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A minimalistic Django forum app

Project description


Yet another Django forum app.

It is simple and more suited for an internal team use (like a company’s extranet) than for big public communities. By the way all the view are restricted at less to authenticated users, there is no access for anonymous.

Message content is actually raw text with break line split into paragraph with no escaping, it is planned to use a markup like RST.


  • Have categories that contains threads that contains messages;
  • Have thread watches: users can subscribe to receive email notification for each new message in a thread;
  • Have thread sticky mode and announce mode;
  • i18n usage for the interface;
  • Use RestructuredText from docutils as markup syntax for messages;
  • Global or ‘per object’ moderation on categories, threads and messages;



Add it to your installed apps in settings :


Add its settings (in your project settings) :

from forum.settings import *

(Also you can override some of its settings, see forum.settings).

Add django-guardian settings (see its doc for more details) :

    'django.contrib.auth.backends.ModelBackend', # this is default


Then register autobreadcrumbs context processor in settings :


Finally mount its urls and add the autobreadcrumbs autodiscover in your main :

import autobreadcrumbs

urlpatterns = patterns('',
    (r'^forum/', include('forum.urls', namespace='forum')),

About autobreadcrumbs

If you don’t want to use it you have two choices :

  • Simply ignore it, it will be used for automatic page titles but just override forum’s base template to remove it;
  • If you don’t install it, you will have to remove it from your settings and urls, then overrides all forum’s template that use its tags;



The forum make usage of django-guardian to manage ‘per object permissions’ or ‘global permissions’.

Actually you need to use the Django admin and be a staff user with the right permissions for managing forum objects to add these permissions for your users.

And so, you can add the needed permissions globally to the whole forum within each user accounts. Or you can add a permission for a specific object its edit page using the link named Object permissions.

  • Users with forum.add_category permissions can create categories;
  • All users can create a new thread;
  • All users can add a new message to a thread that is visible and not closed;
  • Users with forum.moderate_category can edit them and can manage (edit, delete) their threads parameters and messages. They are called Category moderators;
  • Users with forum.moderate_thread can edit thread parameters, edit thread messages and delete thread messages. They are called Thread moderators;
  • Users have permission to edit their own message if settings.FORUM_OWNER_MESSAGE_CAN_EDIT is True;

Others Category’s and Thread’s model permissions have no roles on frontend.

Permission error response

Permission error is rendered though a 403.html template that is allready embedded within this app, you can override it in your project with adding your custom 403.html template in your project templates directory.

Also you can use another template name, you will have to define its name in settings.GUARDIAN_TEMPLATE_403 (yes, this is setting from django-guardian, see its doc for more details).

Thread watch

Users can subscribe to watch for new messages on a thread and so they can receive notifications about them.

When a new message is posted on a thread, all users that have subscribed to the thread watch will receive a email except for the message author. settings.FORUM_EMAIL_SENDER will be used to send emails if defined, else settings.DEFAULT_FROM_EMAIL will be used instead.

You can change the email subject and content templates used to build the emails :

  • forum/threadwatch_email_subject.txt for the subject;
  • forum/threadwatch_email_content.txt for the content;

These templates receive a context with some variables :

  • SITE : the current Site (from the Django “sites” framework);
  • thread_instance : the thread instance where the message has been posted;
  • post_instance : the message instance that have been posted;

Create your own email sender for notifications

This is working with Django signals, when a new thread message is created, a signal is sended and a receiver is listen to them. The receiver will receive a signal containing some arguments about the message and the thread watchs so it can be used to send email notifications.

The signals usage in this process enables you to make your own receiver to send notifications with your specific email provider/sender or even on another message system (irc, jabber, whatever..).

Default behavior is to use forum.signals.new_message_posted_receiver that use simple Django email sending and generally it should fit to your needs.

However if you need to have your own receiver, just define the Python path to it, remember that it should be a callable respecting the defined kwargs and avoid to import Forum models in your code as it will make a circular import error.

An example in your settings to use your own receiver :

FORUM_NEW_POST_SIGNAL = 'myproject.signals.mycallback'

And a receiver example :

def new_message_posted_receiver(sender, **kwargs):
    message = kwargs['post_instance']
    threadwatchs = kwargs['threadwatchs']

    print "New message #{0} has been posted on thread:".format(, message.thread

    for item in threadwatchs:
        print "*", item, "for", item.owner

See forum.signals.new_message_posted_receiver to have a real example and don’t forget to read about signals in the Django documentation.

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