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as_view: a dirty trick

Here's one of my sleaziest tricks for Django:

def as_view(cls):
    view = cls.as_view()
    view.cls = cls
    return view

And here's how you use it:

class SomeView(ListView):

What does this do for you? It gives you the incredible comfort of making your URLs much nicer:

    path('some/', views.SomeView),
    # instead of this horrific thing:
    path('some/', views.WorseView.as_view()),

Is that not absolutely nice? Yes! Yes it is!

You're wondering what view.cls is supposed to mean? Well, first of all, you can add arbitary attributes to python functions. Python functions are just instances with a .__call__ methodMost of the times, anyway. There are other different cases.. So add attributes as much as you want to.
Adding the .cls attribute gives us access to the actual class that this view function was derived from. You might want this sometimes to derive other classes from it. Like this:

class SomeView(ListView):

class SomeOtherView(SomeView.cls):

And that's it. I use it in every Django project and feel very smug/sleazy about having much nicer URL patterns.

A detour: decorators

I like decorators. They're useful. But they can be hard to understand.

At its most basic, a decorator is a mechanical translation of this:

def some_func():

into this:

def some_func():
some_func = decorator(some_func)

That's all there is to it. You replace a function or class with that same function/class that has been passed through a function. The hard part is what to do with it. And more complex use-cases, obviously.

If you need more complex decorators, I suggest you have a look at wrapt, which will take away most of the pains of writing them.


The most basic form of the function is:

def as_view(cls):
    return cls.as_view()

I don't think that a two-line function that is kind-of obvious has enough Schaffenshöhe to warrant copyright. However, to be on the safe side, you may choose to receive the software and text of this article under the terms of the Blue Oak Model License 1.0.0 as written here:

Blue Oak Model License

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