django-registration / docs / overview.txt

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Django registration

This is a fairly simple user-registration application for Django_,
designed to make allowing user signups as painless as possible.

.. _Django:


This application enables a common user-registration workflow:

1. User fills out a registration form, selecting a username and
   password and entering an email address.

2. An inactive account is created, and an activation link is sent to
   the user's email address.

3. User clicks the activation link, the account becomes active and the
   user is able to log in and begin contributing to your site.

Various methods of extending and customizing the registration process
are also provided.


In order to use django-registration, you will need to have a
functioning installation of Django 1.0 or newer; due to changes needed
to stabilize Django's APIs prior to the 1.0 release,
django-registration will not work with older releases of Django.

There are three basic ways to install django-registration:
automatically installing a package using Python's package-management
tools, manually installing a package, and installing from a Mercurial

Using a package-management tool

The easiest way by far to install django-registration and most other
interesting Python software is by using an automated
package-management tool, so if you're not already familiar with the
available tools for Python, now's as good a time as any to get

The most popular option currently is `easy_install`_; refer to its
documentation to see how to get it set up. Once you've got it, you'll
be able to simply type::

    easy_install django-registration

And it will handle the rest.

Another option that's currently gaining steam (and which I personally
prefer for Python package management) is `pip`_. Once again, you'll
want to refer to its documentation to get up and running, but once you
have you'll be able to type::

    pip install django-registration

And you'll be done.

Manually installing the 0.7 package

If you'd prefer to do things the old-fashioned way, you can manually
download the `django-registration 0.7 package`_ from the Python
Package Index. This will get you a file named
"django-registration-0.7.tar.gz" which you can unpack (double-click on
the file on most operating systems) to create a directory named
"django-registration-0.7". Inside will be a script named "";

    python install

will install django-registration (though keep in mind that this
defaults to a system-wide installation, and so may require
administrative privileges on your computer).

Installing from a Mercurial checkout

If you have `Mercurial`_ installed on your computer, you can also
obtain a complete copy of django-registration by typing::

    hg clone

Inside the resulting "django-registration" directory will be a
directory named "registration", which is the actual Python module for
this application; you can symlink it from somewhere on your Python
path. If you prefer, you can use the script in the
"django-registration" directory to perform a normal installation, but
using a symlink offers easy upgrades: simply running ``hg pull -u``
inside the django-registration directory will fetch updates from the
main repository and apply them to your local copy.

.. _easy_install:
.. _pip:
.. _django-registration 0.7 package:
.. _Mercurial:

Basic use

To use the registration system with all its default settings, you'll
need to do the following:

1. Add ``registration`` to the ``INSTALLED_APPS`` setting of your
   Django project.

2. Add the setting ``ACCOUNT_ACTIVATION_DAYS`` to your settings file;
   this should be the number of days activation keys will remain valid
   after an account is registered.

3. Create the necessary templates (see the section on templates below
   for details).

4. Add this line to your site's root URLConf::
       (r'^accounts/', include('registration.urls')),

5. Link people to ``/accounts/register/`` so they can start signing
   up. Using the default URLConf will also automatically set up the
   authentication-oriented views in ``django.contrib.auth`` for you,
   so if you use it you can point people to, e.g.,
   ``/accounts/login/`` to log in.

Templates used by django-registration

The views included in django-registration make use of five templates:

* ``registration/registration_form.html`` displays the registration
  form for users to sign up.

* ``registration/registration_complete.html`` is displayed after the
  activation email has been sent, to tell the new user to check
  his/her email.

* ``registration/activation_email_subject.txt`` is used for the
  subject of the activation email.

* ``registration/activation_email.txt`` is used for the body of the
  activation email.

* ``registration/activate.html`` is displayed when a user attempts to
  activate his/her account.

Examples of all of these templates are not provided; you will need to
create them yourself. For views defined in this application, see the
included `views documentation`_ for details on available context
variables, and for details on the templates used by the activation
email see the included `models documentation`_.

Additionally, the URLConf provided with django-registration includes
URL patterns for useful views in Django's built-in authentication
application -- this means that a single ``include`` in your root
URLConf can wire up registration and the auth application's login,
logout, and password change/reset views. If you choose to use these
views you will need to provide your own templates for them; consult
`the Django authentication documentation`_ for details on the
templates and contexts used by these views.

.. _views documentation: views.txt
.. _models documentation: models.txt
.. _the Django authentication documentation:

How it works

Using the recommended default configuration, the URL
``/accounts/register/`` will map to the view
``registration.views.register``, which displays a registration form
(an instance of ``registration.forms.RegistrationForm``); this form
asks for a username, email address and password, and verifies that the
username is available and requires the password to be entered twice
(to catch typos). It then does three things:

1. Creates an instance of ``django.contrib.models.auth.User``, using
   the supplied username, email address and password; the
   ``is_active`` field on the new ``User`` will be set to ``False``,
   meaning that the account is inactive and the user will not be able
   to log in yet.

2. Creates an instance of ``registration.models.RegistrationProfile``,
   stores an activation key (a SHA1 hash generated from the new user's
   username plus a randomly-generated "salt"), and relates that
   ``RegistrationProfile`` to the ``User`` it just created.

3. Sends an email to the user (at the address they supplied)
   containing a link which can be clicked to activate the account.

For details on customizing this process, including use of alternate
registration form classes and automatic creation of a site-specific
profile, see the sections on customization below.

After the activation email has been sent,
``registration.views.register`` issues a redirect to the URL
``/accounts/register/complete/``. By default, this is mapped to the
``direct_to_template`` generic view, and displays the template
``registration/registration_complete.html``; this is intended to show
a short message telling the user to check his/her email for the
activation link.

The activation link will map to the view
``registration.views.activate``, which will attempt to activate the
account by setting the ``is_active`` field on the ``User`` to
``True``. If the activation key for the ``User`` has expired (this is
controlled by the setting ``ACCOUNT_ACTIVATION_DAYS``, as described
above), the account will not be activated (see the section on
maintenance below for instructions on cleaning out expired accounts
which have not been activated).


Inevitably, a site which uses a two-step process for user signup --
registration followed by activation -- will accumulate a certain
number of accounts which were registered but never activated. These
accounts clutter up the database and tie up usernames which might
otherwise be actively used, so it's desirable to clean them out
periodically. For this purpose, a script,
``registration/bin/``, is provided, which is
suitable for use as a regular cron job. See that file for notes on how
to add it to your crontab, and the included models documentation (see
below) for discussion of how it works and some caveats.

Where to go from here

Full documentation for all included components is bundled in the
packaged release; see the following files for details:

* `Forms documentation`_ for details on ``RegistrationForm``,
  pre-packaged subclasses and available customizations.

* `Models documentation`_ for details on ``RegistrationProfile`` and
  its custom manager.

* `Views documentation`_ for details on the ``register`` and
  ``activate`` views, and methods for customizing them.

.. _Forms documentation: forms.txt
.. _Models documentation: models.txt
.. _Views documentation: views.txt


The `latest released version`_ of this application is 0.7, and is
quite stable; it's already been deployed on a number of sites,
including You can also obtain the absolute freshest
code from `the development repository_`, but be warned that the
development code may not always be backwards-compatible, and may well
contain bugs that haven't yet been fixed.

This document covers the 0.7 release of django-registration; new
features introduced in the development trunk will be added to the
documentation at the time of the next packaged release.

.. _latest released version:
.. _the development repository:

Changes from previous versions

Several new features were added between version 0.2 and version 0.3;
for details, see the CHANGELOG.txt file distributed with the packaged
0.3 release.

One important change to note before upgrading an installation of
version 0.1 is a change to the ``RegistrationProfile`` model; the
field ``key_generated`` has been removed, since it was redundant with
the field ``date_joined`` on Django's bundled ``User`` model. Since
this field became a ``NOT NULL`` column in the database, you will need
to either drop the ``NOT NULL`` constraint or, preferably, simply drop
the column. Consult your database's documentation for the correct way
to handle this.

Between version 0.3 and version 0.4, validation of the password fields
was moved from ``clean_password2()`` to ``clean_password()``; this
means that errors from mismatched passwords will now show up in
``non_field_errors()`` instead of ``errors["password2"]``.

Between version 0.6 and version 0.7, the script
``registration/bin/`` was removed, and replaced
with a custom management command; you can now simply run ``
cleanupregistration`` from any project which has django-registration


The only dependencies for this application are a functioning install
of Django 1.0 or newer and, of course, a Django project in which you'd
like to use it.

Your Django project should have ``django.contrib.admin``,
``django.contrib.auth`` and ``django.contrib.sites`` in its
``INSTALLED_APPS`` setting.

What this application does not do

This application does not integrate in any way with OpenID, nor should
it; one of the key selling points of OpenID is that users **don't**
have to walk through an explicit registration step for every site or
service they want to use :)

If you spot a bug

Head over to this application's `project page on Bitbucket`_ and
check `the issues list`_ to see if it's already been reported. If not,
open a new issue and I'll do my best to respond quickly.

.. _project page on Bitbucket:
.. _the issues list: