Using Wing with Django

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"Wing is really the standard by which I judge other IDEs. It opens, it works, and does everything it can do to stay out of my way so I can be productive. And its remote debugging, which I use when I'm debugging Django uWSGI processes, makes it a rock star!" -- Andrew M
Wing Pro Screenshot

Wing Pro is a Python IDE that can be used to develop, test, and debug Python code written for the Django web development framework. The debugger works with Django's auto-reload feature and can step through and debug Python code and Django templates. Wing Pro also automates some aspects of the creation and management of Django projects and applications.

If you do not already have Wing Pro installed, download it now.

This document describes how to configure Wing for Django. To get started using Wing as your Python IDE, please refer to the tutorial in Wing's Help menu or read the Quickstart Guide.

Creating a Project

You can configure a new Wing project to use an existing Django project, or you can create a new Django project at the same time.

Existing Django Project

To set up a Wing Pro project for an existing Django project, use New Project in the Project menu. First select the host you with to work on, then choose your existing source directory, and set Project Type to Django. If Wing auto-detects a Python environment in your selected source directory, you can immediately create the project. Otherwise, press Next to select your Python environment as described below.

New Django Project

If you are starting a new Django project at the same time as you are setting up your Wing project, use New Project in the Project menu. First select the host you wish to work on, then choose a new project directory, and set Project Type to Django. Then press Next to configure your Python environment as described in the previous section.

Selecting the Python Environment

The Python Environment that you use with Django can be any existing Python installation or environment, or you can create a new virtualenv, pipenv, conda env, or Docker container along with your project. See Creating Python Environments for details.

If you select an existing Python environment, be sure that it has Django installed into it before creating your project. If you don't know where your Python is located, run it outside of Wing and type the following:

import sys

The resulting full path can be used with Command Line under the Existing Python Executable option in the New Project dialog.

Once the project is created, this will display a dialog that confirms the configuration, with a detailed list of the settings that were made.

Now you should be able to start Django in Wing's debugger, set breakpoints in Python code and Django templates, and reach those breakpoints in response to a browser page load.

Usage Tips

Automated Django Tasks

The Django menu, shown in Wing when the current project is configured for Django, contains items for common tasks such as creating a new app, generating SQL for a selected app, migrating an app or database, running validation checks or unit tests, and restarting the integrated Python Shell with the Django environment.

Wing's Django extensions are open source and can be found in scripts/ in the install directory listed in Wing's About box. For detailed information on writing extensions for Wing, see Scripting and Extending Wing.

Debugging Exceptions

Django contains a catch-all handler that displays exception information to the browser. When debugging with Wing, it is useful to also propagate these exceptions to the IDE. This can be done with a monkey patch as follows (for example, in on your development system):

import os
import sys

import django.views.debug

def wing_debug_hook(*args, **kwargs):
    if __debug__ and 'WINGDB_ACTIVE' in os.environ:
        exc_type, exc_value, traceback = sys.exc_info()
        sys.excepthook(exc_type, exc_value, traceback)
    return old_technical_500_response(*args, **kwargs)

old_technical_500_response = django.views.debug.technical_500_response
django.views.debug.technical_500_response = wing_debug_hook

The monkey patch only activates if Wing's debugger is active and assumes that the Debugger > Exceptions > Report Exceptions preference is left set to its default value When Printed.

Template Debugging

Wing Pro allows you to set breakpoints in any file that contains {%%} or {{}} tags, and the debugger will stop at them.

Note that stepping is tag by tag and not line by line, but breakpoints are limited to being set for a particular line and thus match all tags on that line.

When template debugging is enabled, you won't be able to step into Django internals during a template invocaton. To work around that, temporarily uncheck Enable Django Template Debugging under the Extension tab of Project Properties in Wing, and then restart your debug process.

Better Auto-Completion

Wing provides auto-completion on Python code and Django templates. The completion information is based on static analysis of the files and runtime introspection if the debugger is active and paused. It is often more informative to work with the debugger paused or at a breakpoint, particularly in Django templates where static analysis is not as effective as it is in Python code.

Running Unit Tests

Wing Pro includes a unit testing integration capable of running and debugging Django unit tests. For Django projects, the Default Testing Framework under the Testing tab of Project Properties is set to Django Tests so that the Testing tool runs test and displays the results. Individual tests can be run or debugged by selecting them and pressing Run Tests or Debug Tests in the Testing tool.

If unit tests need to be run with different settings, the environment variable WING_TEST_DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE can be set to replace DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE when unit tests are run.

Related Documents

For more information see: