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Always return JSON from your Django view.

Project Description

.. image::

**django-jsonview** is a simple decorator that translates Python objects
to JSON and makes sure your view will always return JSON.

I've copied and pasted this so often I decided I just wanted to put it
in a package.


Just install with ``pip``::

pip install django-jsonview

No need to add to ``INSTALLED_APPS`` or anything.


Just import the decorator, use, and return a JSON-serializable object::

from jsonview.decorators import json_view

def my_view(request):
return {
'foo': 'bar',

`Class-based views`_ (CBVs) can either use Django's
``@method_decorator`` or can wrap the output of ``.as_view()``::

from django.utils.decorators import method_decorator
from jsonview.decorators import json_view

class MyView(View):
def dispatch(self, *args, **kwargs):
return super(MyView, self).dispatch(*args, **kwargs)

# or, in URLconf

patterns = [
url(r'^/my-view/$', json_view(MyView.as_view())),

Content Types

If you need to return a content type other than the standard
``application/json``, you can specify that in the decorator with the
``content_type`` argument, for example::

from jsonview.decorators import json_view

def myview(request):
return {'foo': 'bar'}

The response will have the appropriate content type header.

Return Values

The default case is to serialize your return value and respond with HTTP
200 and a Content-Type of ``application/json``.

The ``@json_view`` decorator will handle many exceptions and other
cases, including:

* ``Http404``
* ``PermissionDenied``
* ``HttpResponseNotAllowed`` (e.g. ``require_GET``, ``require_POST``)
* ``jsonview.exceptions.BadRequest`` (see below)
* Any other exception (logged to ``django.request``).

Any of these exceptions will return the correct status code (i.e., 404,
403, 405, 400, 500) a Content-Type of ``application/json``, and a
response body that looks like::

'error': STATUS_CODE,
'message': str(exception),

.. note::

As of v0.4, application exceptions do **not** behave this way if
``DEBUG = False``. When ``DEBUG = False``, the ``message`` value is
always ``An error occurred``. When ``DEBUG = True``, the exception
message is sent back.


HTTP does not have a great status code for "you submitted a form that
didn't validate," and so Django doesn't support it very well. Most
examples just return 200 OK.

Normally, this is fine. But if you're submitting a form via Ajax, it's
nice to have a distinct status for "OK" and "Nope." The HTTP 400 Bad
Request response is the fallback for issues with a request
not-otherwise-specified, so let's do that.

To cause ``@json_view`` to return a 400, just raise a
``jsonview.exceptions.BadRequest`` with whatever appropriate error


If your view raises an exception, ``@json_view`` will catch the
exception, log it to the normal ``django.request`` logger_, and return a
JSON response with a status of 500 and a body that looks like the
exceptions in the `Return Values`_ section.

.. note::

Because the ``@json_view`` decorator handles the exception instead of
propagating it, any exception middleware will **not** be called, and
any response middleware **will** be called.

Status Codes

If you need to return a different HTTP status code, just return two
values instead of one. The first is your serializable object, the second
is the integer status code::

def myview(request):
if not request.user.is_subscribed():
# Send a 402 Payment Required status.
return {'subscribed': False}, 402
# Send a 200 OK.
return {'subscribed': True}

Extra Headers

You can add custom headers to the response by returning a tuple of three
values: an object, a status code, and a dictionary of headers.


def myview(request):
return {}, 200, {'X-Server': 'myserver'}

Custom header values may be overwritten by response middleware.

Raw Return Values

To make it possible to cache JSON responses as strings (and because they
aren't JSON serializable anyway) if you return an ``HttpResponse``
object (or subclass) it will be passed through unchanged, e.g.::

from django import http
from jsonview.decorators import JSON

def caching_view(request):
kached = cache.get('cache-key')
if kached:
return http.HttpResponse(kached, content_type=JSON)
# Assuming something else populates this cache.
return {'complicated': 'object'}

.. note::

``@require_POST`` and the other HTTP method decorators work by
*returning* a response, rather than *raising*, an an exception, so
``HttpResponseNotAllowed`` is handled specially.

Alternative JSON Implementations

There is a healthy collection of JSON parsing and generating libraries
out there. By default, it will use the old standby, the stdlib ``json``
module. But, if you'd rather use ujson_, or cjson_ or yajl_, you should
go for it. Just add this to your Django settings::

JSON_MODULE = 'ujson'

Anything, as long as it's a module that has ``.loads()`` and ``.dumps()``

Configuring JSON Output

.. versionadded:: 0.5

Additional keyword arguments can be passed to ``json.dumps()`` via the
``JSON_OPTIONS = {}`` Django setting. For example, to pretty-print JSON

'indent': 4,

Or to compactify it::

'separators': (',', ':'),

jsonview uses ``DjangoJSONEncoder`` by default. To use a different JSON
encoder, use the ``cls`` option::

'cls': '',

``JSON_OPTIONS['cls']`` may be a dotted string or a ``JSONEncoder``

.. versionchanged:: 1.0

**If you are using a JSON module that does not support the ``cls``
kwarg**, such as ujson, set the ``cls`` option to ``None``::

'cls': None,

Default value of content-type is 'application/json'. You can change it
via the ``JSON_DEFAULT_CONTENT_TYPE`` Django settings. For example, to
add charset::

JSON_DEFAULT_CONTENT_TYPE = 'application/json; charset=utf-8'

Atomic Requests

Because ``@json_view`` catches exceptions, the normal Django setting
``ATOMIC_REQUESTS`` does not correctly cause a rollback. This can be
worked around by explicitly setting ``@transaction.atomic`` *below* the
``@json_view`` decorator, e.g.::

def my_func(request):
# ...


`Pull requests`_ and issues_ welcome! I ask two simple things:

- Tests, including the new ones you added, must pass. (See below.)
- Coverage should not drop below 100. You can install ``coverage`` with
pip and run ``./ coverage`` to check.
- The ``flake8`` tool should not return any issues.

Running Tests

To run the tests, you probably want to create a virtualenv_, then
install Django and Mock with ``pip``::

pip install Django==${DJANGO_VERSION} mock==1.0.1

Then run the tests with::

./ test

.. _logger:
.. _Pull requests:
.. _issues:
.. _virtualenv:
.. _ujson:
.. _cjson:
.. _yajl:
.. _Class-based views:
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