Architectural conventions

One of GLAMkit’s intentions is to implement a common approach for working with web content, in order to maximise predictability and template reusability, without being so prescriptive as to prevent innovation and easy extension.

This section gives an overview of conventions to follow when using and extending the CMS.

Template contexts

In GLAMkit contents models that render templates, there is a convention of naming the primary content object page in the template context. Thus, in an Article view, the template context is populated with the context {'page': article}. Similarly in Event models, the context variable page is the event to be rendered.


Major content types (for example, Page, Article, PressRelease, Event) implement ListableMixin, which describes several common methods for retrieving attributes of an item of content.

The original intention behind ListableMixin was to provide a common interface for showing items of content in a list, such as in search results, related items, or listings pages. In addition, the same interface can be used by templates for rendering different kinds of contents without unnecessary duplication of template code.

Using methods (rather than properties) in content models

Different content may use different techniques to describe themselves. For example, the title of an ‘article’ may be the value of the title field, but the title of an ‘artwork’ may include the artist and year.

In order to avoid reimplementing templates for every variation of content, we use get_FOO() methods to access attributes, even if the attribute is trivial, like a field.


The reason we don’t use getter and setter properties is to allow calls to be parameterised when called from within Python, and to avoid needing to override protected or injected properties, such as Django fields.

Portable apps

GLAMkit models and content plugins are portable, which means the code can be moved without affecting table names or migration history.

This is useful to cleanly extend functionality beyond what can be accomplished by subclassing.

For more, see Portable Content Plugin & Page Type Apps

Naming Conventions

GLAMkit is spelled as one word with an uppercase GLAM and lowercase ‘kit’.

Model Classes

  • Use AbstractFoo for abstract models.
  • Use FooMixin for abstract models that are designed to be mixed-in to other models.

Admin Classes

Use AbstractFooAdmin or FooMixinAdmin for the corresponding admin

When defining abstract or mixin models, it’s helpful to define a corresponding ModelAdmin class which defines useful fieldsets and other attributes.

That means in concrete admin subclasses, it’s easy to concatenate the attributes of the parent classes to avoid unDRY admin specification. Wherever possible, define admin attributes as tuples for consistent concatenation:

class FOOAttributesMixinAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
        ('FOO attributes', {
            'fields': (

    filter_horizontal = ('big_ideas', 'recommended_for', 'education_groups', )

class ConcreteAdmin(FOOAttributesMixinAdmin):
    fieldsets = \
        (('Details', {
            'fields': (
        }),) + \