Hi, I'm Daniel Roy Greenfeld, and welcome to my blog. I write about Python, Django, and much more.

How To Create Installable, Reusable Django Packages

Friday, November 20, 2015 (permalink)

Django Package Ecosystem: cookiecutter-djangopackage

What I mean by an "installable Django package": a reusable component that can be shared across Django projects, allowing us to combine our own efforts with others. Some examples include:

Ever want to quickly create a similarly installable Django package to submit to PyPI and Django Packages? One that goes beyond the basics described in the Django tutorial? Specifically, a package that includes:

  • Test runner so you don't need a example/test project (Although those can be useful).
  • The important configuration in place: Travis, editorconfig, gitignore, etc.
  • The important documentation in place: Readme, License, Read the Docs-ready Sphinx docs, etc.
  • Static files ready to go.
  • A base DTL/Jinja2 template ready to go.
  • All those other fiddly bits not included in django-admin.py startapp that are hard to remember.

Well, here's how I do it.

Introducing cookiecutter-djangopackage

cookiecutter-djangopackage is a Cookiecutter template for creating reusable Django packages. Using it is easy:

First, get Cookiecutter. Trust me, it's awesome:

$ pip install cookiecutter

Now run it against this repo:

$ cookiecutter https://github.com/pydanny/cookiecutter-djangopackage.git

You'll be prompted to enter some values. Enter them. Then an installable Django package will be built for you.

Warning: app_name must be a valid Python module name or you will have issues on imports.

Enter the new package (in my case, I called it 'newpackage') and look around. Open up the AUTHORS.rst, setup.py, or README.rst files and you'll see your input inserted into the appropriate locations.

Speaking of the README.rst, that file includes instructions for putting the new package on PyPI and Django Packages.

├── .editorconfig
├── .gitignore
├── .travis.yml
├── AUTHORS.rst
├── HISTORY.rst
├── Makefile
├── README.rst
├── newpackage
│   ├── __init__.py
│   ├── models.py
│   ├── static
│   │   ├── css
│   │   │   └── newpackage.css
│   │   ├── img
│   │   │   └── .gitignore
│   │   └── js
│   │       └── newpackage.js
│   └── templates
│       └── cheese
│           └── base.html
├── docs
│   ├── Makefile
│   ├── authors.rst
│   ├── conf.py
│   ├── contributing.rst
│   ├── history.rst
│   ├── index.rst
│   ├── installation.rst
│   ├── make.bat
│   ├── readme.rst
│   └── usage.rst
├── requirements-test.txt
├── requirements.txt
├── requirements_dev.txt
├── runtests.py
├── setup.cfg
├── setup.py
├── tests
│   ├── __init__.py
│   └── test_models.py
└── tox.ini

Now, instead of monkeying around for awhile doing copy/paste package setup, I'm immediately ready to write code.


cookiecutter-djangopackage does a lot, but even with its tight focus on package creation it could do more. Some of the things I would love to see included in the future:

  • Option for Appveyor CI support
  • Option to replace django.test with py.test.
  • Generation of model boilerplate, admin, and CRUD views.
  • More in the issue tracker.

Try it out and let me know what you think. I'm open to new ideas and receiving pull requests.