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A design pattern for Django that allows you to build "Pluggable" Reusable Applications

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README.rst

Django-Pluggables

Django-Pluggables provides a design pattern for making reusable apps "pluggable" so that apps can exist at multiple URL locations and be presented by other apps or models.

Overview

Django-Pluggables is a design pattern that endows reusable applications with a few additional features:

  1. Applications can exist at multiple URL locations (e.g. http://example.com/foo/app/ and http://example.com/bar/app/).
  2. Applications can be "parented" to other applications or objects which can then deliver specialized context information.
  3. Posting form data and error handling can happen in locations that make sense to the user, as opposed to the common practice of using templatetags and standalone error or preview pages for form data processing.
  4. Views and templates remain generic and reusable.

Installation

Django-Pluggables can be added to your Django project like any other reusable app. To see the examples in action, fun the following commands:

First off, the native Mac implementation of sed is not as robust as we expect. Therefore install Super Sed Then run

$ easy_install Fabric==0.1.1 pip virtualenv
$ fab bootstrap
$ ./examples/sillywalks/manage.py runserver

Voila! You now have a fully functional site running at http://127.0.0.1:8000/

Usage

To utilize Django-Pluggables, you will need to do a little bit of configuration. First you must have a two applications:

  1. A reusable app that will be made Pluggable.
  2. An app that will expose an instance of the Pluggable app in its URL hierarchy (this app does not need to be reusable).

Installation and development of these two apps can begin normally. The individual functions of the apps should be standalone. The Django-Pluggables pattern delivers needed context and parameters to the app that is being made Pluggable when it is called from the URL hierarchy of the other app.

To set up the relationship between these two apps, it is necessary to define two items:

  1. The URLconf that defines the URLs that will invoke the Pluggable app instance.
  2. The pluggable definition that will supply the Pluggable app with its required context and parameters.

Note

In the following examples we will use two imaginary apps: sillywalks and complaints. These would be imported in your modules like so:

from sillywalks.models import Walk
from complaints.models import Complaint

In the examples we discuss below, the sillywalks app lives at the URL:

http://example.com/sillywalks/

The sillywalks app utilizes the complaints app to field complaints about various types of walk. To provide an excellent user experience, the complaints forms and functionality should be presented at a URL beneath the sillywalks URL:

http://example.com/sillywalks/<walk_name>/complaints/

Also, the presentation of complaints functionality beneath the sillywalks app should adhere to the sillywalks templates pattern, including various walk-specific information that must be supplied through additional, non- complaints app context.

Defining the URLconf

In order to make the complaints app pluggable, we first must define a pluggable URLs file for it:

class ComplaintsPluggable(PluggableApp):
    urlpatterns = patterns('',
        url(r'^$', 'complaints.views.view_complaint', name='complaints_view_complaint'),
        url(r'^activity_feed/$', 'complaints.views.submit_complaint', name='complaints_submit_complaint'),

...

Note

Only one pluggable URLs file is required for an app that you wish to make pluggable. This URLconf may be subclassed for additional flexibility when using the pluggable app in conjunction with other apps, but it is likely that one definition of pluggable URLs will be sufficient for most use cases.

Defining the Pluggable Config and Context

Once the complaints app has been set up with the pluggable URLs, it is necessary to define the context that will be delivered to the complaints app and add these URLs to the URLconf for the sillywalks app:

from complaints.urls import ComplaintsPluggable

class SillyWalkComplaints(ComplaintsPluggable):
    def pluggable_view_context(self, request, complaint_id):
        return dict(complaint_id=complaint_id)

    def pluggable_template_context(self, request, slug):
        return dict(silly_walk=SillyWalk.objects.get(slug=slug))

    def pluggable_config(self):
        return dict(base_template='sillywalks/base.html')

urlpatterns = SillyWalkComplaints('sillywalk')

More

The primary repository for Django-Pluggables is located at:

http://github.com/nowells/django-pluggables/

Django-Pluggables was created by Nowell Strite.

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