Le site web de la ville de Lens, avec Wagtail.
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Ville de Lens

Le site web de la ville de Lens.

Table of content



On a Debian-based host - running at least Debian Stretch, you will need the following packages:

  • python3
  • virtualenv
  • python3-psycopg2 (optional, in case of a PostgreSQL database)

Quick start

It assumes that you already have the application source code locally - the best way is by cloning this repository - and that you are in this folder.

  1. Define your local configuration in a file named config.env, which can be copied from config.env.example and edited to suits your needs.

    Depending on your environment, you will have to create your database and the user at first.

  2. Run make init.

    Note that if there is no config.env file, it will be created interactively.

That's it! Your environment is now initialized with the application installed. To update it, once the source code is checked out, simply run make update.

Manual installation

If you don't want to use the Makefile facilities, here is what is done behind the scene.

It assumes that you have downloaded the last release of lens, extracted it and that you moved to that folder.

  1. Start by creating a new virtual environment under ./venv and activate it:

    $ virtualenv --system-site-packages ./venv
    $ source ./venv/bin/activate
  2. Install the required Python packages depending on your environment:

    $ pip install -r requirements/production.txt
    ... or ...
    $ pip install -r requirements/development.txt
  3. Configure the application by setting the proper environment variables depending on your environment. You can use the config.env.example which give you the main variables with example values.

    $ cp config.env.example config.env
    $ nano config.env
    $ chmod go-rwx config.env

    Note that this ./config.env file will be loaded by default when the application starts. If you don't want that, just move this file away or set the READ_CONFIG_FILE environment variable to 0.

  4. Create the database tables - it assumes that you have created the database and set the proper configuration to use it:

    $ ./manage.py migrate

That's it! You should now be able to start the Django development server to check that everything is working fine with:

$ ./manage.py runserver


Here is an example deployment using NGINX - as the Web server - and uWSGI - as the application server.

The uWSGI configuration doesn't require a special configuration, except that we are using Python 3 and a virtual environment. Note that if you serve the application on a sub-location, you will have to add route-run = fixpathinfo: to your uWSGI configuration (from v2.0.11).

In the server block of your NGINX configuration, add the following blocks and set the path to your application instance and to the uWSGI socket:

location / {
    include uwsgi_params;
    uwsgi_pass unix:<uwsgi_socket_path>;
location /media {
    alias <app_instance_path>/var/media;
location /static {
    alias <app_instance_path>/var/static;
    # Optional: don't log access to assets
    access_log off;

You should also check that your application is well configured by running make check.



All the application files - e.g. Django code including settings, templates and statics - are located into the lens/. It should permit in a near future to distribute the application as a Python package and install it system-wide.

Two environments are defined - either for requirements and settings:

  • development: for local application development and testing. It uses a SQLite3 database and enable debugging by default, add some useful settings and applications for development purpose - i.e. the django-debug-toolbar.
  • production: for production. It checks that configuration is set and correct, try to optimize performances and enforce some settings - i.e. HTTPS related ones.

Local changes

You can override and extend statics and templates locally. This can be useful if you have to change the logo for a specific instance for example. For that, just put your files under the local/static/ and local/templates/ folders.

Regarding the statics, do not forget to collect them after that. Note also that the local/ folder is ignored by git.

Variable content

All the variable content - e.g. user-uploaded media, collected statics - are stored inside the var/ folder. It is also ignored by git as it's specific to each application installation.

So, you will have to configure your Web server to serve the var/media/ and var/static/ folders, which should point to /media/ and /static/, respectively.


The easiest way to deploy a development environment is by using the Makefile.

Before running make init, ensure that you have either set ENV=development in the config.env file or have this environment variable. Note that you can still change this variable later and run make init again.

There is some additional rules when developing, which are mainly wrappers for manage.py. You can list all of them by running make help. Here are the main ones:

  • make serve: run a development server
  • make test: test the whole application
  • make lint: check the Python code syntax


The assets - e.g. CSS, JavaScript, images, fonts - are generated using a Gulp-powered build system with these features:

  • SCSS compilation and prefixing
  • JavaScript module bundling with webpack
  • Styleguide and components preview
  • Built-in BrowserSync server
  • Compression for production builds

The source files live in assets/, and the styleguide in styleguide/.


You will need to have npm installed on your system. If you are running Debian, do not rely on the npm package which is either outdated or removed - starting from Debian Stretch. Instead, here is a way to install the last version as a regular user:

  1. Ensure that you have the following Debian packages installed, from at least stretch-backports:

    • nodejs
    • node-rimraf
  2. Set the npm's installation prefix as an environment variable:

      $ export npm_config_prefix=~/.node_modules
  3. Retrieve and execute the last npm's installation script:

      $ curl -L https://www.npmjs.com/install.sh | sh
  4. Add the npm's binary folder to your environment variables:

    $ export PATH="${HOME}/.node_modules/bin:${PATH}"

    In order to keep those environment variables the next time you will log in, you can append the following lines to the end of your ~/.profile file:

    if [ -d "${HOME}/.node_modules/bin" ] ; then
        export npm_config_prefix=~/.node_modules
  5. That's it! You can check that npm is now installed by running the following:

    $ npm --version


Start by installing the application dependencies - which are defined in package.json - by running: npm install.

The following tasks are then available:

  • npm run build: build all the assets for development and production use, and put them in the static folder - e.g lens/static.
  • npm run styleguide: run a server with the styleguide and watch for file changes.
  • npm run serve: run a proxy server to the app - which must already be served on localhost:8000 - with the styleguide on /stylguide and watch for file changes.
  • npm run lint: lint the JavaScript and the SCSS code.

In production, only the static files will be used. It is recommended to commit the compiled assets just before a new release only. This will prevent to have a growing repository due to the minified files.


lens is developed by Cliss XXI and licensed under the AGPLv3+.