June 3, 2010

Django Contrib Revealed - Flatpages

Very often while creating big portals there are static pages just wasting your time to be created. Django has a solution for this problem also - the Flatpages application inside Contribution package. This application allows you to manage such static pages from django-admin, and it let's you create templates using Django's template system. How to get started ?
- Add 'django.contrib.flatpages' to INSTALLED_APPS. Also you need to have django.contrib.sites activated since flatpages depend on this package.
- Add 'django.contrib.flatpages.middleware.FlatpageFallbackMiddleware' to MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES.
This is how the flatpage model looks like :
from django.db import models
from django.contrib.sites.models import Site

class FlatPage(models.Model):
    url = models.CharField(max_length=100, db_index=True)
    title = models.CharField(max_length=200)
    content = models.TextField(blank=True)
    enable_comments = models.BooleanField()
    template_name = models.ChorField(max_length=70, blank=True)
    registration_required = models.BooleanField()
    sites = models.ManyToManyField(Site)
Okay so everything looks clear here I guess. For every flatpage we can specify either custom template, or use flatpages/default.html template (still creating the default template is also our responsibility !). Flatpage templates get a single context variable passed - flatpage, so we can use the Flatpage object's fields ie. {{ flatpage.title }}, {{ flatpage.content }}. Simple, but can spare lots of time :)

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