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Automatic updates for portions of templates with {% updateable %} tag

Project description


django-updateable adds template tags to automatically update parts of pages via AJAX.


You can use pip to install:

pip install django-updateable


After installing django-updateable you must change a few settings in your

  • Add updateable to INSTALLED_APPS

  • Add updateable.middleware.UpdateableMiddleware to MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES

  • Be sure to use the django.core.context_processors.request in your TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS


Add updateable.js to the pages where you use updateable, e.g. <script src="{% static "updateable.js" %}"></script>. Load the tags in your template, {% load updateable %}. Wrap the parts of you template you would like to update automatically in {% updateable %} and {% endupdateable %} tags.

Example template

{% load staticfiles updateable %}

<!doctype html>
    <script src='{% static 'updateable.js' %}'></script>
  <h1>Static header</h1>
  {% updateable %}
    The time is {% now 'H:i:s' %}
  {% endupdateable %}

The time will be updated with 3 second intervals.

Supported platforms

django-updateable has been tested with Django 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5 on Python 2.7 and with Django 1.5 on Python 2.6.

It has been tested on the latest version of Chrome (26) and Firefox (20). It works with IE8 and up. If you need support for earlier versions of Internet Explorer you can use this JavaScript file which depends on jQuery.

Implementation details

The content in a {% updateable %} template tag is wrapped in a <div> element that contains data attributes with a unique ID and an MD5 hash of the content. Every AJAX request contains the IDs and hashes of the updateable blocks on the page along with a GET variable that triggers the UpdateableMiddleware to return only the parts of the page that have been updated (the MD5 sum is used to decide which parts contain content that has changed).

A new dictionary object is created on the request object (request._updateable) that contains data for the UpdateableMiddleware and the UpdateableNode (in the template). The name of this object can be configured in the settings.

Advanced settings

Optional settings in

  • UPDATEABLE_REQUEST_OBJECT The name of the dictionary object that is created on the request object. Defaults to '_updateable'

  • UPDATEABLE_GET_VARIABLE Configures the name of the GET variable that triggers UpdateableMiddleware to intercept the response and return only the updated parts of the page. See getVariable in the JavaScript settings. Defaults to 'update'

Optional template tag setting:

  • {% updateable [tagname] %} The given tagname is used for the enclosing element around the contents inside the updateable template tag. Defaults to div

Optional JavaScript settings:

  • getVariable The name of the GET variable that triggers the UpdateableMiddleware. See UPDATEABLE_GET_VARIABLES Defaults to 'update'

  • timeout Milliseconds between AJAX calls. Defaults to 3000

  • callback A function that is called for each DOM object that is replaced. The context of the function is the newly added DOM object. Defaults to an empty function

The JavaScript settings are read from a global object (on the window object) called updateableSettings. Example:

    updateableSettings = {
      timeout: 5000,
      callback: function() {
  <script src='{% static 'updateable.js' %}'></script>

Usage with jQuery Mobile

django-updateable began life in a project that used jQuery Mobile. When the content is updated it is necessary to call trigger('create') on the new DOM element, so the following updateableSettings can be useful in those circumstances:

updateableSettings = {
  callback: function() {

Release history


Bugfix: IDs of updateable segments that started with numbers caused a bug in the Javascript. Many thanks to edtanous!


Bugfixes, and jQuery is no longer a dependency (except for old browsers).


Initial release.

Project details

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django-updateable-0.2.1.tar.gz (5.4 kB view hashes)

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