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Django Publication Manager

Django Publication Manager, or Pubman for short, is a simple content management system built on Django. Its purpose is to provide you with a working website for your project from the start, freeing you to concentrate on implementing functionality specific to your project, without having to spend a large amount of time putting in the basic functionality that every website should have.

Another objective of Pubman is to provide your working website using free/open source code only. For example, Pubman implements a search facility. Big search companies like Google and Yahoo provide simple html snippets to do this, but since their search engines are not open, Pubman implements searching using Haystack. Of course, you are welcome to not use the search facility.

Installing Pubman

Pubman has been tested running Ubuntu 10.04, python 2.6 and Django 1.2.

You can have a working Content Management System in Django by following these straightforward steps, each of which should take at most a few minutes of your time:

  1. Install the following

  2. Install django-pubman using one of the standard python installation mechanisms. E.g.

    easy_install -Z pubman
  3. In the folder pointed to by the MEDIA_URL setting in your project's, either create a symbolic link called pubman to the pubman/media/pubman folder or copy the contents of the pubman/media/pubman folder into the MEDIA_URL folder.

  4. Add the django.middleware.locale.LocaleMiddleware and django.contrib.flatpages.middleware.FlatpageFallbackMiddleware to your MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES setting in For example:


    'django.middleware.common.CommonMiddleware', 'django.contrib.sessions.middleware.SessionMiddleware', 'django.middleware.csrf.CsrfViewMiddleware', 'django.middleware.locale.LocaleMiddleware', 'django.contrib.auth.middleware.AuthenticationMiddleware', 'django.contrib.messages.middleware.MessageMiddleware', 'django.middleware.http.ConditionalGetMiddleware', 'django.contrib.flatpages.middleware.FlatpageFallbackMiddleware',


  5. In your project's put the following into INSTALLED_APPS if they are not there already:

  6. In your project's make sure the pubman templates folder is in your TEMPLATE_DIRS tuple, but only after your project's templates, so that you can easily override pubman's templates. For example:

    TEMPLATE_DIRS = (os.path.join(SITE_ROOT, 'templates'),
                     os.path.join(SITE_ROOT, '/path_to_puman/pubman/templates'),)
  7. To make your website content searchable using Haystack, place this into your project file:

    HAYSTACK_SITECONF = 'pubman.search_sites'

    You will need to install a search engine such as Whoosh or Xapian. In Ubuntu, for example, this is very easy: apt-get --install whoosh should do the trick.

    Once you have done so, add this to your file.


    or if you are using Xapian

    HAYSTACK_SITECONF = 'pubman.search_sites'
    HAYSTACK_XAPIAN_PATH = os.path.join(SITE_ROOT, 'xapian')

    More details are available in the Haystack documentation, including how to install different search engines.,

    Of course, you could simply use a site like google or yahoo for your searching, but one of the aims of pubman is to provide a comprehensive set of free/open source website widgets.

  8. Then install the pubman tables and initial data:

    python syncdb
  9. You can upload other data to your database as well. Data fixtures (initial data) are provided for the flatpages, sites, auth and treemenus apps. If this is a new project, then you will almost certainly want to run the following:


    python loaddata sites website treemenus flatpages

    However, if you are introducing pubman into an existing project, running the above might wipe out some of your existing data, so be careful. For example, the sites fixture replaces your first site (pk=1) with a domain of localhost:8000 and a name of Publication Manager. This is probably not very useful, but it is arguably slightly more useful than the Django default of

    You can choose to upload any or none of the above. But note that Publication Manager expects a top level menu to exist called "main". If you do not provide one, a template exception will be thrown when you go to the front page of your website. So it is very likely you will want to load the treemenus fixture. To install just the treemenus data, run:

    python loaddata treemenus

    At this point you should have a basic working configuration. If you run the Django development server, you should be able to go to http://localhost:8000/

  10. To get authorisation, authentication and user profiles working put this into your project's

    ACCOUNT_ACTIVATION_DAYS = 2 # This is 2 days. You can change this.
    LOGIN_REDIRECT_URL = '/' # This is a default. You can change this.
    AUTH_PROFILE_MODULE = 'pubman.UserProfile'

    This enables email confirmed registration and allows users to login with their email address or username.

  11. Pubman's views and default templates use Django's caching framework. In production this is indispensable for decent performance. Enable the Django caching framework. To enable caching on in production, but not while developing, this is what you could put into your project's file:

    if DEBUG==True:
        CACHE_BACKEND = 'dummy://'
        CACHE_BACKEND = 'memcached://'

    Replace with your website's URL, of course.

  12. Enable the pubman urls. In the project's file add this to the urlpatterns tuple (you can of course customise this to your needs):

    (r'^', include('pubman.urls')),
  13. Enable the pubman template context processors. These are pubman.context_processors.settings and pubman.context_processors.featured_content. For example, you would usually add this to the file:

       "siteconfig.context_processors.rootdivision",    )
  14. Get the Filebrowser to work by putting these settings into

    import os
    FILEBROWSER_DIRECTORY = 'userfiles/uploads/'
    FILEBROWSER_PATH_FILEBROWSER_MEDIA = os.path.join(MEDIA_ROOT, 'pubman/filebrowser/')
    FILEBROWSER_URL_TINYMCE = MEDIA_URL + "pubman/js/tiny_mce/"
    FILEBROWSER_PATH_TINYMCE = os.path.join(MEDIA_ROOT, 'pubman/js/tiny_mce/')

At this point your pubman configuration should be configured and all features enabled.

Current Features

Pubman currently implements the following:

  • Upon successful standard installation you will have an operating website.
  • A Content Management System that allows you to add content via Django's admin site. It has several nice features which are described under CMS features.
  • A comprehensive base.html template and style sheet.
  • RSS and Atom feeds for the website.
  • Language switching views and templates using Django's i18n features.
  • Account registration, login using email address or username, user profile views and templates and user lost password authentication (using django-registration and django-profiles).
  • A simple contact form (using django-contact-form)
  • A simple sitemap.
  • Careful attention to caching at both view and template level.
  • Hierarchical menus can be created and deleted in database (using django-treemenus).

CMS features

Pubman is primarily a CMS. Content is created via Django's admin interface. It currently has the following features:

  • A workflow for creating website articles from draft to publication.
  • Articles can be grouped into stories.
  • Articles and stories can have teasers, which in Pubman are called blurbs.
  • Management of media. Currenly only photos on the site are implemented, but video and media offsite are a priority for the next version.
  • Tags and Tag clouds for Articles, including a view that processes complex tag expressions (using django-tagging).
  • Manages translations of articles, presenting them seamlessly to users.
  • Links to related articles and stories are easily incorporated into articles.
  • Groups sets of links for easy presentation.
  • Simple feed reader.
  • Manages copyrights.
  • Articles, stories and translations can be written in plain text, Markdown or HTML. Users Markdown or TinyMCE editors for Markdown or HTML respectively.
  • Filebrowser implemented on Django admin interface and integrated into TinyMCE (using a forked version of django-filebrowser).

Planned future features

  • Attach documents to articles
  • Improved contact form with more options.
  • PDF generation of articles and stories.
  • Newsletter
  • User blogs
  • Media objects other than local images
  • Style sheet for mobile devices
  • See historical edits
  • Improved foreign key lookup with AJAX
  • Specify an article as out-of-date with links to recommended replacement article.


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