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13. Bootstrapping Rango

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15. Adding External Search Functionality

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A newer version of this tutorial using Django 1.9 is available from Leanpub:

14. Template Tags

14.1. Providing Categories on Every Page

It would be nice to show the different categories that users can browse through in the sidebar on each page. Given what we have learnt so far we could do the following:

  • In the base.html template we could add some code to display an item list of categories, if the category list has been passed through.
  • Then in each view, we could access the Category object, get all the categories, and return that in the context dictionary.

However, this is a pretty nasty solution. It requires a lot of cutting and pasting of code. Also, we will run into problems, when we want to show the categories on pages serviced by the django-registration-redux package. So we need a different approach, by using templatetags that are included in the template that request the data required.

14.2. Using Template Tags

Create a directory rango/templatetags, and create two files, one called, which will be empty, and another called,, where you can add the following code:

from django import template
from rango.models import Category

register = template.Library()

def get_category_list():
    return {'cats': Category.objects.all()}

As you can see we have made a method called, get_category_list() which returns the list of categories, and that is assocaited with a template called rango/cats.html. Now create a template called ‘’rango/cats.html`` in the templates directory with the following code:

{% if cats %}
    <ul class="nav nav-sidebar">
    {% for c in cats %}
        <li><a href="{% url 'category'  c.slug %}">{{ }}</a></li>
    {% endfor %}

{% else %}
    <li> <strong >There are no category present.</strong></li>

{% endif %}

Now in your base.html you can access the templatetag by first loading it up with {% load rango_extras %} and then slotting it into the page with {% get_category_list %}, i.e.:

<div class="col-sm-3 col-md-2 sidebar">

    {% block side_block %}
    {% get_category_list %}
    {% endblock %}



You will need to restart your server every time you modify the templatetags so that they are registered.

14.3. Parameterised Template Tags

Now lets extend this so that when we visit a category page, it highlights which category we are in. To do this we need to paramterise the templatetag. So update the method in to be:

def get_category_list(cat=None):
    return {'cats': Category.objects.all(), 'act_cat': cat}

This lets us pass through the category we are on. We can now update the base.html to pass through the category, if it exists.

<div class="col-sm-3 col-md-2 sidebar">

    {% block side_block %}
    {% get_category_list category %}
    {% endblock %}


Now update the cats.html template:

{% for c in cats %}
    {% if c == act_cat %} <li  class="active" > {% else  %} <li>{% endif %}
            <a href="{% url 'category'  c.slug %}">{{ }}</a></li>
{% endfor %}

Here we check to see if the category being displayed is the same as the category being passed through (i.e. act_cat), if so, we assign the active class to it from Bootstrap (

Restart the development web server, and now visit the pages. We have passed through the category variable. When you view a category page, the template has access to the category variable, and so provides a value to the templatetag get_category_list(). This is then used in the cats.html template to select which category to highlight as active.