Rails-like MVC Controllers for Django

One thing that sometimes annoys me about Django is how views inside an application are simply top-level functions inside the views.py module. This is fine for simple applications, but if you're trying to make anything more complicated this can become a burden. Suppose that a view needs some logic to decide whether or not the logged-in user can access it. If you want to allow this logic to be customized by the person using the application, its much nicer if the views are grouped into a "controller" (similar to how things are done in the Django admin.)

class Controller(object):
    def view(self, request):
        if not self.can_view(request):
            raise Http404
        # proceed

    def can_view(self, request):
        return True

Subclasses can then override can_view to provide custom behaviors for permission checking.

The problem with the way this is currently done in the Django admin is that the regex-based parsing of URLs is lost, as well as reverse resolving by name.

You can also see this on DjangoSnippets.

Helpers for coding in a more MVC-fashion using Controller classes as opposed
to views.

from django.shortcuts import get_object_or_404
from django.contrib.auth.decorators import login_required

def view(path=None, name=None):
    def decorator(func):
        func.view = True
        func.name = name if name is not None else func.__name__
        func.path = path if path is not None else '^%s/$' % func.name
        return func
    return decorator

class ControllerMetaclass(type):
    def _meta(self):
        return self.Meta

    def urls(self, path_prefix=''):
        return [
            (path_prefix + view.path, self.get_handler(view), {}, self._meta.url_prefix + view.name)
        for view in (getattr(self, name) for name in dir(self)) if getattr(view, 'view', False)]

class Controller(object):
    __metaclass__ = ControllerMetaclass

    def __init__(self, request, *args, **kwargs):
        self.request = request

    def get_view(cls, view, request, *args, **kwargs):
        return view(cls(request), *args, **kwargs)

    def get_handler(cls, view):
        def inner(request, *args, **kwargs):
            return cls.get_view(view, request, *args, **kwargs)
        return reduce(lambda func, dec: dec(func), cls._meta.decorators, inner)

    class Meta(object):
        url_prefix = ''
        decorators = []

Place this in a file called mvc.py. Now in views.py:

import mvc

class MyController(mvc.Controller):
   @mvc.view('myview/$', 'myview')
   def my_view(self):
       # do something with self.request
       return HttpResponse('something')

   class Meta(mvc.Controller.Meta):
       url_prefix = 'mycontroller-'

In urls.py:

from . import views

urlpatterns = patterns('',
    # ... other urls here ...

Then the view MyController.my_view will be accessible from 'prefix/myview/' and have the name 'mycontroller-myview', i.e. reverse('mycontroller-myview') will work as expected.

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