AJAX, django signals, and class based awesomeness.

AJAX, django signals, and class based view awesomeness.

I’ve started using a combination of class based views and signals that is very powerful and extensible.

A personalized class based view base class

I’ve set up a BaseView class in my project which inherits from django.views.generic.base.View that sets sensible defaults for my AJAX classes.

For example, I have an AJAXBaseView class which defines four attributes: errors, messages, data, and success. It also has a response_data property that formats the data in a specific way for my JavaScript.

This setup ensures I use the same format for my ajax responses across my project.

    class AJAXBaseView(View):
    	def __init__(self, *args, **kwargs):
    		super(BaseView, self).__init__(*args, **kwargs)
    		# set sensible default class instance attributes.
    		self.errors = []
    		self.messages = []
    		self.data = {}
    		self.success = False

    	def response_data(self):
    		Format response data
    		return {
    			'success': self.success,
    			'errors': self.errors,
    			'data': self.data,
    			'messages': self.messages,
    class MyAJAXView(AJAXBaseView):
        def get(self, request):
            some_signal.send(sender=MyAJAXView, instance=self) 
            # modifies instance.errors/messages
            return http.HttpResponse(json.dumps(self.response_data))

It also works great with signals since I always pass the view class to the signal. The signal can directly modify the instance error/message/data attributes, and the view will automatically format the data to our ajax format.

Access to the request object in class based view initialization

I was looking for a good place for the equivalent of __init__ with access to the request object that I could override. I found it in the dispatch method.

Since I generally don’t override it, it’s a great and DRY place for some base class code.

class CartBaseView(BaseView):
	def get_cart_from_request(self, request):
        # magically get cart
        return magic_cart
	def dispatch(self, request, *args, **kwargs):
		self.cart = self.get_cart_from_request(request)
		return super(CartBaseView, self).dispatch(request, *args, **kwargs)
class ViewCartView(CartBaseView):
    def get(self, request):
        print self.cart
        # sweet!
    def post(self, request):
        print self.cart

Class based views are extremely powerful and I’m loving them.

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