A simple tool for building fully static, internationalized websites. Upgrades to Playdoh.
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Teenydoh is a simple tool for building fully static, internationalized websites. If dynamic server-side functionality is needed, a migration path to Playdoh is available.

Use Cases

Teenydoh is currently the foundation for the following websites:


You just need Python version 2.6 or higher. All other dependencies are self-contained within the project's code repository.

Teenydoh has been tested to work under Windows, OS X, and Linux.


Just run this at the terminal prompt:

git clone git://github.com/toolness/teenydoh.git
cd teenydoh
python manage.py runserver

Then, point your browser to http://localhost:8000/.


All static, unlocalized files are in the static directory.

The templates directory contains localized Jinja2 templates that are located at /<locale>/ on your web site, where <locale> is the name of a locale like en-US. The single exception to this is the locale redirector template, explained later in this document.

The following template variables are defined:

  • {{ LOCALE_ROOT }} is the locale-specific root of your site. Whenever you need to link to a localized template, you can do so either via a relative URL or an absolute one that begins with this template variable. An example value for this variable is /en-US/.

  • {{ STATIC_URL }} is the root directory for the files in your site's static directory. Example values of this are / and /static/.

  • {{ LANGUAGES }} is a dictionary of all available languages, such as {'en-us': 'English (US)'}.

  • {{ LANG }} is the currently active language code, such as en-US.

  • {{ DIR }} is ltr if the active language reads left-to-right. Otherwise, it is rtl.

  • {{ settings }} contains all the variables, if any, defined in your site's settings.py.

The Locale Redirector Template

Since a site generated by Teenydoh is entirely static content capable of being served from any stock server, content negotiation must occur on the client-side using JavaScript.

The locale redirector template at templates/locale-redirector.html is used to redirect a non-localized pathname to a localized one (e.g., redirecting /goggles/ to /en-US/goggles/). It's automatically generated for any path containing a localized template called index.html, including the site root.

The path that the redirector must redirect to is in the {{ PATH_INFO }} template variable. This template doesn't have {{ LANG }} or {{ DIR }} defined, because the actual locale isn't known at the time that this template is accessed.


When writing JavaScript code, you can add unit tests in the static/test directory. These QUnit tests can be run from the development server at localhost:8000/test.


Teenydoh uses GNU gettext for localization via Babel and Jinja2's i18n extension.

To create a new locale for e.g. Hebrew (he), run:

python manage.py makemessages -l he

Then, edit locale/he/LC_MESSAGES/messages.po as needed. When you're done localizing, run:

python manage.py compilemessages

This will convert all available .po files into .mo files. The next time you run the development server or rebuild the static site, your new translations will be used.

You can also use a site like localize.mozilla.org to make it easy for community members to contribute localizations.


Run this at the terminal prompt:

python manage.py build

This will create a static version of your site, for all supported locales, in the dist directory. You can copy this directory to any web server that serves static files, such as Apache or Amazon S3.

Playdoh Migration

Migrating a site to Playdoh is fairly straightforward. It requires no dependencies, aside from Playdoh itself.

You'll want to create a new Django app in your Playdoh project and do the following:

  1. Recursively copy your site's static and templates directories into the Django app.

  2. Delete templates/locale-redirector.html from the Django app, as Playdoh will now take care of locale redirection for you.

  3. Copy any site-specific configuration variables from your site's settings.py into the Django project's settings.py.

  4. Fill the Django app's views.py with the following:

from django.shortcuts import render
from django.conf import settings
from funfactory.context_processors import i18n

def page(filename):
    Simple factory function that returns a Django view for a static website
    def view(request):
        info = i18n(request)
        return render(request, filename, {
            'STATIC_URL': settings.STATIC_URL,
            'LOCALE_ROOT': '/%s/' % info['LANG']
    return view
  1. Fill the Django app's urls.py with the following:
    from django.conf.urls.defaults import *

    from .views import page

    urlpatterns = patterns('',
        url(r'^$', page('index.html')),

This should expose only your site's home page to the Playdoh app. To expose more pages, you'll need to add to urlpatterns.

You should be able to just copy the .po files from your site into the Django project and everything will magically work. However, this hasn't yet been tested.

Note also that you may need to install the staticfiles app in order to get the above code to work. Alternatively, you should be able to achieve the same effect by moving the files in static into your project's media directory and then setting STATIC_URL = MEDIA_URL in your settings.py.