In preparation for upgrading and enhancing Googility.com I've started breaking out reusable applications, upgrading them, and open sourcing the code on GitHub. I wanted to follow development best practices and create high quality applications including these features:

  • A full set of tests.
  • Near 100% code coverage.
  • Continuous Integration running on each check-in via Travis CI.
  • Documentation in Sphinx on Read the Docs (RTD).
  • Packaging/versioning compatible with PyPi.
  • Packaging building/testing on multiple python versions using virtualenvs via tox.

I had started researching each aspect and was getting a little frustrated that there wasn't a best practice for tying everthing together. Then I came across Audrey Roy's cookiecutter and Daniel Greenfeld's cookiecutter-djangopackage. cookiecutter is a utility to create project directory structures and files from the command line. cookiecutter-djangopackage is a template for creating a reusable Django application.

Yes there are other similar projects, and Django provides startproject and startapp commands that can take template arguments. But since I've never used Travis, RTD or tox I really wanted to leverage more experienced developers' knowledge so I could set them up in a "smart" way.

That's what I liked about cookiecutter-djangopackage it came with sane defaults that worked out of the box [1] and did smart stuff like wiring the version from the package's __init__.py in to the documentation and setup.py. The requirements.txt used by pip is wired in to tox and the README.rst is used in the setup.py and included in the Spinx docs.

And there are other integrations that make it easy to release a professional Django application. In fact that's my long winded point - it makes it hard to not do the right thing! I might have skipped using one or more of these support technologies, but cookiecutter-djangopackage made it easy for me to use them and focus on writing code, tests and documentation.

So that is what I want to stress: with cookiecutter-djangopackage you can create a packaged application, whose code is tested on multiple python/Django versions, tested for installation, installable via PyPi and nicely documented without much additional effort.

So take look at my nearly released django-periodicals application to see how it all works on GitHub, RTD and Travis.

[1]I submitted a very minor pull request and found a related issue with application names that don't match their imported package name. (i.e. django-periodicals is the application name and periodicals is the package that is imported).

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