django

directory-structure

organization

project-structure

I know there is actually no single right way. However I've found that it's hard to create a directory structure that works well and remain clean for every developer and administrator. There is some standard structure in most projects on github. But it does not show a way to organize another files and all projects on pc.

What is the most convenient way to organize all these directories on development machine? How do you name them, and how do you connect and deploy this to server?

  • projects (all projects that your are working on)
  • source files (the application itself)
  • working copy of repository (I use git)
  • virtual environment (I prefer to place this near the project)
  • static root (for compiled static files)
  • media root (for uploaded media files)
  • README
  • LICENSE
  • documents
  • sketches
  • examples (an example project that uses the application provided by this project)
  • database (in case sqlite is used)
  • anything else that you usually need for successful work on project

The problems that I want to solve:

  • Good names of directories so that their purpose is clear.
  • Keeping all project files (including virtualenv) in one place, so I can easily copy, move, archive, remove whole project or estimate disk space usage.
  • Creating multiple copies of some selected file sets such as entire application, repository or virtualenv, while keeping single copy of another files that I don't want to clone.
  • Deploying right set of files to the server simply by rsyncing selected one dir.

Solution 1

There're two kind of Django "projects" that I have in my ~/projects/ directory, both have a bit different structure.:

  • Stand-alone websites
  • Pluggable applications

Stand-alone website

Mostly private projects, but doesn't have to be. It usually looks like this:

~/projects/project_name/

docs/               # documentation
scripts/
  manage.py         # installed to PATH via setup.py
project_name/       # project dir (the one which django-admin.py creates)
  apps/             # project-specific applications
    accounts/       # most frequent app, with custom user model
    __init__.py
    ...
  settings/         # settings for different environments, see below
    __init__.py
    production.py
    development.py
    ...
        
  __init__.py       # contains project version
  urls.py
  wsgi.py
static/             # site-specific static files
templates/          # site-specific templates
tests/              # site-specific tests (mostly in-browser ones)
tmp/                # excluded from git
setup.py
requirements.txt
requirements_dev.txt
pytest.ini
...

Settings

The main settings are production ones. Other files (eg. staging.py, development.py) simply import everything from production.py and override only necessary variables.

For each environment, there are separate settings files, eg. production, development. I some projects I have also testing (for test runner), staging (as a check before final deploy) and heroku (for deploying to heroku) settings.

Requirements

I rather specify requirements in setup.py directly. Only those required for development/test environment I have in requirements_dev.txt.

Some services (eg. heroku) requires to have requirements.txt in root directory.

setup.py

Useful when deploying project using setuptools. It adds manage.py to PATH, so I can run manage.py directly (anywhere).

Project-specific apps

I used to put these apps into project_name/apps/ directory and import them using relative imports.

Templates/static/locale/tests files

I put these templates and static files into global templates/static directory, not inside each app. These files are usually edited by people, who doesn't care about project code structure or python at all. If you are full-stack developer working alone or in a small team, you can create per-app templates/static directory. It's really just a matter of taste.

The same applies for locale, although sometimes it's convenient to create separate locale directory.

Tests are usually better to place inside each app, but usually there is many integration/functional tests which tests more apps working together, so global tests directory does make sense.

Tmp directory

There is temporary directory in project root, excluded from VCS. It's used to store media/static files and sqlite database during development. Everything in tmp could be deleted anytime without any problems.

Virtualenv

I prefer virtualenvwrapper and place all venvs into ~/.venvs directory, but you could place it inside tmp/ to keep it together.

Project template

I've created project template for this setup, django-start-template

Deployment

Deployment of this project is following:

source $VENV/bin/activate
export DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE=project_name.settings.production
git pull
pip install -r requirements.txt

# Update database, static files, locales
manage.py syncdb  --noinput
manage.py migrate
manage.py collectstatic --noinput
manage.py makemessages -a
manage.py compilemessages

# restart wsgi
touch project_name/wsgi.py

You can use rsync instead of git, but still you need to run batch of commands to update your environment.

Recently, I made django-deploy app, which allows me to run single management command to update environment, but I've used it for one project only and I'm still experimenting with it.

Sketches and drafts

Draft of templates I place inside global templates/ directory. I guess one can create folder sketches/ in project root, but haven't used it yet.

Pluggable application

These apps are usually prepared to publish as open-source. I've taken example below from django-forme

~/projects/django-app/

docs/
app/
tests/
example_project/
LICENCE
MANIFEST.in
README.md
setup.py
pytest.ini
tox.ini
.travis.yml
...

Name of directories is clear (I hope). I put test files outside app directory, but it really doesn't matter. It is important to provide README and setup.py, so package is easily installed through pip.

Solution 2

My answer is inspired on my own working experience, and mostly in the book Two Scoops of Django which I highly recommend, and where you can find a more detailed explanation of everything. I just will answer some of the points, and any improvement or correction will be welcomed. But there also can be more correct manners to achieve the same purpose.

Projects
I have a main folder in my personal directory where I maintain all the projects where I am working on.

Source Files
I personally use the django project root as repository root of my projects. But in the book is recommended to separate both things. I think that this is a better approach, so I hope to start making the change progressively on my projects.

project_repository_folder/
    .gitignore
    Makefile
    LICENSE.rst
    docs/
    README.rst
    requirements.txt
    project_folder/
        manage.py
        media/
        app-1/
        app-2/
        ...
        app-n/
        static/
        templates/
        project/
            __init__.py
            settings/
                __init__.py
                base.py
                dev.py
                local.py
                test.py
                production.py
            ulrs.py
            wsgi.py

Repository
Git or Mercurial seem to be the most popular version control systems among Django developers. And the most popular hosting services for backups GitHub and Bitbucket.

Virtual Environment
I use virtualenv and virtualenvwrapper. After installing the second one, you need to set up your working directory. Mine is on my /home/envs directory, as it is recommended on virtualenvwrapper installation guide. But I don't think the most important thing is where is it placed. The most important thing when working with virtual environments is keeping requirements.txt file up to date.

pip freeze -l > requirements.txt 

Static Root
Project folder

Media Root
Project folder

README
Repository root

LICENSE
Repository root

Documents
Repository root. This python packages can help you making easier mantaining your documentation:

Sketches

Examples

Database

Solution 3

I don't like to create a new settings/ directory. I simply add files named settings_dev.py and settings_production.py so I don't have to edit the BASE_DIR. The approach below increase the default structure instead of changing it.

mysite/                   # Project
    conf/
        locale/
            en_US/
            fr_FR/
            it_IT/
    mysite/
        __init__.py
        settings.py
        settings_dev.py
        settings_production.py
        urls.py
        wsgi.py
    static/
        admin/
            css/           # Custom back end styles
        css/               # Project front end styles
        fonts/
        images/
        js/
        sass/
    staticfiles/
    templates/             # Project templates
        includes/
            footer.html
            header.html
        index.html
    myapp/                 # Application
        core/
        migrations/
            __init__.py
        templates/         # Application templates
            myapp/
                index.html
        static/
            myapp/
                js/  
                css/
                images/
        __init__.py
        admin.py
        apps.py
        forms.py
        models.py
        models_foo.py
        models_bar.py
        views.py
    templatetags/          # Application with custom context processors and template tags
        __init__.py
        context_processors.py
        templatetags/
            __init__.py
            templatetag_extras.py
    gulpfile.js
    manage.py
    requirements.txt

I think this:

    settings.py
    settings_dev.py
    settings_production.py

is better than this:

    settings/__init__.py
    settings/base.py
    settings/dev.py
    settings/production.py

This concept applies to other files as well.


I usually place node_modules/ and bower_components/ in the project directory within the default static/ folder.

Sometime a vendor/ directory for Git Submodules but usually I place them in the static/ folder.

Solution 4

As per the Django Project Skeleton, the proper directory structure that could be followed is :

[projectname]/                  <- project root
 [projectname]/              <- Django root
    __init__.py
    settings/
       common.py
       development.py
       i18n.py
       __init__.py
       production.py
    urls.py
    wsgi.py
 apps/
    __init__.py
 configs/
    apache2_vhost.sample
    README
 doc/
    Makefile
    source/
        *snap*
 manage.py
 README.rst
 run/
    media/
       README
    README
    static/
        README
 static/
    README
 templates/
     base.html
     core
        login.html
     README

Refer https://django-project-skeleton.readthedocs.io/en/latest/structure.html for the latest directory structure.

Solution 5

Here is what I follow on My system.

  1. All Projects: There is a projects directory in my home folder i.e. ~/projects. All the projects rest inside it.

  2. Individual Project: I follow a standardized structure template used by many developers called django-skel for individual projects. It basically takes care of all your static file and media files and all.

  3. Virtual environment: I have a virtualenvs folder inside my home to store all virtual environments in the system i.e. ~/virtualenvs . This gives me flexibility that I know what all virtual environments I have and can look use easily

The above 3 are the main partitions of My working environment.

All the other parts you mentioned are mostly dependent on project to project basis (i.e. you might use different databases for different projects). So they should reside in their individual projects.

Solution 6

You can use https://github.com/Mischback/django-project-skeleton repository.

Run below command:

$ django-admin startproject --template=https://github.com/Mischback/django-project-skeleton/archive/development.zip [projectname]

The structure is something like this:

[projectname]/                  <- project root
 [projectname]/              <- Django root
    __init__.py
    settings/
       common.py
       development.py
       i18n.py
       __init__.py
       production.py
    urls.py
    wsgi.py
 apps/
    __init__.py
 configs/
    apache2_vhost.sample
    README
 doc/
    Makefile
    source/
        *snap*
 manage.py
 README.rst
 run/
    media/
       README
    README
    static/
        README
 static/
    README
 templates/
     base.html
     core
        login.html
     README