RedNoise, a Django-centric WhiteNoise addon

Thu 04 June 2015

I've developed with Django for a number of years - out of all the frameworks I've ever used, it strikes the best balance between "let me get stuff done" and "don't try to provide me too much, get out of my way when I say so". I was ecstatic when WhiteNoise was released, as it solved a very annoying part of the development process with Django - static files. Rather than uploading things to S3 (ala the old Storages route) it's now just easier to toss CloudFront in front of your files and let uwsgi serve it up. Since WhiteNoise debuted, I've used it on a few different projects, and over time I found myself wanting a few things that it lacked - django-rednoise provides them.

Feel free to read on for details, or go find it on GitHub! I published it as a separate module as the goals differ from the established WhiteNoise goals, but I'd be absolutely open to it being merged or pulled from.

DEBUG Please

WhiteNoise has a Django-specific module that you can use, but it's essentially geared towards production use-cases. I tend to prefer having a development setup that mimics my production setup; patching Django urls to load static or media files in development just feels clunky to me.

RedNoise respects whether Django is in DEBUG mode or not. If DEBUG is set to True, RedNoise will mimic Django's default static-file loading pattern, so you don't need to reload the entire server just to debug some frontend issues.

Serve Media Files

WhiteNoise doesn't support serving user-uploaded media files, but I wound up having to throw together a CMS at one point and ran into this limitation. Content authors and editors wanted to be able to upload photos, but I didn't want to have to keep a separate S3 bucket for it all. RedNoise will serve media files, hooking into the associated parameters to make it "just work".

Should You Use It?

I've run it for a bit with no real issues; I would say that whatever you do, tossing a CDN in front of it all is pretty efficient. Provided you do that, the CDN should absorb most of the requests, leaving your server to do its thing.

If you use WhiteNoise, and wish you had the above features, give django-rednoise a shot. It's just a pip install away.