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Django-tribune is a chat-like application

Project description


This Django app is a chat-like application with some aspects of IRC but with a strong usage of message clocks.

Message clocks are always displayed and used in message to reference answer or relation with other messages.

A sample part of Tribune messages will look like this in a plain-text version :

16:15:27     <superman>            First
16:16:13     Anonymous coward      16:15:27 oh no you don't !
16:15:27     <superman>            16:16:13 lier !
18:39:01     Mozilla/5.0           Hello world !
18:39:05     <superman>            18:39:01 hello
18:43:22     Anonymous coward      18:39:01 yo

The application has a rich interface but is also accessible from third client application (via a XML backend) and even in plain text.


  • Easy embedding in your Django webapp;
  • Various backends Formats;
  • Action commands;
  • Message filtering usually called a BaK;
  • A rich interface (currently in development);
  • Full localization for french and english language;
  • Discovery XML configuration file for third client applications (aka remote client or coincoins);
  • Channel support;
  • Heavily documented.


  • Finalized interface :
    • Done Refresh backend using a timer;
    • Done Checkbox to disable/enable the automatic refresh;
    • Done Ajax post;
    • Done Action commands (name and lastfm);
    • Done Mussle and user casting (moules< and an_username<);
    • Done Smileys display;
    • Done Partial channel support;
    • Done Simple clock and messages highlights;
    • Done Owner marks;
    • Done Error notices;
    • Done Rollover display for clocks pointing message out of the screen;
    • Editable settings;
  • Done Remote views (JSON and maybe XML too) to get messages targeted on a given clock;
  • Optional Captcha system to post new message to enable in settings;


  • texttable (used to display plain-text backends);


Just register the app in your project settings like this :


Then after you should register the app urls in your project :

url(r'^tribune/', include('djangotribune.urls')),

Of course you can use another mounting directory than the default tribune/ or even use your own app urls, look at the provided djangotribune.urls to see what you have to map.

And finally don’t forget to do the Django’s syncdb command to synchronise models in your database.

If needed you can change some Application settings in your settings file.


The recommended database engine is PostgreSQL. With SQLite you could have problems because the application makes usage of case-insensitive matching notably in Message filtering.


The tribune can either be used from the web interface or via remote client applications.

Message backends

Backends are available with various formats, each format has its own specificity. Generally, JSON is for webapp usage, XML for remote clients and Plain for some nerdz.


Very light, use the raw message, ascendant ordered by default. Url path from the tribune is remote/ for backend and post/ for post view.
Very fast, use the remote message render, descendant ordered by default. Url path from the tribune is remote/xml/ for backend and post/xml/ for post view.
The XML version extended to suit to old tribune application client. Currently the only diff is the XML structure wich is indented. Url path from the tribune is remote/xml/crap/ for backend and post/xml/crap/ for post view.
Very declarative, use the web message render, descendant ordered by default. Url path from the tribune is remote/json/ for backend and post/json/ for post view.


For channel backend and post urls you must prepend the path with the channel slug, by example with a channel slug foo for the XML backend you will need to do foo/remote/xml/.

Url arguments

On backend URLs, you can set somes options by adding URL arguments like this :

An integer to specify how much message can be retrieved, this value cannot be higher than the setting value TRIBUNE_MESSAGES_MAX_LIMIT. Default value come from setting TRIBUNE_MESSAGES_MAX_LIMIT if this option is not specified.
Message listing direction specify if the list should be ordered on id in ascendant or descendant way. Value can be asc for ascendant or desc for descendant. Each backend can has its own default direction.

The last id from wich to retrieve the messages in the interval of the limit option.

For example, with a tribune with 42 messages numbered (on their id) from 1 to 42, and with default limit to 30 :

  • Requesting a backend without any option will return messages from id 13 to 42;
  • Requesting a backend with option limit to 10, will return messages from id 33 to 42;
  • Requesting a backend with option last_id to 15 will return messages from id 16 to 42;
  • Requesting a backend with option limit to 5 and option last_id to 15 will return messages from id 38 to 42;

No matter what direction you specify in option, the results will stay identical.

Message post

From web interface

The web interface implements all features, just use the input field at the bottom of the message list to post a new message and it will be appended. The interface performs a periodical request on the remote backend to display any new message.

If your message is not validated, the input field will be displayed with red borders, the borders will be hidded just after a new validated post.

Actually, the only option you can manage is the Active refresh than you can disable to avoid any periodical request on the remote backend. But if you disable it and you post a new message, there will still be a POST request that will refresh the message list.

From remote client applications

Remote clients can send a new message directly within a POST request and putting the content in a content argument. Validated messages return the last updated backend (from the knowed last id). Unvalid message return an Http error.

Url arguments options can be given for the POST request and they will be used for the returned backend in success case.

In fact, remote client applications should always give the last_id option (taken from the last message they know just before sending the POST request) to receive only messages they didn’t know (and not the whole backend).

Dealing with errors
  • This is not really an error, but remote backend return a Http304 (NotModified) when you try to fetch a backend where they are no new message;
  • If the POST request is invalidated (with the form) the returned response will be a Http400 (Bad Request) with an explanation in Ascii;
  • A Http404 is returned when you try to use a channel remote backend that doesn’t exists;
  • You could receive a Http500 (Internal Server Error) in case of bugs or bad configured server;
  • Sometimes you can receive a Http403 if you try to use a restricted command but there are not implemented yet.

Action commands

Action commands can be passed in message content, generally this results in doing the action without saving a new message although some actions can push a message to save.

All action command must start with a / followed (without any separator) by the action name and then the action arguments if any. Unvalid action command will often result in saving the content as a new message.


This allows anonymous users to display a custom name instead of their User-Agent in messages.

Name saving is made by a special cookie, so if the user loses or deletes his cookie, he loses his custom name.

Add new ua :

/name My name is bond

Remove the saved ua :


Note that this name will only be directly visible for anonymous user, because registered users have their username displayed, but the name (or user-agent) is visible on mouseover their username. This is behavior is only on HTML board, remote clients have their own behaviors.


This command use the LastFM API to automatically post a musical instant for the current track played. This works only the current track played, not the last recent track played.

You should specify an username in argument within the action, it will be used as the username account on LastFM from where to search the current track.

Generally, you will do like this :

/lastfm instant myname

But if you are authenticated on the tribune and your username is the same as on your LastFM account, you can do like this :

/lastfm instant

This will result in a message like this :

====> Moment Artist - Title <====
Intended for users to manage their message filters, see Message filtering for a full explanation.

Message filtering

All users (registred and anonymous) can manage their own entries for filtering messages on various pattern. These filters are stored in the user session in an object called BaK as Boîte à Kons (eg: Idiots box) which is persistent in your session.

That being so an user can lose his session (by a very long inactivity or when logged out) so there are option to save the filters in your BaK in your profile in database then after you can load them in your session when needed.

There is two ways to manage filters from your bak :

  • You can use the easy way which always assumes you use an exact pattern, this is the purpose of options add and del than expects only two arguments, a target and the pattern;
  • Or you can use the verbose way which expects three arguments respectively the target, the kind and the pattern, this is the purpose of options set and remove;

Available arguments


The part of the message which will be used to apply the filter, available targets are :

  • ua for the user-agent;
  • author for the author username only effective for messages from registered used;
  • message for the message in his raw version (as it was posted).

The kind of matching filter that will be used. Only used in the verbose way options, for the easy way this is always forced to an exact matching.

Kinds are written like operators, the available kinds are :

  • *= for Case-sensitive containment test;
  • |= for Case-insensitive containment test;
  • == for Case-sensitive exact match;
  • ~= for Case-insensitive exact match;
  • ^= for Case-sensitive starts-with;
  • $= for Case-sensitive ends-with.
The pattern to match by the filter. This is a simple string and not a regex pattern. You can use space in your pattern without quoting it.

Options details


The easy way to add a new filter. This requires two arguments, the target and the pattern like that :

/bak add author Badboy

The easy way to drop a filter. This requires two arguments, the target and the pattern that you did have used, like that :

/bak del author Badboy

The verbose way to add a new filter. This requires three arguments, the target, the kind operator and the pattern like that :

/bak set author == Badboy

The verbose way to drop a filter. This requires three arguments, the target, the kind operator and the pattern like that :

/bak remove author == Badboy

To save your current filters in your session to your profile in database, this works only for registered users.

Saving your filters will overwrite all your previous saved filters, so if you just want to add new filters, load the previously saved filters before.

This is option does not require any argument :

/bak save

To load your previously saved filters in your current session. If you allready have filters in your current session this will overwrite them.

This is option does not requires any argument :

/bak load

To enable message filtering using your filters in current session. A new session have message filtering enabled by default.

This is option does not requires any argument :

/bak on

To disable message filtering using your filters in current session. The filters will not be dropped out of your session so you can enable them after if needed.

This is option does not requires any argument :

/bak off

To clear all your filters in current session. You can use this option followed after by a save action to clear your saved filters too.

This is option does not requires any argument :

/bak reset


Messages filters will not be retroactive on displays on remote clients, only for new message to come after your command actions. So generally you will have to reload your client to see applied filters on messages posted before your command actions.


You want to avoid displaying message from the registered user BadBoy, you will do :

/bak add author Badboy

You want to avoid displaying all message containing a reference to you will do :

/bak set message *=

You want to avoid displaying message from all user with an user-agent from Mozilla :

/bak set ua *= Mozilla

Application settings

All default app settings are located in the file of djangotribune, you can modify them in your project settings.


All app settings are overwritten if present in your project settings with the exception of dict variables. This is to be remembered when you want to add a new entry in a list variable, you will have to copy the default version in your settings with the new entry otherwise default variable will be lost.


When set to True all anonymous users will be rejected from any request on remote views, post views and board views, only registred users will continue to access to these views.

By default this is set to False so anonymous and registred users have full access to any public views.


Default message limit to display in backend.

Requires an integer, by default this is set to 50.


The maximum value allowed for the message limit option. Limit option used beyond this will be set to this maximum value.

Requires an integer, by default this is set to 100.


Maximum length (in characters) for the content message.

Require an integer, by default this is set to 500. You have no real limit on this value because this is stored in full text field without limit.


Template string for smileys URL, this is where you can set the wanted smiley host. By default this is set to :{0}.gif

So the host will be


List of titles randomly displayed on tribune boards.

The default one allready contains many titles.

The URL to use to request the LastFM API used within lastfm action command.
The Application key to use for on requests made to LastFM API.
The default time in milli-seconds between each backend refresh request on the interface.


Discovery files describes the needed configuration to use a tribune with third client applications.

They are simple XML files for describe configuration to access to the remote backend and to post new message, plus some other options and parameters.

You can access them at location /discovery.config under the path of the tribune, so for the default tribune this is usually :


And for a channel with the slug name “foo”, it will be :


Internationalization and localization

This application make usage of the Django internationalization system, see the Django documentation about this if you want to add a new language translation.

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