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Tools needed for development and testing of Armstrong

Project description

PyPI Version License

Tools and such for handling development of Armstrong applications

This package contains some of the various helpers needed to do development work on the Armstrong packages. If you’re not actively developing, or working with development versions of Armstrong, you probably don’t need this package.

Installation & Configuration

If you are just running tests for a component, Tox will grab everything it needs including ArmDev.

  • pip install tox and run tox


  • pip install invoke

Invoke is not strictly required. ArmDev is as lean as possible to support fast virtualenv creation so multi-environment testing tools like TravisCI and Tox will complete ASAP.

Many of the Invoke tasks have their own package requirements and they will nicely notify you if something they require needs to be installed.

This component supports Django 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7 on Python 2.6 and 2.7.


Most Armstrong components already have the necessary configuration to use these Dev tools. Specifically, components need and files. Assuming these are present:

invoke --list
to see a list of all available commands
invoke --help <cmd>
for help on a specific command

Several of the tasks take an optional --extra argument that is used as a catch-all way of passing arbitrary arguments to the underlying command. Invoke cannot handle arbitrary args (like Fabric 1.x could) so this is our workaround. Two general rules: 1) enclose multiple args in quotes 2) kwargs need to use “=” with no spaces (our limitation, not Invoke’s). Example: invoke test --extra "--verbosity=2 <> <>"

invoke install [--editable]
to “pip install” the component, by default as an editable install. For a regular install, use --no-editable or --editable=False.
invoke test [--extra ...]
to run tests where –extra handles anything the normal Django “ test” command accepts.
invoke coverage [--reportdir=<directory>] [--extra ...]
for running test coverage. –extra works the same as in “invoke test” passing arbitrary args to the underlying test command. –reportdir is where the HTML report will be created; by default this directory is named “htmlcov” or whatever is set in the .coveragerc file.
invoke managepy <cmd> [--extra ...]
to run any Django “” command where –extra handles any arbitrary args. Example: invoke managepy shell or invoke managepy runserver --extra 9001
invoke create_migration [--initial]
to create a South migration for the component (in Django <1.7). An “auto” migration is default if the –initial flag is not used.

There are other commands as well, but these are the most useful. Remember that individual components may provide additional Invoke tasks as well. So run invoke --list to discover them all.

Component Setup

If you are creating a new Armstrong component or updating one that uses the pre-2.0 ArmDev, you’ll need to create (or port to) these two files:

  1. Create a and add the following:

    from import *
    # any additional Invoke commands
    # ...
  2. Create an and add the following:

    from import *
    # any additional settings
    # it's likely you'll need to extend the list of INSTALLED_APPS
    # ...

Not required but as long as you are reviewing the general state of things, take care of these too!

  • Review the requirements files

  • Review the TravisCI configuration

  • Drop Lettuce tests and requirements

  • Add a tox.ini file

  • Review the README text and metadata

  • Use Setuptools and fix any improper namespacing

  • Stop shipping tests by moving tests/ to the root directory

  • If the component uses logging, consider namespacing it with logger = logging.getLogger(__name__).

  • Add a CHANGES.rst file and include it in the MANIFEST

  • Review .gitignore. You might want to ignore these:


Notable changes in 2.0

Setuptools is now explicitly used/required instead of Distutils.

Invoke replaces Fabric for a leaner install without the SSH and crypto stuff. Invoke is still pre-1.0 release so we might have some adjustment to do later.

This version offers an easier and more standard way to run a Django environment with a component’s specific settings, either from the commandline or via import.

It provides an “a la carte” requirements approach. Meaning that if you run an Invoke command that needs a package that isn’t installed, it will prompt you to install it instead of requiring everything up-front. This allows for much faster virtualenv creation (which saves considerable time in testing) and doesn’t pollute your virtualenv with packages for features you don’t use.

test and coverage will work better with automated test tools like TravisCI and Tox. These commands also now work like Django’s native test command so that you can pass arguments for running selective tests or changing the output verbosity.

Settings are now defined in the normal Django style in an file instead of as a dict within the tasks file. It’s not called “” to make it clearer that these are settings for the development and testing of this component, not necessarily values to copy/paste for incorporating the component into other projects.

The full list of changes and backward incompatibilties is available in CHANGES.rst.


Development occurs on Github. Participation is welcome!

  • Found a bug? File it on Github Issues. Include as much detail as you can and make sure to list the specific component since we use a centralized, project-wide issue tracker.
  • Have code to submit? Fork the repo, consolidate your changes on a topic branch and create a pull request.
  • Questions, need help, discussion? Use our Google Group mailing list.

State of Project

Armstrong is an open-source news platform that is freely available to any organization. It is the result of a collaboration between the Texas Tribune and The Center for Investigative Reporting and a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Armstrong is available as a complete bundle and as individual, stand-alone components.

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