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A Django app to build activity, news and notification feeds.

Project description

Stream Django

build PyPI version

stream-django is a Django client for Stream, it supports Django from 1.11 up to and including 4.0 using Python 2.7 and 3.4, 3.5, 3.6+.

You can sign up for a Stream account at

Note there is also a lower level Python - Stream integration library which is suitable for all Python applications.

Build activity streams & news feeds

Examples of what you can build

You can build:

  • Activity streams such as seen on Github
  • A twitter style newsfeed
  • A feed like instagram/ pinterest
  • Facebook style newsfeeds
  • A notification system

Example apps

You can check out our example apps built using this library (you can deploy them directly to Heroku with 1 click):

Table of Contents


Install stream_django package with pip:

pip install stream_django

add stream_django to your INSTALLED_APPS


STREAM_API_KEY = 'my_api_key'
STREAM_API_SECRET = 'my_api_secret_key'

Login with Github on and add STREAM_API_KEY and STREAM_API_SECRET to your Django settings module (you can find them in the dashboard).

Model integration

Stream Django can automatically publish new activities to your feed. Simple mixin the Activity class on the models you want to publish.

from stream_django.activity import Activity

class Tweet(models.Model, Activity):

class Like(models.Model, Activity):

Every time a Tweet is created it will be added to the user's feed. Users which follow the given user will also automatically get the new tweet in their feeds.

Activity fields

Models are stored in feeds as activities. An activity is composed of at least the following fields: actor, verb, object, time. You can also add more custom data if needed. The Activity mixin will try to set things up automatically:

object is a reference to the model instance actor is a reference to the user attribute of the instance verb is a string representation of the class name

By default the actor field will look for an attribute called user or actor and a field called created_at to track creation time. If you're user field is called differently you'll need to tell us where to look for it. Below shows an example how to set things up if your user field is called author.

class Tweet(models.Model, Activity):
    created_at = models.DateTimeField(auto_now_add=True)
    author = models.ForeignKey(settings.AUTH_USER_MODEL, on_delete=models.CASCADE)

    def activity_actor_attr(self):

Activity extra data

Often you'll want to store more data than just the basic fields. You achieve this by implementing the extra_activity_data method in the model.

NOTE: you should only return data that json.dumps can handle (datetime instances are supported too).

class Tweet(models.Model, Activity):

    def extra_activity_data(self):
        return {'is_retweet': self.is_retweet }

Feed manager

Django Stream comes with a feed_manager class that helps with all common feed operations.

Feeds bundled with feed_manager

To get you started the manager has 4 feeds pre configured. You can add more feeds if your application needs it. The three feeds are divided in three categories.

User feed:

The user feed stores all activities for a user. Think of it as your personal Facebook page. You can easily get this feed from the manager.

from stream_django.feed_manager import feed_manager

News feeds:

The news feeds (or timelines) store the activities from the people you follow. There is both a simple timeline newsfeed (similar to twitter) and an aggregated version (like facebook).

timeline = feed_manager.get_news_feeds(user_id)['timeline']
timeline_aggregated = feed_manager.get_news_feeds(user_id)['timeline_aggregated']
Notification feed:

The notification feed can be used to build notification functionality.

Notification feed

Below we show an example of how you can read the notification feed.

notification_feed = feed_manager.get_notification_feed(user_id)

By default the notification feed will be empty. You can specify which users to notify when your model gets created. In the case of a retweet you probably want to notify the user of the parent tweet.

class Tweet(models.Model, Activity):

    def activity_notify(self):
        if self.is_retweet and !=
            target_feed = feed_manager.get_notification_feed(self.parent_tweet.author_id)
            return [target_feed]

Another example would be following a user. You would commonly want to notify the user which is being followed.

class Follow(models.Model, Activity):

    def activity_notify(self):
        return [feed_manager.get_notification_feed(]

Follow a feed

To create the newsfeeds you need to notify the system about follow relationships. The manager comes with APIs to let a user's news feeds follow another user's feed. This code lets the current user's timeline and timeline_aggregated feeds follow the target_user's personal feed.

feed_manager.follow_user(, target_user)

Showing the newsfeed

Activity enrichment

When you read data from feeds, a like activity will look like this:

{'actor': 'core.User:1', 'verb': 'like', 'object': 'core.Like:42'}

This is far from ready for usage in your template. We call the process of loading the references from the database enrichment. An example is shown below:

from stream_django.enrich import Enrich

enricher = Enrich()
feed = feed_manager.get_feed('timeline',
activities = feed.get(limit=25)['results']
enriched_activities = enricher.enrich_activities(activities)


Now that you've enriched the activities you can render the template. For convenience we include the render activity template tag:

{% load activity_tags %}

{% for activity in activities %}
    {% render_activity activity %}
{% endfor %}

The render_activity template tag will render the template activity/[aggregated]/[verb].html with the activity as context.

For example activity/tweet.html will be used to render an normal activity with verb tweet

{{ }} said "{{ activity.object.body }} {{ activity.created_at|timesince }} ago"

and activity/aggregated/like.html for an aggregated activity with verb like

{{ activity.actor_count }} user{{ activity.actor_count|pluralize }} liked {% render_activity activity.activities.0 %}

If you need to support different kind of templates for the same activity, you can send a third parameter to change the template selection.

The example below will use the template activity/[aggregated]/homepage_%(verb)s.html

{% render_activity activity 'homepage' %}


STREAM_API_KEY Your stream site api key. Default ''

STREAM_API_SECRET Your stream site api key secret. Default ''

STREAM_LOCATION The location API endpoint the client will connect to. Eg: STREAM_LOCATION='us-east'

STREAM_TIMEOUT The connection timeout (in seconds) for the API client. Default 6.0

STREAM_FEED_MANAGER_CLASS The path to the feed manager class. Default 'stream_django.managers.FeedManager'

STREAM_USER_FEED The name of the feed (as it is configured in your Dasboard) where activities are stored. Default 'user'

STREAM_NEWS_FEEDS The name of the news feed (as they are configured in your Dasboard) where activities from followed feeds are stored. Default {'timeline':'timeline', 'timeline_aggregated':'timeline_aggregated'}

STREAM_NOTIFICATION_FEED The name of the feed (as it is configured in your Dasboard) where activity notifications are stored. Default 'notification'

STREAM_DISABLE_MODEL_TRACKING Disable automatic tracking of Activity models. Default False

Temporarily disabling the signals

Model synchronization is disabled during schema/data migrations runs, syncdb and fixture loading (and during django test runs). You can completely disable feed publishing via the STREAM_DISABLE_MODEL_TRACKING django setting.

Customizing enrichment

Sometimes you'll want to customize how enrichment works. The documentation will show you several common options.

Enrich extra fields

If you store references to model instances in the activity extra_data you can use the Enrich class to take care of it for you

from stream_django.activity import create_model_reference

class Tweet(models.Model, Activity):

    def extra_activity_data(self):
        ref = create_model_reference(self.parent_tweet)
        return {'parent_tweet': ref }

# instruct the enricher to enrich actor, object and parent_tweet fields
enricher = Enrich(fields=['actor', 'object', 'parent_tweet'])
feed = feed_manager.get_feed('timeline',
activities = feed.get(limit=25)['results']
enriched_activities = enricher.enrich_activities(activities)

Change how models are retrieved

The enrich class that comes with the packages tries to minimise the amount of database queries. The models are grouped by their class and then retrieved with a pk__in query. You can implement a different approach to retrieve the instances of a model subclassing the stream_django.enrich.Enrich class.

To change the retrieval for every model you should override the fetch_model_instances method; in alternative you can change how certain models' are retrieved by implementing the hook function fetch_<model_name>_instances

class MyEnrich(Enrich):
    Overwrites how model instances are fetched from the database

    def fetch_model_instances(self, modelClass, pks):
        returns a dict {id:modelInstance} with instances of model modelClass
        and pk in pks

class AnotherEnrich(Enrich):
    Overwrites how Likes instances are fetched from the database

    def fetch_like_instances(self, pks):
        return { l for l in Like.objects.cached_likes(ids)}

Preload related data

You will commonly access related objects such as activity['object'].user. To prevent your newsfeed to run N queries you can instruct the manager to load related objects. The manager will use Django's select_related functionality. (

class Tweet(models.Model, Activity):

    def activity_related_models(cls):
        return ['user']

Full documentation and Low level APIs access

When needed you can also use the low level Python API directly. Documentation is available at the Stream website.

from stream_django.client import stream_client

special_feed = stream_client.feed('special:42')

Copyright and License Information

Copyright (c) 2014-2022 Inc, and individual contributors. All rights reserved.

See the file "LICENSE" for information on the history of this software, terms & conditions for usage, and a DISCLAIMER OF ALL WARRANTIES.

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