losee losee - 2 months ago 13x
Python Question

Confused a bit about django INSTALLED_APPS naming convention

The tutorial on the site creates an app named polls. It's using django 1.9, so the in the INSTALLED_APPS its


I'm watching a tutorial he names the app newsletter and in INSTALLED_APPS he has


he's using 1.8, though. I am using 1.9. I've watched other tutorials and they also just add a name without dots in the syntax as he does. I realize things may be different, that's understood. To be clear if I named my app dogs,. in the installed apps it would be named like this


or if it was tree it would be


Is that how the naming convention goes? also I would assume things would get shorter in newer versions and more convenient. so to go from just adding


to having to type out


seems weird to me. But I'm new so I maybe missing something. Any and all advice is welcome


That is the Application Configuration feature, new to Django 1.7.

Basically, now you can list in INSTALLED_APPS either the module that contains the application or a class that derives from django.apps.AppConfig and defines the behavior of the application.

This feature provides several advantages:

  • Apps can be configured more easily, and even subclassed for customization.
  • You can have several apps in the same module.

Application modules can define the special module variable default_app_config to specify the name of their AppConfig, so that they can use the new features without having to specify the full name of that class in INSTALLED_APPS. But this is a backwards compatibility feature and new applications are recommended to write the full AppConfig name.

Anyway, most django/contrib apps use that default_app_config, for compatibility with old configurations. See for example the file django/contrib/messages/__init__.py is just:

from django.contrib.messages.api import *
from django.contrib.messages.constants import *

default_app_config = 'django.contrib.messages.apps.MessagesConfig'

So, adding it up, per OP request:

  • If you add in INSTALLED_APPS the typename foo.apps.FooConfig, then that class will be used to setup the foo app, 1.7 style (recommended).
  • If you add in INSTALLED_APPS the plain name foo, then:

    • if there is a variable foo.default_app_config this class will be used to setup the foo app, 1.7 style. Most (all?) the standard Django apps have this variable, so that you don't need to change your INSTALLED_APPS when you upgrade from Django-1.6 to Django-1.7.
    • if there is not such a variable, then the 1.6 style application will be used, with default values for the advanced configuration options.