Archive for the ‘buildout’ Category

Repeatable Django installations

Don’t you hate it when you have to spend lots of time tracking down dependencies etc. when joining an existing a project? Did you know that it doesn’t have to be this way?

Clever folks which where in the same boat as us have created zc.buildout. This tool allows you to easily configure all your software requirements with a simple text file. The example below can be used to install a fully working Django trunk version with ipython and satchmo included.

parts = satchmo django
eggs = ipython

recipe =
url =
md5sum = 659a4845c1c731be5cfe29bfcc5d14b1

recipe = djangorecipe
version = trunk
settings = development
eggs = ${buildout:eggs}
pythonpath =
project = dummyshop

This example shows the basic structure of a buildout file. You can turn this into a working environment by adding a file. After that you can run;


bin/buildout -v

There should now be a bin/django script which does all the things that would normally do.

The buildout configuration itself consists mainly of a few sections (marked with […]). Each section┬áspecifies a recipe to be used. Buildout basically uses these recipes to build django etc. To see what you can do with a recipe you can look-up it’s documentation. In the case of django you can find it at djangorecipe’s documentation page.

There are many more recipe’s at the package index to do all sorts of interesting things. So please do yourself a favour and give buildout a spin.


buildout.el, Emacs bliss for buildouts

Emacs can be a nice OS for doing Python development with. You can use the built-in eshell to execute your code, start your server and run your tests. It is even nicer to use things like gud, compile mode and tags. If you are working on multiple projects (like I am) over the course of a day it can be a bit to much to M-x pdb <enter full path to bin/instance> every time.

This is where buildout.el comes in. It has a few interactive functions (which you should bind to a shortcut, like the F1-12 keys) to execute these things. It knows where you are by checking the location of the current buffer and then crawls up until it finds something which looks like a buildout directory.

These are the features it currently provides:

  • Buildout invocation (with bootstrap if necessary)
  • Creation of a tags file (using etags)
  • Running the tests in compile mode (colors + jump to the line which triggered the failure)
  • Start your app server (bin/instance or bin/django) in a gud session

If you have any suggestions for improvements please let me know so we can make it even better. The only thing left to do is to download buildout.el, just add something like (load-library “buildout”)
to your .emacs and add keybindings. These are mine:

;; Key bindings
(global-set-key ‘[f5] ‘run-application-based-on-buffer)
(global-set-key ‘[f9] ‘run-buildout-based-on-buffer)
(global-set-key ‘[f8] ‘run-etags-based-on-buffer)
(global-set-key ‘[f12] ‘run-tests-based-on-buffer)