When moving lino.utils.dumpy and lino.utils.babel from Lino to Django-Site I should use the occasion and find better names for them.

A better name for “dumpy”

dumpy will probably become pyfixtures because producing dumps is only one usage. They have different usages:

  • Used by unit tests for “Loading a database with a specific, known set of data” (from Wikipedia Test fixture article)
  • The same feature also serves to produce prototypes and demo databases.
  • dump (“serialize”) the content of a database to a python script which can be loaded (“deserialized”) to reproduce an exact duplicate of the original database.
  • read the dump from a previous version, performing database conversions (migration).

Is there a better word than “fixture” to designate these features?

A better name for “babel”

lino.utils.babel must get a new name because it clashes with the existing babel project.

My first idea was mld (for “multilingual data”)

A Google query for “multilingual database content” shows that the topic is complex and has no one-for-all solution:

  • Schema for a multilanguage database (2008-11-25) by jwojciak.
  • Multilingual database design approaches (2010-08-30) by Filip Czaja
  • On 2011-06-07 Reinhout van Rees (NL) writes about Jonas Obrist’s (CH) django-nani project. After reading the Quickstart page I say: the fundamental differences to my work is that lino.utils.babel is single-table, which is possible because database conversions and migrations are handled by lino.utils.dumpy. Another difference is that lino.utils.babel has no integration facilities for Django’s Admin (though it shouldn’t be too difficult to add it, that’s just because I personally have no need for it).
  • Kristian Øllegaard (DK) wrote a fork of django-nani called django-hvad which unlike django-nani “does not affect the default queries, which means that everything will continue to work as it was before.”)

The division goes on

Maybe I should even move them to separate projects and not to django-site? Because it should be possible to use django-site together with django-nani or django-hvad.

Here we go for the next new projects:

  • “django-pyfixtures”,
  • “django-stml” for “single-table multilingual database content”?

Or a common new project for these two, because it makes no sense to use them separately?

  • Maybe “django-north”, because it does database migrations using another approach than South?

That sounds good:


Another way to migrate Django databases

A Python code serializer/deserializer for Django which lets you write intelligent fixtures and generate database dumps. Includes an optional single-table solution for handling multilingual database content. Optionally usable as an alternative to South for managing database migrations.


This weekend Lino spawned two new projects:

  • django-site provides startup signals and the settings.SITE object.
  • django-north provides python dumps, babel fields and data migration.

Neither of them brings anything new, they just separate and encapsulate some functionality out of Lino. Lino depends on django-north which depends on django-site.

This took about a whole weekend and there is no visible result. But it was clear that Lino had become too complex. Thanks again to Two scoops of Django which helped me to understand how important this is.

The documentation is still very uncomplete, especially the tutorials need revision. Just be patient because all this is voluntary work (and because there’s even more to come).

Note that I also switched from GPL to BSD for the new projects, which was possible because they don’t use any GPL-licensed product.