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askbot & staticfiles

asked 2011-12-06 15:09:15 -0500

piskvorky gravatar image

updated 2011-12-06 15:10:53 -0500

First, congrats on the forum upgrade and the new looks :) Parts of the forum appeared in russian to me today, so I assumed something was happening :)

Now, I was integrating askbot into an existing application, merging the settings manually. There were several small issues (askbot uses older django, so some things moved between django.contrib and django.core, some were deprecated etc), but overall no problem. The automated checks were pretty helpful.

My question is about using askbot together with django.contrib.staticfiles. If I understand correctly, askbot doesn't use staticfiles. Static URLs and directories are hard-coded, and are automatically served by django (btw can this be turned off? i'd prefer to see an error), unless explicitly intercepted by the web server earlier (needs manual configuration with some obscure locations).

Is there any planned support for STATIC_URL, the SERVE_MEDIA flag and the "python collectstatic" utility? Pretty useful from deployment point of view, IMO.

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answered 2011-12-06 15:43:57 -0500

Evgeny gravatar image

In askbot we use skins: .html templates, stylesheets and javascript, and the idea is that you should be able to switch the skin by configuration in the live settings.

We did not think yet on how to integrate this with the staticfiles approach, maybe there is a way, worth exploring.

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Ok, thanks Evgeny. Btw skins and static files can be used together, that shouldn't be a problem.

piskvorky gravatar imagepiskvorky ( 2011-12-06 18:01:13 -0500 )edit

answered 2011-12-06 18:39:29 -0500

piskvorky gravatar image

updated 2011-12-06 19:34:23 -0500

My "quick hack" solution, in case anyone finds it useful:

  1. forbid askbot serving static files: in askbot/views/, make media() raise an exception.
  2. in the askbot application, alias the skins directory as static:

    [askbot-devel/askbot]$ ln -s skins static

The second step makes staticfiles automatically recognize and process the askbot static files. Now " collectstatic" works -- all static files are in a single place, easy to deploy. (Alternative way: add os.path.join(ASKBOT_ROOT, 'skins') to STATICFILES_DIRS in

However, askbot urls have media locations hardwired under m/ (not STATIC_URL), so we still need to adjust the web server. For nginx:


    location /qa/m/  { # qa/ = settings.ASKBOT_URL
        expires      7d; # or whatever
        alias /content/of/your/settings.STATIC_ROOT/; # check filesystem permissions!

If anyone finds a better/cleaner way, please let me know.

EDIT: Actually this entire procedure (all three steps) can be replaced by this patch to askbot code:

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Hey, this looks cool, we'll get to this tomorrow. Thanks!

Evgeny gravatar imageEvgeny ( 2011-12-06 20:45:10 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2011-12-06 15:09:15 -0500

Seen: 3,611 times

Last updated: Dec 06 '11