Getting started tutorial

Project layout

The django duke client tries to be independent as possible in term of project layout. However a minimal structure is required for it to work properly.

This is the absolute minimal project layout to initialize duke:


When the project is built, it looks like this:

  - buildout.cfg
  - dev.cfg
  + .duke/
    + bin/
    + develop-eggs/
    + eggs/
    + parts/
  + projectname.egg-info
  + src/
  + projectname/
    + conf/
        + settings/

Starting a project from scratch

Creating a new project from scratch is easy as:

user@host$ duke startproject my-project-name
user@host$ cd my-project-name/
user@host$ ls

The file is the only required file for a new project. The README.rst is created only for convenience. The next step is to edit the setup file according to your needs.

Initializing your project

Next we need to initialize duke on this project. Which can be done like so:

user@host$ duke init myprojectname
Installing default buildout.cfg
Installing default base.cfg
Installing default dev.cfg
Installing default prod.cfg
Initializing zc.buildout
Creating directory '/tmp/my-project-name/.duke/bin/'.
Creating directory '/tmp/my-project-name/.duke/parts/'.
Creating directory '/tmp/my-project-name/.duke/eggs/'.
Creating directory '/tmp/my-project-name/.duke/develop-eggs/'.
Generated script '/tmp/my-project-name/.duke/bin/buildout'.
Installing dev hooks

As you can see, the init command setup and configure buildout for the project and put most of the stuff in a folder name .duke/. This folder should not be added to your VCS. It is meant to be recreated easily.


It’s important to understand the difference between my-project-name and myprojectname. The first is only the folder containing your project. Its name doesn’t really matters. If you are using SVN you should probably use trunk as folder name to match SVN folder naming conventions.

On the other side, myprojectname is your real django project name. Duke will create it automatically only if there isn’t already a project of that name in the folder.

Once the initialization done, django duke automatically enters development mode (which can be done by typing duke dev in your project folder).

You know when you are in development mode when your shell prompt is prefixed with a project name like this:

user@host|myprojectname:~/.../trunk/my-project-name$ ls  buildout.cfg  dev.cfg  prod.cfg  README.rst

You can see django duke created different configuration files which will be covered later in the documentation.

Your command line prompt also has been changed. It now includes your project name so you always know in which sandbox you are working on. It also indicate if you are in a Subversion or Git repository. This is all customizable.

Building your project

At this point you need to edit buildout.cfg to add the requirements you need and buildout your project:

user@host|myprojectname:~/.../trunk/my-project-name$ buildout
Getting distribution for 'mr.developer'.
warning: no files found matching 'README.txt'
Got mr.developer 1.19.
Getting distribution for 'buildout.dumppickedversions'.
Got buildout.dumppickedversions 0.5.
Getting distribution for 'elementtree'.
zip_safe flag not set; analyzing archive contents...
Got elementtree 1.2.6-20050316.
mr.developer: Creating missing sources dir /tmp/my-project-name/src.
mr.developer: Queued 'djangodukerecipe' for checkout.
mr.developer: Cloned 'djangodukerecipe' with git.
Develop: '/tmp/my-project-name/src/djangodukerecipe'
Develop: '/tmp/my-project-name/.'
Getting distribution for 'zc.recipe.egg'.
Got zc.recipe.egg 1.3.2.
Getting distribution for 'z3c.recipe.scripts'.
Got z3c.recipe.scripts 1.0.1.
Unused options for buildout: 'downloads-directory'.
Installing _mr.developer.
Generated script '/tmp/my-project-name/.duke/bin/develop'.
Installing python.
Getting distribution for 'simplejson'.
zip_safe flag not set; analyzing archive contents...
simplejson.tests.__init__: module references __file__
Got simplejson 2.3.2.
Generated interpreter '/tmp/my-project-name/.duke/bin/python'.
Installing djangodev.
Generated script '/tmp/my-project-name/.duke/bin/djangodev'.
Generated script '/tmp/my-project-name/.duke/bin/djangodev.wsgi'.

Once buildout has been run for the first time, you’ll see new files in your project folder:

user@host|myprojectname|svn:~/.../trunk/my-project-name$ ls -a  buildout.cfg  dev.cfg  .duke  myprojectname/
my_project_name.egg-info/  prod.cfg  README.rst  src/

Start working !

At this point you can start working on your django project:

user@host|myprojectname|svn:~/.../trunk/my-project-name$ cd projectname/
user@host|myprojectname|svn:~/.../trunk/my-project-name$ django syncdb
user@host|myprojectname|svn:~/.../trunk/my-project-name$ django runserver

You don’t need to type python, there is a short cut named django. In fact there is many useful shortcuts for django:

  • dbshell
  • dumpdata
  • loaddata
  • runserver
  • shell
  • syncdb

To see the full list of available commands type duke help.


You can tweak your development environment quite alot.

To do so, simply type this command:

user@host$ duke customize
Copying to ~/.duke/templates/
Copying profile to ~/.duke/templates/
Copying to ~/.duke/templates/
Copying gitignore to ~/.duke/templates/
Copying buildout.cfg to ~/.duke/templates/
Copying project_conf.yml to ~/.duke/templates/
Copying dev to ~/.duke/templates/
Copying env to ~/.duke/templates/
Copying duke_conf.yml to ~/.duke/templates/
Copying base.cfg to ~/.duke/templates/
Copying svnignore to ~/.duke/templates/
Copying dev.cfg to ~/.duke/templates/

Now any modification made to files copied in ~/.duke/templates/ will take precedence over those used normally by duke.

If you want to change the command prompt, you will need to modify ~/.duke/templates/profile.

If there is not enough options for your taste, you can tweak ~/.duke/templates/env. Be warned that it might put your bashfu to test.

Note that you will need to restart your environment for the changes to take effect.

To do so, simply hit Ctrl+D (or exit) and retype duke dev.

Finally, resist the temptation of editing files in .duke/bin/ as they are recreated each time you run the buildout command. Per project configuration is not supported as now, but it should be sufficiently easy to implement to be supported sooner than later.

Don’t hesitate to share your improvements with me ! :)