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Support different frontend templates/statics on same instance

Project description

django layers

This package provides support for "layers" of templates and static resources
that can be selecting depending on the request context.

WARNING: The API documented below may change significantly before version 1.0


Using layers you can provide alternative sets of templates ("skins")
depending on different contexts. For example, using the same CMS you
can, from a single code base, host different frontend designs, have
a different visitor/admin frontend, do A/B testing, etc.

All of this within the same instance (so no separate instances each running
with their own configuration)


pip/easy_install this package, django_layers

Then add 'layers.middleware.LayerLoaderMiddleware' to your


Also, add 'layers.loader.LayerLoader' to your TEMPLATE_LOADERS, e.g.


Optionally, if you have separate collections of static resources for each layer,
add 'layers.finders.AppLayerFinder' as the first STATICFILE_FINDERS:

# ...

and define which layers you have and where they need to be collected to

'visitor-a':STATIC_ROOT + '/visitor-a',
'visitor-b':STATIC_ROOT + '/visitor-b'

Now you can start using layers.

Create the same templates as before but in stead (or on top of) storing them
in your package's templates folder, store them in a folder called

E.g. you could have


This creates two layers, "visitor-a" and "visitor-b" and a fallback if no
layer is selected.

Additionally, create a file "" with a function "get_layers" that
will return the layer to be used, e.g.

def get_layer(request):
if request.get_host().startswith("a."):
return "visitor-a"
if request.get_host().startswith("b."):
return "visitor-b"

You can do anything you like in the "get_layer" callable, as long as you return
a layer or nothing.

When requesting Django to render the template "mypackage/foo.html", it will
render any of the three templates above depending on the request context (the
hostname used).

Configuration per layer

You can also provide some global shared configuration per layer. Since all
layers will share the same, it's not possible to use that for
layer specific configuration.

You can do this by defining a 'get_config' method in your package's
file. This will simply return a dict containing the layer specific data for
each layer.


def get_config():
return {'visitor-a': dict(site_id=1, mailto=''),
'visitor-b': dict(site_id=2, mailto='')

You can then access the current layer's configuration using 'get_current_layer':

from layers.middleware import get_current_layer

def myview(request):
layer = get_current_layer()
return SomeModel.objects.filter(site_id=layer['site_id'])

Static resources per layer

You can store your per-layer statics in any app installed in your application
in the layers/<layer>/<layername>/statics folder, e.g. you could have


A request for /static/css/foo.css will result in visitor-a/static/css/foo.css
if the visitor-a layer is active, it will result in visitor-b/static/css/foo.css
if the visitor-b layer is active or in mypackage/static/css/foo.css otherwise.

Static resources are served by the django 'runserver' command or by a webserver
running in front of your application.

django_layers provides an upgraded 'runserver' command that knows which static
resources to serve depending on the active layer. It also comes with a
'collectlayers' command that collects the layers into distinct staticfolders,
similar to how 'collectstatic' works. Which layer is collected where is defined
by the 'LAYERS' setting.

E.g. given the previous LAYERS definition

python collectlayers

will collect the global static resources and visitor-a specific resources into
STATIC_ROOT + '/visitor-a' and another copy of the global static resources
and visitor-b specific resources into STATIC_ROOT + '/visitor-b'

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