Django Require

A Django staticfiles post-processor for optimizing with RequireJS.
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django-require is a Django staticfiles post-processor for optimizing with RequireJS.


  • Optimize your static assets using the excellent r.js optimizer.
  • Compile standalone modules using the almond.js shim.
  • Compatible with any Django staticfiles storage backend.


  1. Checkout the latest django-require release and copy or symlink the require directory into your PYTHONPATH. If using pip, run pip install django-require.
  2. Add 'require' to your INSTALLED_APPS setting.
  3. Set your STATICFILES_STORAGE setting to '', '' or ''.

Available settings

Available settings, and their default values, are shown below. You should configure this to match the layout of your project's static files. Please consult the RequireJS documentation for more information about how to build javascript using RequireJS.

# The baseUrl to pass to the r.js optimizer, relative to STATIC_ROOT.

# The name of a build profile to use for your project, relative to REQUIRE_BASE_URL.
# A sensible value would be ''. Leave blank to use the built-in default build profile.
# Set to False to disable running the default profile (e.g. if only using it to build Standalone
# Modules)

# The name of the require.js script used by your project, relative to REQUIRE_BASE_URL.
REQUIRE_JS = "require.js"

# A dictionary of standalone modules to build with almond.js.
# See the section on Standalone Modules, below.

# Whether to run django-require in debug mode.

# A tuple of files to exclude from the compilation result of r.js.
REQUIRE_EXCLUDE = ("build.txt",)

# The execution environment in which to run r.js: auto, node or rhino.
# auto will auto-detect the environment and make use of node if available and rhino if not.
# It can also be a path to a custom class that subclasses
# require.environments.Environment and defines some "args" function that
# returns a list with the command arguments to execute.

Generating require.js

As a shortcut to downloading a copy of require.js from the internet, you can simply run the require_init management to copy a version of require.js into your STATICFILES_DIRS, at the location specified by your REQUIRE_BASE_URL and REQUIRE_JS settings.

$ ./ require_init

Generating build profiles

In almost all cases, you'll want to create a custom build profile for your project. To help you get started, django-require can generate a default build profile into your STATICFILES_DIRS. Just set your REQUIRE_BUILD_PROFILE setting to a build profile name, and run require_init. A good name for a build profile would be ''.

Any standalone modules that your specify with a build profile will also have a default build profile generated when you run this command.

Running javascript modules in templates

You can run javascript modules in templates by using the {% require_module %} template tag.

    {% load require %}
        {% require_module 'main' %}

This template fragment would then render to something like:

        <script src="/static/js/require.js" data-main="/static/js/main.js"></script>

If the 'main' module was specified as a standalone module in your REQUIRE_STANDALONE_MODULES setting, and REQUIRE_DEBUG is False, then the template fragment would instead render as:

This template fragment would then render to something like:

        <script src="/static/js/main-built.js"></script>

Building standalone modules

As a further optimization to your code, you can build your modules to run independently of require.js, which can often speed up page load times. Standalone modules are built using the almond.js shim, so consult the almond.js documentation to make sure that it's safe to build your module in standalone mode.

To specify standalone modules, simply add them to your REQUIRE_STANDALONE_MODULES setting, as below:

    "main": {
        # Where to output the built module, relative to REQUIRE_BASE_URL.
        "out": "main-built.js",

        # Optional: A build profile used to build this standalone module.
        "build_profile": "",

Running the r.js optimizer

The r.js optimizer is run automatically whenever you call the collectstatic management command. The optimizer is run as a post-processing step on your static files.

django-require provides three storage classes that are ready to use with the r.js optimizer:

  • - A filesystem-based storage that runs the r.js optimizer.
  • - As above, but fingerprints all files with an MD5 hash of their contents for HTTP cache-busting.
  • - As above, but fingerprints all files with an MD5 hash of their contents for HTTP cache-busting and stores the fingerprints in a JSON file on disk instead of using a cache. Please note that the OptimizedManifestStaticFilesStorage is only available in Django 1.7 and above.

Creating your own optimizing storage classes

You can add r.js optimization to any Django staticfiles storage class by using the For example, to make an optimizing storage that uploads to Amazon S3 using S3BotoStorage from django-storages:

from storages.backends.s3boto import S3BotoStorage
from import OptimizedFilesMixin

# S3 storage with r.js optimization.
class OptimizedS3BotoStorage(OptimizedFilesMixin, S3BotoStorage):

# S3 storage with r.js optimization and MD5 fingerprinting.
from import CachedFilesMixin
class OptimizedCachedS3BotoStorage(OptimizedFilesMixin, CachedFilesMixin, S3BotoStorage):

For ready-made storage classes that combine django-require with Amazon S3, check out django-require-s3.

Other projects extending django-require


You can run the test suite from the root of the source checkout:

test_project/ test require

Test coverage reports can be generated from the same directory with:

coverage run --source='.' test_project/ test require
coverage html

Open htmlcov/index.html in a browser to see the HTML coverage report.

Support and announcements

Downloads and bug tracking can be found at the main project website.

You can keep up to date with the latest announcements by joining the django-require discussion group.

More information

The django-require project was developed by Dave Hall. You can get the code from the django-require project site.

Dave Hall is a freelance web developer, based in Cambridge, UK. You can usually find him on the Internet in a number of different places:

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