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Layout and base django templates for lizard websites
JavaScript HTML Python CSS Other

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Lizard-ui provides a basic Django user interface, so a base Django template and some css + javascript. We designed it at Nelen & Schuurmans for our geographical information websites (with water management information).

Choices, requirements, assumptions

Lizard-ui is opinionated: it makes choices and prescribes (good!) technologies.

  • Included: the twitter-bootstrap css framework. It resets css styles so that we've got a common base. It fixes common IE layout bugs. It gives a basic typography that's quite pleasing. And it has some javascript that makes many common UI tasks easy.
  • Required: django-staticfiles. For a more verbose description, see Reinout's blog entry (written with lizard-ui in mind).
  • Required: django_compressor for combining css/javascript files in production.
  • Assumption: one screen, using the full width/height of the browser, without scrolling. Our main goal is showing a nice big map with a small header and a sidebar. You don't want to scroll a map. It is of course possible to have a scrollbar inside that main content area itself.
  • Assumption: javascript is available. Hey, we're showing a map so you need javascript. So we liberally use javascript to get the UI right, for instance by detecting and setting the main content area's width and height.
  • Included: jquery. Yeah, it is pretty much the standard nowadays. So we use jquery where jquery can be used instead of doing it with generic javascript.
  • Included: both jqueryui and jquerytools. Visual goodies. Jquerytools for the overlay and tabs, jqueryui for the rest (drag/drop and so).
  • Included: openlayers as map javascript library. (Lizard-map, sooooon to be released, contains our basic map interaction javascript and python code).

License + licenses

Our own license is GPLv3.

Lizard-ui ships with a couple of external css/javascript libraries.

Apache 2.0 license.
Jquery and jqueryui
Dual licensed under the MIT or GPL Version 2 licenses. Includes Sizzle.js, released under the MIT, BSD, and GPL Licenses.
No copyrights or licenses. Do what you like.
Clear BSD license.
Famfamfam icon set
CC attribution license.
Treeview jquery plugin

Django settings

Here's an excerpt of a you can use. The media and static root directory setup assumes the use of buildout, but you can translate it to your own filesystem setup:


# Note: the below settings are more elaborate than needed,
# but we want to test django_compressor's compressing which
# needs a media url and root and so.

# SETTINGS_DIR allows media paths and so to be relative to
# this settings file instead of hardcoded to
# c:\only\on\my\computer.
SETTINGS_DIR = os.path.dirname(os.path.realpath(__file__))

# BUILDOUT_DIR is for access to the "surrounding" buildout,
# for instance for BUILDOUT_DIR/var/static files to give
# django-staticfiles a proper place to place all collected
# static files.
BUILDOUT_DIR = os.path.abspath(os.path.join(SETTINGS_DIR, '..'))

# Absolute path to the directory that holds user-uploaded
# media.
MEDIA_ROOT = os.path.join(BUILDOUT_DIR, 'var', 'media')
# Absolute path to the directory where django-staticfiles'
# "bin/django build_static" places all collected static
# files from all applications' /media directory.
STATIC_ROOT = os.path.join(BUILDOUT_DIR, 'var', 'static')

# URL that handles the media served from MEDIA_ROOT. Make
# sure to use a trailing slash if there is a path component
# (optional in other cases).
MEDIA_URL = '/media/'
# URL for the per-application /media static files collected
# by django-staticfiles.  Use it in templates like "{{
# MEDIA_URL }}mypackage/my.css".
STATIC_URL = '/static_media/'
# URL prefix for admin media -- CSS, JavaScript and
# images. Make sure to use a trailing slash.  Uses
# STATIC_URL as django-staticfiles nicely collects admin's
# static media into STATIC_ROOT/admin.

And a suitable apache config hint:

<Location /static_media/>
  # The css/javascript/image staticfiles are cached in the
  # browser for a day.
  ExpiresActive On
  ExpiresDefault "access plus 1 day"

<Location /static_media/CACHE/>
  # django_compress's generated timestamp'ed files:
  # cache forever
  ExpiresActive On
  ExpiresDefault "access plus 10 years"

# Static files are hosted by apache itself.
# User-uploaded media: MEDIA_URL = '/media/'
Alias /media/ ${buildout:directory}/var/media/
# django-staticfiles: STATIC_URL = '/static_media/'
Alias /static_media/ ${buildout:directory}/var/static/

Upgrading to Django 1.3

Lizard-ui 3.0 requires Django 1.3 as we want to start using class based views and some of the other 1.3 goodies. For that, you need to make some changes.

  • Add LOGGING, for instance with:

    from lizard_ui.settingshelper import setup_logging
    LOGGING = setup_logging(BUILDOUT_DIR)
    # For production, use for instance:
    # LOGGING = setup_logging(BUILDOUT_DIR, console_level=None)
  • And remove any by-hand logging setup, for instance with logging.basicConfig().

  • Import STATICFILES_FINDERS from lizard_ui, this adds a finder that also finds static media in /media in addition to the new /static:

    from lizard_ui.settingshelper import STATICFILES_FINDERS
  • COMPRESS_STORAGE, COMPRESS_URL and COMPRESS_ROOT can now be removed from your settings as the defaults are now fine.

  • Switch from using bin/django build_static to bin/django collectstatic.


You can mount lizard-ui's urls, but it contains only live examples. So perhaps you should only mount it in debug mode under /ui. Handy, as it contains reasonably full documentation on how to use it, including available blocks and classes/IDs that you can use.

The base layout is defined in realbase.html. You should however extend lizard_ui/lizardbase.html and then override the blocks that you want.

CSS and javascript should be added to the relevant blocks, but don't forget to call "block.super". An example:

{% extends "lizard_ui/lizardbase.html" %}

{% block css %}
{{ block.super }}
<link type="text/css"
      href="{{ STATIC_URL }}lizard_map/lizard_map.css"
      media="screen, projection"
      rel="stylesheet" />
{% endblock css %}

{% block javascript %}
{{ block.super }}
<script type="text/javascript"
        src="{{ STATIC_URL }}openlayers/OpenLayers.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript"
        src="{{ STATIC_URL }}lizard_map/jquery.workspace.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript"
        src="{{ STATIC_URL }}lizard_map/lizard_map.js"></script>
{% endblock javascript %}

{% block content %}
<div id="map"></div>
{% endblock content %}

A example of a common task: change the logo. For that, make a static/lizard_ui directory in your django application (or site) and place a logo.png in it. Django-staticfiles' mechanism will take your logo.png in preference to lizard-ui's.

Development installation

The first time, you'll have to run the "bootstrap" script to set up setuptools and buildout:

$> python

And then run buildout to set everything up:

$> bin/buildout

(On windows it is called bin\buildout.exe).

You'll have to re-run buildout when you or someone else made a change in or buildout.cfg.

The current package is installed as a "development package", so changes in .py files are automatically available (just like with python develop).

If you want to use trunk checkouts of other packages (instead of released versions), add them as an "svn external" in the local_checkouts/ directory and add them to the develop = list in buildout.cfg.

Tests can always be run with bin/test or bin\test.exe.

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