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  1====================================================
  2The Django template language: For Python programmers
  3====================================================
  4
  5This document explains the Django template system from a technical
  6perspective -- how it works and how to extend it. If you're just looking for
  7reference on the language syntax, see :doc:`/topics/templates`.
  8
  9If you're looking to use the Django template system as part of another
 10application -- i.e., without the rest of the framework -- make sure to read
 11the `configuration`_ section later in this document.
 12
 13.. _configuration: `configuring the template system in standalone mode`_
 14
 15Basics
 16======
 17
 18A **template** is a text document, or a normal Python string, that is marked-up
 19using the Django template language. A template can contain **block tags** or
 20**variables**.
 21
 22A **block tag** is a symbol within a template that does something.
 23
 24This definition is deliberately vague. For example, a block tag can output
 25content, serve as a control structure (an "if" statement or "for" loop), grab
 26content from a database or enable access to other template tags.
 27
 28Block tags are surrounded by ``"{%"`` and ``"%}"``.
 29
 30Example template with block tags:
 31
 32.. code-block:: html+django
 33
 34    {% if is_logged_in %}Thanks for logging in!{% else %}Please log in.{% endif %}
 35
 36A **variable** is a symbol within a template that outputs a value.
 37
 38Variable tags are surrounded by ``"{{"`` and ``"}}"``.
 39
 40Example template with variables:
 41
 42.. code-block:: html+django
 43
 44    My first name is {{ first_name }}. My last name is {{ last_name }}.
 45
 46A **context** is a "variable name" -> "variable value" mapping that is passed
 47to a template.
 48
 49A template **renders** a context by replacing the variable "holes" with values
 50from the context and executing all block tags.
 51
 52Using the template system
 53=========================
 54
 55.. class:: django.template.Template
 56
 57Using the template system in Python is a two-step process:
 58
 59    * First, you compile the raw template code into a ``Template`` object.
 60    * Then, you call the ``render()`` method of the ``Template`` object with a
 61      given context.
 62
 63Compiling a string
 64------------------
 65
 66The easiest way to create a ``Template`` object is by instantiating it
 67directly. The class lives at :class:`django.template.Template`. The constructor
 68takes one argument -- the raw template code::
 69
 70    >>> from django.template import Template
 71    >>> t = Template("My name is {{ my_name }}.")
 72    >>> print t
 73    <django.template.Template instance>
 74
 75.. admonition:: Behind the scenes
 76
 77    The system only parses your raw template code once -- when you create the
 78    ``Template`` object. From then on, it's stored internally as a "node"
 79    structure for performance.
 80
 81    Even the parsing itself is quite fast. Most of the parsing happens via a
 82    single call to a single, short, regular expression.
 83
 84Rendering a context
 85-------------------
 86
 87.. method:: render(context)
 88
 89Once you have a compiled ``Template`` object, you can render a context -- or
 90multiple contexts -- with it. The ``Context`` class lives at
 91:class:`django.template.Context`, and the constructor takes two (optional)
 92arguments:
 93
 94    * A dictionary mapping variable names to variable values.
 95
 96    * The name of the current application. This application name is used
 97      to help :ref:`resolve namespaced URLs<topics-http-reversing-url-namespaces>`.
 98      If you're not using namespaced URLs, you can ignore this argument.
 99
100Call the ``Template`` object's ``render()`` method with the context to "fill" the
101template::
102
103    >>> from django.template import Context, Template
104    >>> t = Template("My name is {{ my_name }}.")
105
106    >>> c = Context({"my_name": "Adrian"})
107    >>> t.render(c)
108    "My name is Adrian."
109
110    >>> c = Context({"my_name": "Dolores"})
111    >>> t.render(c)
112    "My name is Dolores."
113
114Variable names must consist of any letter (A-Z), any digit (0-9), an underscore
115or a dot.
116
117Dots have a special meaning in template rendering. A dot in a variable name
118signifies a **lookup**. Specifically, when the template system encounters a
119dot in a variable name, it tries the following lookups, in this order:
120
121    * Dictionary lookup. Example: ``foo["bar"]``
122    * Attribute lookup. Example: ``foo.bar``
123    * List-index lookup. Example: ``foo[bar]``
124
125The template system uses the first lookup type that works. It's short-circuit
126logic. Here are a few examples::
127
128    >>> from django.template import Context, Template
129    >>> t = Template("My name is {{ person.first_name }}.")
130    >>> d = {"person": {"first_name": "Joe", "last_name": "Johnson"}}
131    >>> t.render(Context(d))
132    "My name is Joe."
133
134    >>> class PersonClass: pass
135    >>> p = PersonClass()
136    >>> p.first_name = "Ron"
137    >>> p.last_name = "Nasty"
138    >>> t.render(Context({"person": p}))
139    "My name is Ron."
140
141    >>> t = Template("The first stooge in the list is {{ stooges.0 }}.")
142    >>> c = Context({"stooges": ["Larry", "Curly", "Moe"]})
143    >>> t.render(c)
144    "The first stooge in the list is Larry."
145
146If any part of the variable is callable, the template system will try calling
147it. Example::
148
149    >>> class PersonClass2:
150    ...     def name(self):
151    ...         return "Samantha"
152    >>> t = Template("My name is {{ person.name }}.")
153    >>> t.render(Context({"person": PersonClass2}))
154    "My name is Samantha."
155
156.. versionchanged:: 1.3
157    Previously, only variables that originated with an attribute lookup would
158    be called by the template system. This change was made for consistency
159    across lookup types.
160
161Callable variables are slightly more complex than variables which only require
162straight lookups. Here are some things to keep in mind:
163
164    * If the variable raises an exception when called, the exception will be
165      propagated, unless the exception has an attribute
166      ``silent_variable_failure`` whose value is ``True``. If the exception
167      *does* have a ``silent_variable_failure`` attribute whose value is
168      ``True``, the variable will render as an empty string. Example::
169
170        >>> t = Template("My name is {{ person.first_name }}.")
171        >>> class PersonClass3:
172        ...     def first_name(self):
173        ...         raise AssertionError("foo")
174        >>> p = PersonClass3()
175        >>> t.render(Context({"person": p}))
176        Traceback (most recent call last):
177        ...
178        AssertionError: foo
179
180        >>> class SilentAssertionError(Exception):
181        ...     silent_variable_failure = True
182        >>> class PersonClass4:
183        ...     def first_name(self):
184        ...         raise SilentAssertionError
185        >>> p = PersonClass4()
186        >>> t.render(Context({"person": p}))
187        "My name is ."
188
189      Note that :exc:`django.core.exceptions.ObjectDoesNotExist`, which is the
190      base class for all Django database API ``DoesNotExist`` exceptions, has
191      ``silent_variable_failure = True``. So if you're using Django templates
192      with Django model objects, any ``DoesNotExist`` exception will fail
193      silently.
194
195    * A variable can only be called if it has no required arguments. Otherwise,
196      the system will return an empty string.
197
198    * Obviously, there can be side effects when calling some variables, and
199      it'd be either foolish or a security hole to allow the template system
200      to access them.
201
202      A good example is the :meth:`~django.db.models.Model.delete` method on
203      each Django model object. The template system shouldn't be allowed to do
204      something like this::
205
206        I will now delete this valuable data. {{ data.delete }}
207
208      To prevent this, set an ``alters_data`` attribute on the callable
209      variable. The template system won't call a variable if it has
210      ``alters_data=True`` set. The dynamically-generated
211      :meth:`~django.db.models.Model.delete` and
212      :meth:`~django.db.models.Model.save` methods on Django model objects get
213      ``alters_data=True`` automatically. Example::
214
215        def sensitive_function(self):
216            self.database_record.delete()
217        sensitive_function.alters_data = True
218
219.. _invalid-template-variables:
220
221How invalid variables are handled
222~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
223
224Generally, if a variable doesn't exist, the template system inserts the
225value of the :setting:`TEMPLATE_STRING_IF_INVALID` setting, which is set to
226``''`` (the empty string) by default.
227
228Filters that are applied to an invalid variable will only be applied if
229:setting:`TEMPLATE_STRING_IF_INVALID` is set to ``''`` (the empty string). If
230:setting:`TEMPLATE_STRING_IF_INVALID` is set to any other value, variable
231filters will be ignored.
232
233This behavior is slightly different for the ``if``, ``for`` and ``regroup``
234template tags. If an invalid variable is provided to one of these template
235tags, the variable will be interpreted as ``None``. Filters are always
236applied to invalid variables within these template tags.
237
238If :setting:`TEMPLATE_STRING_IF_INVALID` contains a ``'%s'``, the format marker will
239be replaced with the name of the invalid variable.
240
241.. admonition:: For debug purposes only!
242
243    While :setting:`TEMPLATE_STRING_IF_INVALID` can be a useful debugging tool,
244    it is a bad idea to turn it on as a 'development default'.
245
246    Many templates, including those in the Admin site, rely upon the
247    silence of the template system when a non-existent variable is
248    encountered. If you assign a value other than ``''`` to
249    :setting:`TEMPLATE_STRING_IF_INVALID`, you will experience rendering
250    problems with these templates and sites.
251
252    Generally, :setting:`TEMPLATE_STRING_IF_INVALID` should only be enabled
253    in order to debug a specific template problem, then cleared
254    once debugging is complete.
255
256Playing with Context objects
257----------------------------
258
259.. class:: django.template.Context
260
261Most of the time, you'll instantiate ``Context`` objects by passing in a
262fully-populated dictionary to ``Context()``. But you can add and delete items
263from a ``Context`` object once it's been instantiated, too, using standard
264dictionary syntax::
265
266    >>> c = Context({"foo": "bar"})
267    >>> c['foo']
268    'bar'
269    >>> del c['foo']
270    >>> c['foo']
271    ''
272    >>> c['newvariable'] = 'hello'
273    >>> c['newvariable']
274    'hello'
275
276.. method:: pop()
277.. method:: push()
278.. exception:: django.template.ContextPopException
279
280A ``Context`` object is a stack. That is, you can ``push()`` and ``pop()`` it.
281If you ``pop()`` too much, it'll raise
282``django.template.ContextPopException``::
283
284    >>> c = Context()
285    >>> c['foo'] = 'first level'
286    >>> c.push()
287    >>> c['foo'] = 'second level'
288    >>> c['foo']
289    'second level'
290    >>> c.pop()
291    >>> c['foo']
292    'first level'
293    >>> c['foo'] = 'overwritten'
294    >>> c['foo']
295    'overwritten'
296    >>> c.pop()
297    Traceback (most recent call last):
298    ...
299    django.template.ContextPopException
300
301.. method:: update(other_dict)
302
303In addition to ``push()`` and ``pop()``, the ``Context``
304object also defines an ``update()`` method. This works like ``push()``
305but takes a dictionary as an argument and pushes that dictionary onto
306the stack instead of an empty one.
307
308    >>> c = Context()
309    >>> c['foo'] = 'first level'
310    >>> c.update({'foo': 'updated'})
311    {'foo': 'updated'}
312    >>> c['foo']
313    'updated'
314    >>> c.pop()
315    {'foo': 'updated'}
316    >>> c['foo']
317    'first level'
318
319Using a ``Context`` as a stack comes in handy in some custom template tags, as
320you'll see below.
321
322.. _subclassing-context-requestcontext:
323
324Subclassing Context: RequestContext
325-----------------------------------
326
327.. class:: django.template.RequestContext
328
329Django comes with a special ``Context`` class,
330``django.template.RequestContext``, that acts slightly differently than the
331normal ``django.template.Context``. The first difference is that it takes an
332:class:`~django.http.HttpRequest` as its first argument. For example::
333
334    c = RequestContext(request, {
335        'foo': 'bar',
336    })
337
338The second difference is that it automatically populates the context with a few
339variables, according to your :setting:`TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS` setting.
340
341The :setting:`TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS` setting is a tuple of callables --
342called **context processors** -- that take a request object as their argument
343and return a dictionary of items to be merged into the context. By default,
344:setting:`TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS` is set to::
345
346    ("django.contrib.auth.context_processors.auth",
347    "django.core.context_processors.debug",
348    "django.core.context_processors.i18n",
349    "django.core.context_processors.media",
350    "django.core.context_processors.static",
351    "django.contrib.messages.context_processors.messages")
352
353.. versionadded:: 1.2
354   In addition to these, ``RequestContext`` always uses
355   ``django.core.context_processors.csrf``.  This is a security
356   related context processor required by the admin and other contrib apps, and,
357   in case of accidental misconfiguration, it is deliberately hardcoded in and
358   cannot be turned off by the :setting:`TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS` setting.
359
360.. versionadded:: 1.2
361   The ``'messages'`` context processor was added.  For more information, see
362   the :doc:`messages documentation </ref/contrib/messages>`.
363
364.. versionchanged:: 1.2
365    The auth context processor was moved in this release from its old location
366    ``django.core.context_processors.auth`` to
367    ``django.contrib.auth.context_processors.auth``.
368
369Each processor is applied in order. That means, if one processor adds a
370variable to the context and a second processor adds a variable with the same
371name, the second will override the first. The default processors are explained
372below.
373
374.. admonition:: When context processors are applied
375
376    When you use ``RequestContext``, the variables you supply directly
377    are added first, followed any variables supplied by context
378    processors. This means that a context processor may overwrite a
379    variable you've supplied, so take care to avoid variable names
380    which overlap with those supplied by your context processors.
381
382Also, you can give ``RequestContext`` a list of additional processors, using the
383optional, third positional argument, ``processors``. In this example, the
384``RequestContext`` instance gets a ``ip_address`` variable::
385
386    def ip_address_processor(request):
387        return {'ip_address': request.META['REMOTE_ADDR']}
388
389    def some_view(request):
390        # ...
391        c = RequestContext(request, {
392            'foo': 'bar',
393        }, [ip_address_processor])
394        return HttpResponse(t.render(c))
395
396.. note::
397    If you're using Django's ``render_to_response()`` shortcut to populate a
398    template with the contents of a dictionary, your template will be passed a
399    ``Context`` instance by default (not a ``RequestContext``). To use a
400    ``RequestContext`` in your template rendering, pass an optional third
401    argument to ``render_to_response()``: a ``RequestContext``
402    instance. Your code might look like this::
403
404        def some_view(request):
405            # ...
406            return render_to_response('my_template.html',
407                                      my_data_dictionary,
408                                      context_instance=RequestContext(request))
409
410Here's what each of the default processors does:
411
412django.contrib.auth.context_processors.auth
413~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
414
415If :setting:`TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS` contains this processor, every
416``RequestContext`` will contain these three variables:
417
418    * ``user`` -- An ``auth.User`` instance representing the currently
419      logged-in user (or an ``AnonymousUser`` instance, if the client isn't
420      logged in).
421
422    * ``messages`` -- A list of messages (as strings) that have been set
423      via the :doc:`messages framework </ref/contrib/messages>`.
424
425    * ``perms`` -- An instance of
426      ``django.contrib.auth.context_processors.PermWrapper``, representing the
427      permissions that the currently logged-in user has.
428
429.. versionchanged:: 1.2
430    This context processor was moved in this release from
431    ``django.core.context_processors.auth`` to its current location.
432
433.. versionchanged:: 1.2
434   Prior to version 1.2, the ``messages`` variable was a lazy accessor for
435   ``user.get_and_delete_messages()``. It has been changed to include any
436   messages added via the :doc:`messages framework </ref/contrib/messages>`.
437
438.. versionchanged:: 1.3
439    Prior to version 1.3, ``PermWrapper`` was located in
440    ``django.contrib.auth.context_processors``.
441
442
443django.core.context_processors.debug
444~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
445
446If :setting:`TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS` contains this processor, every
447``RequestContext`` will contain these two variables -- but only if your
448:setting:`DEBUG` setting is set to ``True`` and the request's IP address
449(``request.META['REMOTE_ADDR']``) is in the :setting:`INTERNAL_IPS` setting:
450
451    * ``debug`` -- ``True``. You can use this in templates to test whether
452      you're in :setting:`DEBUG` mode.
453    * ``sql_queries`` -- A list of ``{'sql': ..., 'time': ...}`` dictionaries,
454      representing every SQL query that has happened so far during the request
455      and how long it took. The list is in order by query.
456
457django.core.context_processors.i18n
458~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
459
460If :setting:`TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS` contains this processor, every
461``RequestContext`` will contain these two variables:
462
463    * ``LANGUAGES`` -- The value of the :setting:`LANGUAGES` setting.
464    * ``LANGUAGE_CODE`` -- ``request.LANGUAGE_CODE``, if it exists. Otherwise,
465      the value of the :setting:`LANGUAGE_CODE` setting.
466
467See :doc:`/topics/i18n/index` for more.
468
469django.core.context_processors.media
470~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
471
472If :setting:`TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS` contains this processor, every
473``RequestContext`` will contain a variable ``MEDIA_URL``, providing the
474value of the :setting:`MEDIA_URL` setting.
475
476django.core.context_processors.static
477~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
478
479.. versionadded:: 1.3
480
481If :setting:`TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS` contains this processor, every
482``RequestContext`` will contain a variable ``STATIC_URL``, providing the
483value of the :setting:`STATIC_URL` setting.
484
485django.core.context_processors.csrf
486~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
487
488.. versionadded:: 1.2
489
490This processor adds a token that is needed by the ``csrf_token`` template tag
491for protection against :doc:`Cross Site Request Forgeries </ref/contrib/csrf>`.
492
493django.core.context_processors.request
494~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
495
496If :setting:`TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS` contains this processor, every
497``RequestContext`` will contain a variable ``request``, which is the current
498:class:`~django.http.HttpRequest`. Note that this processor is not enabled by default;
499you'll have to activate it.
500
501django.contrib.messages.context_processors.messages
502~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
503
504If :setting:`TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS` contains this processor, every
505``RequestContext`` will contain a single additional variable:
506
507    * ``messages`` -- A list of messages (as strings) that have been set
508      via the user model (using ``user.message_set.create``) or through
509      the :doc:`messages framework </ref/contrib/messages>`.
510
511.. versionadded:: 1.2
512   This template context variable was previously supplied by the ``'auth'``
513   context processor.  For backwards compatibility the ``'auth'`` context
514   processor will continue to supply the ``messages`` variable until Django
515   1.4.  If you use the ``messages`` variable, your project will work with
516   either (or both) context processors, but it is recommended to add
517   ``django.contrib.messages.context_processors.messages`` so your project
518   will be prepared for the future upgrade.
519
520Writing your own context processors
521~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
522
523A context processor has a very simple interface: It's just a Python function
524that takes one argument, an :class:`~django.http.HttpRequest` object, and
525returns a dictionary that gets added to the template context. Each context
526processor *must* return a dictionary.
527
528Custom context processors can live anywhere in your code base. All Django cares
529about is that your custom context processors are pointed-to by your
530:setting:`TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS` setting.
531
532Loading templates
533-----------------
534
535Generally, you'll store templates in files on your filesystem rather than using
536the low-level ``Template`` API yourself. Save templates in a directory
537specified as a **template directory**.
538
539Django searches for template directories in a number of places, depending on
540your template-loader settings (see "Loader types" below), but the most basic
541way of specifying template directories is by using the :setting:`TEMPLATE_DIRS`
542setting.
543
544The TEMPLATE_DIRS setting
545~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
546
547Tell Django what your template directories are by using the
548:setting:`TEMPLATE_DIRS` setting in your settings file. This should be set to a
549list or tuple of strings that contain full paths to your template
550directory(ies). Example::
551
552    TEMPLATE_DIRS = (
553        "/home/html/templates/lawrence.com",
554        "/home/html/templates/default",
555    )
556
557Your templates can go anywhere you want, as long as the directories and
558templates are readable by the Web server. They can have any extension you want,
559such as ``.html`` or ``.txt``, or they can have no extension at all.
560
561Note that these paths should use Unix-style forward slashes, even on Windows.
562
563.. _ref-templates-api-the-python-api:
564
565The Python API
566~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
567
568Django has two ways to load templates from files:
569
570.. function:: django.template.loader.get_template(template_name)
571
572    ``get_template`` returns the compiled template (a ``Template`` object) for
573    the template with the given name. If the template doesn't exist, it raises
574    ``django.template.TemplateDoesNotExist``.
575
576.. function:: django.template.loader.select_template(template_name_list)
577
578    ``select_template`` is just like ``get_template``, except it takes a list
579    of template names. Of the list, it returns the first template that exists.
580
581For example, if you call ``get_template('story_detail.html')`` and have the
582above :setting:`TEMPLATE_DIRS` setting, here are the files Django will look for,
583in order:
584
585    * ``/home/html/templates/lawrence.com/story_detail.html``
586    * ``/home/html/templates/default/story_detail.html``
587
588If you call ``select_template(['story_253_detail.html', 'story_detail.html'])``,
589here's what Django will look for:
590
591    * ``/home/html/templates/lawrence.com/story_253_detail.html``
592    * ``/home/html/templates/default/story_253_detail.html``
593    * ``/home/html/templates/lawrence.com/story_detail.html``
594    * ``/home/html/templates/default/story_detail.html``
595
596When Django finds a template that exists, it stops looking.
597
598.. admonition:: Tip
599
600    You can use ``select_template()`` for super-flexible "templatability." For
601    example, if you've written a news story and want some stories to have
602    custom templates, use something like
603    ``select_template(['story_%s_detail.html' % story.id, 'story_detail.html'])``.
604    That'll allow you to use a custom template for an individual story, with a
605    fallback template for stories that don't have custom templates.
606
607Using subdirectories
608~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
609
610It's possible -- and preferable -- to organize templates in subdirectories of
611the template directory. The convention is to make a subdirectory for each
612Django app, with subdirectories within those subdirectories as needed.
613
614Do this for your own sanity. Storing all templates in the root level of a
615single directory gets messy.
616
617To load a template that's within a subdirectory, just use a slash, like so::
618
619    get_template('news/story_detail.html')
620
621Using the same :setting:`TEMPLATE_DIRS` setting from above, this example
622``get_template()`` call will attempt to load the following templates:
623
624    * ``/home/html/templates/lawrence.com/news/story_detail.html``
625    * ``/home/html/templates/default/news/story_detail.html``
626
627.. _template-loaders:
628
629Loader types
630~~~~~~~~~~~~
631
632By default, Django uses a filesystem-based template loader, but Django comes
633with a few other template loaders, which know how to load templates from other
634sources.
635
636Some of these other loaders are disabled by default, but you can activate them
637by editing your :setting:`TEMPLATE_LOADERS` setting. :setting:`TEMPLATE_LOADERS`
638should be a tuple of strings, where each string represents a template loader
639class. Here are the template loaders that come with Django:
640
641.. versionchanged:: 1.2
642    Template loaders were based on callables (usually functions) before Django
643    1.2, starting with the 1.2 release there is a new class-based API, all the
644    loaders described below implement this new API.
645
646``django.template.loaders.filesystem.Loader``
647    Loads templates from the filesystem, according to :setting:`TEMPLATE_DIRS`.
648    This loader is enabled by default.
649
650``django.template.loaders.app_directories.Loader``
651    Loads templates from Django apps on the filesystem. For each app in
652    :setting:`INSTALLED_APPS`, the loader looks for a ``templates``
653    subdirectory. If the directory exists, Django looks for templates in there.
654
655    This means you can store templates with your individual apps. This also
656    makes it easy to distribute Django apps with default templates.
657
658    For example, for this setting::
659
660        INSTALLED_APPS = ('myproject.polls', 'myproject.music')
661
662    ...then ``get_template('foo.html')`` will look for templates in these
663    directories, in this order:
664
665        * ``/path/to/myproject/polls/templates/foo.html``
666        * ``/path/to/myproject/music/templates/foo.html``
667
668    Note that the loader performs an optimization when it is first imported: It
669    caches a list of which :setting:`INSTALLED_APPS` packages have a
670    ``templates`` subdirectory.
671
672    This loader is enabled by default.
673
674``django.template.loaders.eggs.Loader``
675    Just like ``app_directories`` above, but it loads templates from Python
676    eggs rather than from the filesystem.
677
678    This loader is disabled by default.
679
680``django.template.loaders.cached.Loader``
681    By default, the templating system will read and compile your templates every
682    time they need to be rendered. While the Django templating system is quite
683    fast, the overhead from reading and compiling templates can add up.
684
685    The cached template loader is a class-based loader that you configure with
686    a list of other loaders that it should wrap. The wrapped loaders are used to
687    locate unknown templates when they are first encountered. The cached loader
688    then stores the compiled ``Template`` in memory. The cached ``Template``
689    instance is returned for subsequent requests to load the same template.
690
691    For example, to enable template caching with the ``filesystem`` and
692    ``app_directories`` template loaders you might use the following settings::
693
694        TEMPLATE_LOADERS = (
695            ('django.template.loaders.cached.Loader', (
696                'django.template.loaders.filesystem.Loader',
697                'django.template.loaders.app_directories.Loader',
698            )),
699        )
700
701    .. note::
702        All of the built-in Django template tags are safe to use with the cached
703        loader, but if you're using custom template tags that come from third
704        party packages, or that you wrote yourself, you should ensure that the
705        ``Node`` implementation for each tag is thread-safe. For more
706        information, see
707        :ref:`template tag thread safety considerations<template_tag_thread_safety>`.
708
709    This loader is disabled by default.
710
711Django uses the template loaders in order according to the
712:setting:`TEMPLATE_LOADERS` setting. It uses each loader until a loader finds a
713match.
714
715The ``render_to_string`` shortcut
716===================================
717
718.. function:: django.template.loader.render_to_string(template_name, dictionary=None, context_instance=None)
719
720To cut down on the repetitive nature of loading and rendering
721templates, Django provides a shortcut function which largely
722automates the process: ``render_to_string()`` in
723:mod:`django.template.loader`, which loads a template, renders it and
724returns the resulting string::
725
726    from django.template.loader import render_to_string
727    rendered = render_to_string('my_template.html', { 'foo': 'bar' })
728
729The ``render_to_string`` shortcut takes one required argument --
730``template_name``, which should be the name of the template to load
731and render (or a list of template names, in which case Django will use
732the first template in the list that exists) -- and two optional arguments:
733
734    dictionary
735        A dictionary to be used as variables and values for the
736        template's context. This can also be passed as the second
737        positional argument.
738
739    context_instance
740        An instance of ``Context`` or a subclass (e.g., an instance of
741        ``RequestContext``) to use as the template's context. This can
742        also be passed as the third positional argument.
743
744See also the :func:`~django.shortcuts.render_to_response()` shortcut, which
745calls ``render_to_string`` and feeds the result into an :class:`~django.http.HttpResponse`
746suitable for returning directly from a view.
747
748Configuring the template system in standalone mode
749==================================================
750
751.. note::
752
753    This section is only of interest to people trying to use the template
754    system as an output component in another application. If you're using the
755    template system as part of a Django application, nothing here applies to
756    you.
757
758Normally, Django will load all the configuration information it needs from its
759own default configuration file, combined with the settings in the module given
760in the :envvar:`DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE` environment variable. But if you're
761using the template system independently of the rest of Django, the environment
762variable approach isn't very convenient, because you probably want to configure
763the template system in line with the rest of your application rather than
764dealing with settings files and pointing to them via environment variables.
765
766To solve this problem, you need to use the manual configuration option described
767in :ref:`settings-without-django-settings-module`. Simply import the appropriate
768pieces of the templating system and then, *before* you call any of the
769templating functions, call :func:`django.conf.settings.configure()` with any
770settings you wish to specify. You might want to consider setting at least
771:setting:`TEMPLATE_DIRS` (if you're going to use template loaders),
772:setting:`DEFAULT_CHARSET` (although the default of ``utf-8`` is probably fine)
773and :setting:`TEMPLATE_DEBUG`. All available settings are described in the
774:doc:`settings documentation </ref/settings>`, and any setting starting with
775``TEMPLATE_`` is of obvious interest.
776
777.. _topic-template-alternate-language:
778
779Using an alternative template language
780======================================
781
782.. versionadded:: 1.2
783
784The Django ``Template`` and ``Loader`` classes implement a simple API for
785loading and rendering templates. By providing some simple wrapper classes that
786implement this API we can use third party template systems like `Jinja2
787<http://jinja.pocoo.org/2/>`_ or `Cheetah <http://www.cheetahtemplate.org/>`_. This
788allows us to use third-party template libraries without giving up useful Django
789features like the Django ``Context`` object and handy shortcuts like
790``render_to_response()``.
791
792The core component of the Django templating system is the ``Template`` class.
793This class has a very simple interface: it has a constructor that takes a single
794positional argument specifying the template string, and a ``render()`` method
795that takes a :class:`~django.template.Context` object and returns a string
796containing the rendered response.
797
798Suppose we're using a template language that defines a ``Template`` object with
799a ``render()`` method that takes a dictionary rather than a ``Context`` object.
800We can write a simple wrapper that implements the Django ``Template`` interface::
801
802    import some_template_language
803    class Template(some_template_language.Template):
804        def render(self, context):
805            # flatten the Django Context into a single dictionary.
806            context_dict = {}
807            for d in context.dicts:
808                context_dict.update(d)
809            return super(Template, self).render(context_dict)
810
811That's all that's required to make our fictional ``Template`` class compatible
812with the Django loading and rendering system!
813
814The next step is to write a ``Loader`` class that returns instances of our custom
815template class instead of the default :class:`~django.template.Template`. Custom ``Loader``
816classes should inherit from ``django.template.loader.BaseLoader`` and override
817the ``load_template_source()`` method, which takes a ``template_name`` argument,
818loads the template from disk (or elsewhere), and returns a tuple:
819``(template_string, template_origin)``.
820
821The ``load_template()`` method of the ``Loader`` class retrieves the template
822string by calling ``load_template_source()``, instantiates a ``Template`` from
823the template source, and returns a tuple: ``(template, template_origin)``. Since
824this is the method that actually instantiates the ``Template``, we'll need to
825override it to use our custom template class instead. We can inherit from the
826builtin :class:`django.template.loaders.app_directories.Loader` to take advantage
827of the ``load_template_source()`` method implemented there::
828
829    from django.template.loaders import app_directories
830    class Loader(app_directories.Loader):
831        is_usable = True
832
833        def load_template(self, template_name, template_dirs=None):
834            source, origin = self.load_template_source(template_name, template_dirs)
835            template = Template(source)
836            return template, origin
837
838Finally, we need to modify our project settings, telling Django to use our custom
839loader. Now we can write all of our templates in our alternative template
840language while continuing to use the rest of the Django templating system.