Django Development Naming Conventions

  • by Haozheng Li

Django Development Naming Conventions

With four years of experience in Django development under my belt, I've come to appreciate the profound impact that effective naming conventions can have on the efficiency and clarity of a project. Naming, often overlooked, is a cornerstone of good code: it affects not only how we write our programs but also how we communicate ideas within our team. Throughout my journey, I've encountered various approaches and, through trial and error, distilled what I believe are the best practices for naming in Django development.

Django Development Naming Conventions

1. Project Naming Conventions

  • Use Lowercase: Project names should be entirely in lowercase, facilitating consistency and avoiding confusion in case-sensitive environments.
  • Underscores as Separators: Use underscores to separate words in a project name if necessary. This enhances readability while adhering to Python naming conventions.
  • Concise and Descriptive: Select names that are short yet descriptive of the project's overall scope and purpose. The name should provide an immediate understanding of what the project entails.
  • Avoid Special Characters: Refrain from using numbers, dashes, periods, spaces, or special characters in project names.
Correct ExampleIncorrect Example

2. App Naming Conventions

  • Lowercase Names: App names should be in lowercase, following Python's Pep 8 guidelines.
  • Prefer Plural Names: Generally, use plural names for apps, especially when the app manages a collection of similar objects. The name should be the plural form of the app's main model.
  • Short and Descriptive: App names should be brief but descriptive enough to clearly indicate the app's functionality.
  • Avoid Special Characters and Numbers: Do not include numbers, dashes, periods, spaces, or special characters in app names.
  • Unique and Non-Conflicting: Choose unique names that do not conflict with Python standard libraries, Django modules, or common third-party packages.
  • Stability in Naming: Be cautious with renaming apps. Opt for a suitable name at the project's outset, as renaming later can be complex, especially in larger projects.
Correct ExampleIncorrect Example

3. Model Naming Conventions

  • Class Names: Use PascalCase. Classes should be named clearly and descriptively.
  • Field Names: Use lowercase with underscores.
Class NameField NameIncorrect Class NameIncorrect Field Name

4. Views and Function Naming

  • Function Views: Name functions in lowercase with underscores.
  • Class-Based Views (CBVs): Use PascalCase.
Function ViewClass-Based ViewIncorrect Function ViewIncorrect CBV

5. Template Naming

  • Templates should be named in lowercase with underscores.
  • Organize templates into subdirectories reflecting their application or purpose.
Correct ExampleIncorrect Example

6. URL Naming

  • URLs should be lowercase, using hyphens as separators.
  • URLs should be named descriptively, reflecting their function or the content they display.
Correct ExampleIncorrect Example

7. Testing Conventions

  • Test file names should start with test_.
  • Test functions should have descriptive names, reflecting their purpose.
Correct ExampleIncorrect Example

8. Constants and Class Attributes

  • Constants should be in uppercase with underscores.
  • Class attributes should follow lowercase with underscores.
Correct ExampleIncorrect Example

9. Miscellaneous Best Practices

  • Avoid using Python reserved keywords for naming.
  • Aim for intuitive naming, indicative of the function or purpose.
Correct ExampleIncorrect Example
Use emailUsing class

10. Code Formatting and Style

  • Follow PEP-8 for general Python coding standards.
  • Use line lengths of up to 120 characters for better readability in complex Django code.
  • Employ docstrings for modules, classes, functions, and methods to enhance documentation.
Correct ExampleIncorrect Example
Line Length < 120 charsIgnoring PEP-8 indentation

11. Database and Migrations

  • Use verbose names for models and fields to improve readability in the Django admin.
  • Write custom migration files for complex database changes to ensure clarity and control.
Correct ExampleIncorrect Example
models.CharField(verbose_name="User Address", max_length=255)models.CharField(max_length=255)

12. Security and Performance

  • Adhere to Django's security best practices, including the use of CSRF tokens, proper user authentication, and permissions.
  • Optimize queries and use Django's database indexing features for performance.
Correct ExampleIncorrect Example
Using select_relatedExposing sensitive data
Regularly updating DjangoUsing inefficient queries

Django Rest Framework (DRF) Naming Conventions

1. Model Naming Conventions

Models in DRF follow the same principles as in Django, with a focus on clarity and descriptiveness.

Correct ExampleIncorrect Example

2. Serializer Naming Conventions

Serializers transform Django models into JSON format. The naming should be descriptive and clearly associated with the corresponding model.

Correct ExampleIncorrect Example

3. View Naming in DRF

Views in DRF should be named to reflect their purpose and the type of response they handle.

3.1 Function-Based Views
Correct ExampleIncorrect Example
3.2 Class-Based Views
Correct ExampleIncorrect Example
3.3 ViewSet Naming
Correct ExampleIncorrect Example

4. URL Naming for DRF Endpoints

URLs should be intuitive, RESTful, and consistent with the naming of views and models.

Correct ExampleIncorrect Example

5. Testing Conventions in DRF

Naming conventions for tests in DRF should clearly indicate the functionality being tested.

Correct ExampleIncorrect Example
Setting Up Python Virtual Environments
Optimizing API Management in DRF