File uploads

Yesterday I started to learn about how Django and ExtJS handle file uploads.

Turned lino.utils.mixins into a package lino.mixins. Started the new modules lino.mixins.uploadable which defines one abstract model Uploadable. Started lino.modlib.uploads which defines a model Upload.

About the Lino modules hierarchy

All this is not yet stable- lino.mixins.printable might as well move to lino.modlib.printables. The deciding question is: does a functionality deserve to get a Django application label? For ‘printable’ I have the feeling “no”, for “uploads” I’d rather say “yes”.

For example, the report UploadsByPerson and UploadsByCompany will be used by every Lino application that decides to implement Uploads as a PartnerDocument.

Is it true that Django doesn’t allow models

  • to override a non-abstract model inherit from it without creating multi-table inheritance ?
  • to remove fields from their base model?

Exploring Django’s FileFields and FieldFiles

Django’s FileField means that a partial filename is stored in the database in a VARCHAR field.

FileField.path returns the complete path (settings.MEDIA_ROOT + partial filename)

FileField.url returns the URL (settings.MEDIA_URL FileField.name).

The constructor has a mandatory parameter upload_to which may be a string (possibly containing date format specifiers) or a callable. This string is used to generate the partial filename.

When upload_to is not a callable, it is used only in get_directory_name:

def get_directory_name(self):
    return os.path.normpath(force_unicode(datetime.datetime.now().strftime(smart_str(self.upload_to))))

when it is a callable, then it simply replaces get_directory_name.

get_directory_name is used only in FieldFile.generate_filename:

def generate_filename(self, instance, filename):
    return os.path.join(self.get_directory_name(), self.get_filename(filename))

which in turn is used only in FieldFile.save():

def save(self, name, content, save=True):
    name = self.field.generate_filename(self.instance, name)
    self.name = self.storage.save(name, content)

When upload_to is a callable, then it simply replaces the generate_filename method.

Uploadable files in Lino

Here is how Lino (currently) handles uploaded files.

New attribute lino.reports.Report.handle_uploaded_files().

Here is the handle_uploaded_files current code of lino.mixins.uploadable.Uploadable (inherited by lino.modlib.uploads.models.Upload):

def handle_uploaded_files(self,request):
    uf = request.FILES['file'] # an UploadedFile instance
    self.size = uf.size
    self.mimetype = uf.content_type
    # Django magics:
    self.file = uf.name     # assign a string
    ff = self.file          # get back a FileField instance !
    # print "Wrote file ", ff.path

This method is called from lino.ui.extjs.ext_ui.ExtUI.form2obj_and_save() after storing the normal form data:

def form2obj_and_save(self,request,rh,data,elem,**kw2save):
    # store normal form data
    except exceptions.ValidationError,e:
       return error_response(e)

    # store uploaded files
    if rh.report.handle_uploaded_files is not None:


  • Lino.submit_detail doesn’t send mk and mt when in a slave report.
  • possibility to show a previously uploaded file. Maybe I need a new widget for FileField: if the field’s current value is empty, it shows an upload button; if it is non-empty, it shows the filename and a link that opens this file. In case of Upload the value is always empty in an insert window and always non-empty in a detail window. But the most flexible would be to not rely on this. Most straightforward would be a TwinTrigger button. Maybe also a “delete uploaded file” button, though this should be diabled if another Upload instance refers to the same file.