated testing in particular.


When falling back to percentage of active users, Waffle will set a cookie for every request, setting the flag's value (on or off) for future requests.

If the cookie is set, its value is used (either True or False) and it is re-set. Since cookies are re-set on every request (that uses the flag), you do not need to set WAFFLE_MAX_AGE very high. Just high enough that a typical returning user won't potentially flip back and forth between off and on.

Rollout Mode

Rollout Mode allows you to gradually enable a feature for all users. In "normal" mode, a flag's value will be set in a cookie until WAFFLE_MAX_AGE whether the flag is active or not. In Rollout Mode, an inactive flag will set a session cookie, and an active flag will set a longer-lived cookie.

Every time a user starts a new session, they'll have a chance (determined by the percentage of the flag) to have the feature turned on "permanently". Once it's on, it should stay on, unless they clear their cookies or use a different browser (see To Do).

To guarantee an even rollout, it will likely be necessary to gradually increase the flag's percentage as more and more users get stuck with the active cookie.

Rollout Mode is enabled per flag.

To Do

  • Keep a flag setting for a given user, regardless of browser/device.
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