When and how to use Django TemplateView

When to use Template View?

Django provides several class based generic views to accomplish common tasks. Simplest among them is TemplateView.

TemplateView should be used when you want to present some information in a html page.

TemplateView shouldn’t be used when your page has forms and does creation or update of objects.

TemplateView is most suitable in following cases:

  • Showing ‘about us’ like pages which are static and hardly needs any context. Though it is easy to use context variables with TemplateView.
  • Showing pages which work with GET requests and don’t have forms in it.

Let’s write a view using base view View and then modify it to use TemplateView. TemplateView would help us avoid several lines of code.

Vanilla view

An ‘about us’ page with View.

from django.views.generic.base import View
from django.shortcuts import render

class AboutUs(View):
	def get(self, request, *args, **kwargs):
		return render(request, "about-us.html")

With vanilla View we need to provide a get() implementation and must return a HttpResponse() object from get().

TemplateView

The same functionality can be achieved with TemplateView in following way:

from django.views.generic.base import TemplateView

class AboutUs(TemplateView):
	template_name = 'about-us.html'

As you can notice, we didn’t have to provide a get() implementation while using TemplateView. TemplateView has it’s own get(). TemplateView.get() also encapsulates the creation of HttpResponse object and returning it.

We only had to specify the template_name while using TemplateView.

An ‘about us’ page with context using a vanilla View.

class AboutUs(View):
	def get(self, request, *args, **kwargs):
		context = {'name': 'Gryffindor'}
		return render(request, "about-us.html", context=context)

TemplateView with context variables

An ‘about us’ page with context using a TemplateView.

class AboutUs(TemplateView):
	template_name = 'about-us.html'

	def get_context_data(self, *args, **kwargs):
		context = super(AboutUs, self).get_context_data(*args, **kwargs)
		context['name'] = 'Gryffindor'
		return context

TemplateView has a better separation of defining context variables and defining template name.

Essentially a TemplateView helps you avoid boilerplate code like:

  • providing a GET() implementation.
  • creating a returning a HttpResponse() or a subclass of HttpResponse() object.

Thank you for reading the Agiliq blog. This article was writen by akshar on Dec 29, 2017 in django .

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