The Django PageView Application

March 2006 | Fredrik Lundh

This is a work in progress.

Powered by Django.

The pageview mini application is a fast and efficient dynamic front-end renderer, which can reformat HTML and XHTML pages from external sources on the fly. This can be useful when you want to:

  • publish information from an existing content management system
  • republish pages from an external source
  • use a standard wiki to maintain the site, behind the scenes
  • allow users to choose between different templates, depending on preferences or user agent.
  • experiment with different styles, without having to generate multiple copies of an entire site.

The application uses tidy to clean up the source material as needed, and cElementTree to pull out relevant XHTML fragments from it. Django’s template engine (dead link) is then used to render output pages, and Django’s caching system (dead link) is used to cache rendered pages in memory (e.g. via memcached).

The application maintains a page mapping database which controls how URL are mapped to individual pages. You can use Django’s administration interface (dead link) to remap or redirect pages. Since each page has an entry in this database, you can add Django comments and other features to any or all pages on the site.

The application is based on the work done for the AltPyDotOrgCMS project (also see this sketch), where it was used to render pages from wiki source content.


The code is currently only available via subversion:

   $ svn co

For installation tips, see this article (dead link).

The current version is written for Django 0.91, and includes sample parsers for old-style contents, latex-generated pages, zone articles, pyref and pyfaq pages, and pages rendered in moinmoin‘s default style.

Examples #

You can find some minimally styled (dead link) sample output here: python-1 (dead link) python-2 (dead link), moinmoin-1 (dead link), effbot-1 (dead link), pyref-1 (dead link).

Here are some samples rendered with a template: “asyncore — Asynchronous socket handler (dead link)” (from the pyref project), “Can’t find what you’re looking for? (dead link)“, “Why Work on Python? (dead link)“, and “PythonDoc (dead link)” (from


A Django site. rendered by a django application. hosted by webfaction.