almost flat pages

pip install django-infranil==1.1.0



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Infranil can be thought of as TemplateView on steroids. It allows you to servce up a directory of Django templates with a minimum of ceremony and configuration.


Sometimes you just have some random pages that need to be part of your application. Nothing complicated, just some good old HTML for the most part. No real structure, just miscellaneous additional content that needs to sit alongside your main application functionality.

A CMS like Mezzanine or Wagtail would do the job, but seems like a lot of overhead to pull in for a couple basic pages. There isn't any real, consistent structure to these pages, so automatically generating navigation won't help much; you'll end up manually overriding more of the CMS functionality than you use.

Flatpages might work. But maybe the pages have just a bit more complicated markup and javascript in them than you're comfortable editing through a textarea. And maybe the nature of these pages really lend themselves to being files on disk managed by version control rather than stored in your database.

You could make an 'html' directory in your static media and have them served straight from there. But maybe you really want just a little bit of dynamicism; you've already got a nice base template with your site's overall styling and it would be nice to be able to inherit from that. Or you want access to the request.user so you can keep your global navbar working on the pages. Or you've got a custom templatetag that provides some functionality that would be really nice to have here.

At this point, you'll probably start using Django's built-in TemplateView and set up a bunch of them in your If it's just a handful, that's fine. Too many and it becomes a chore, especially if you're mainly a designer rather than a programmer and the parts of Django outside of templates are a little frightening and confusing. Now you're missing the good/bad old days of simple PHP apps where you just drop a file in a directory and pull it up in a browser, sprinkling in a bit of dynamic functionality just where you need it.

This is what Infranil is for. You set up one URL route pointing at a directory of simple templates and it does the rest.

Basic Usage

$ pip install django-infranil

Add infranil to your INSTALLED_APPS.

In your, you add:

from infranil.views import InfranilView
url(r'^infranil/(?P<path>.*)$', InfranilView.as_view()),

Make an infranil directory in your project's templates directory. In there, add a foo.html file with normal Django template syntax. Now you can access that page at /infranil/foo/. Bob's your uncle.


There are only a couple rules that you'll need to keep in mind to understand how Infranil maps URL paths to files in your template directory.

First, when the URL has a path like foo/, Infranil will first look for foo.html. If it doesn't find that, it will look for foo/index.html. If it doesn't find either of those, you get a 404. Additional subdirectories are OK and follow normal rules. foo/bar/baz/' will map tofoo/bar/baz.htmlor foo/bar/baz/index.html`.

Obviously, the .html extension doesn't go in the URL. File extensions really have no place in modern web app URLs.

The only other thing to know is that Infranil is also very restrictive on what characters you can have in the filename. This is mainly to avoid any security issues where, eg an attacker might try to request ../../../etc/passwd or otherwise break out of the designated template directory and get your app to serve up files that it shouldn't.

So, to make sure that can't happen. Infranil allows only alphanumerics, hyphens, and forward slashes in the URL/filenames. Anything else is stripped out automatically. This is really in line with best practices for naming files on unix systems anyway.

You can also override the base template directory when you instantiate the view:


This is particularly handy if you want to have multiple Infranil instances at different paths:


Of course, InfranilView is a basic Django class-based view, so you can subclass it, combine it with mixins, etc.


Infranil combined with django-flatblocks is a powerful combination. If they're both set up, you've got the basics of a rudimentary CMS with full control over which parts are user-editable through the web and which parts are designer controlled and in version control.


Yeah, the name is super nerdy. I had the idea for this library when pondering the solution space of flatblocks and flatpages. An 'infranil manifold' in Riemannian Geometry is an "almost flat" manifold.