[Fixed]-Django-Pinax : How do you use a pinax app apart from what you get with a pinax base project?


You seem to be assuming that unless all of Pinax is useful, Pinax as a project isn’t useful. It was never the intention that Pinax be a single thing, all of which you use on a given project.

If all you find helpful is the project layout, that’s fine. Pinax suggests a standard project layout (which you can use alone with pinax-project-zero).

If all you find helpful is the pinax-project-account (django-user-accounts and a few other things, already integrated with templates following bootstrap class naming) as a starting point for you site, that’s great. Pinax is fundamentally about getting you started sooner and pinax-project-account is a suitable starting point for most sites with user accounts.

Once you have a project, you are free to add any Django apps you want. There’s nothing that requires you to use Pinax apps. “So”, you ask, “why does Pinax even bother having apps?”.

Well, because apps aren’t isolated. Reusability isn’t just at the level of app but also groups of apps. Take, for example, a waiting list app, an invitations app, a referral code app, a points app, a badges app. Sure these can be developed and used independently.

But if they are developed with the same mind set you can make sure the waiting list app and invitations app and referral code app work well with the user account app (and don’t duplicate anything). You can make sure the referral code app plays nicely with the points app and the points app plays nicely with the badges app. You can make sure your forum app doesn’t try to do something your moderation app already provides. Or that each app isn’t trying to solve avatars its own way.

So Pinax isn’t trying to be a “directory” of apps. It’s a family of apps, themes and starter projects written with each other in mind.


Pinax is just django with a blend of other django plugins. You have to enable them and set them up individually. To use each individual app within pinax, you have to read that specific app’s documentation and set it up appropriately (list of apps and repos which likely contain documentation here: http://pinaxproject.com/ecosystem/)

Some people like pinax but I find that its more of a hassel than a solution. In the end pinax doesn’t work out of the box. You have to customize everything, but at the same time you position yourself into using a bundle you dont need. I suggest instead starting a project and installing the packages you need individually, and even finding more here: http://djangopackages.com/. Especially, if its a big project because then if you bundle/setup everything on your own you will know the ins and outs of it all.


The problem that pinax solves is that it avoids you hunting around for the best app that does something, as pinax bundles it together for you.

So if you want to get something up and running quickly, pinax makes that easy. For example, it is – by far – the quickest way to get a django project going with twitter bootstrap + other common plugins.


The benefit is simply this – when starting a new site, Pinax gives you a bit of a head start compared to an empty Django project.

Consider this: You’re starting a new site that will need user account management (including email confirmation, user profiles, password reset, etc.), and notifications.

With Pinax, you can get this functionality in a few commands:

$ mkvirtualenv mysite
$ pip install pinax
$ pinax-admin setup_project -b basic mysite
$ python manage.py syncdb
$ python manage.py runserver

You now have:

  1. Pretty much all you need for user management
  2. All that stuff you always add to settings.py like PROJECT_ROOT
  3. ‘About’ Urls – (about / terms / privacy / DMCA / What’s Next)
  4. Django Debug Toolbar
  5. i18n already set up.
  6. Static files with compression when in production
  7. A default theme (using Bootstrap)
  8. A whole bunch of other stuff

From there, you can add apps and build / customize templates just as you would for any Django project. The difference is that you’ve just saved yourself a few hours of installing and configuring apps.

Regarding themes, they’re trying to promote the idea of a theme as an app containing nothing more than static files. Take a look at the repo for the default theme to see how this works (it’s basically just an app with static files and templates).

If you’re a hobbyist building a single site which is your own project, don’t bother with Pinax.

If you’re a developer who is continually building new sites from scratch, Pinax may be your friend.


Pinax 0.7 was bundled with some apps and starter projects like social_projects which could be used for building a site more quickly, but I things changed in pinax 0.9.

I think pinax has reinvented its structure for some reasons (eg,In pinax 0.7 some people were complaining that it was messy to customize starter projects or to use only subset of certain starter projects so could pinax 0.9 provides more flexibility).

Some of the apps included in a pinax website are somehow coupled with each other so that it is easier to deploy them together,sometimes all you have to do is just installing them and the apps will communicate with each other.

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