Category Archives: Patterns

Meh Practices Nerd Patterns

Django management commands and verbosity

Ren and Stimpy

[update: This post has been corrected, thanks to my commenters for your feedback]

Every Django management command gets the verbosity option for free. You may recognize this:

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -v {0,1,2,3}, --verbosity {0,1,2,3}
                        Verbosity level; 0=minimal output, 1=normal output,
                        2=verbose output, 3=very verbose output

We rarely use it because doing so usually means lots of if statements scattered through our code to support this. If you’re writing quick n’ dirty code, this may look familiar in your management commands:

if options.get('verbosity') == 3:

In a recent Django project, I came up with a few lines of boilerplate to support the verbosity option, assuming you’re using also the logging library and not relying on print:

import logging
class Command(BaseCommand):
    def handle(self, *args, **options):
        verbosity = options.get('verbosity')
        if verbosity == 0:
        elif verbosity == 1:  # default
        elif verbosity > 1:
        if verbosity > 2:

So what does this do?

At the default verbosity, 1, I display INFO logging statements from my command. Increasing verbosity to 2, I also display DEBUG logs from my command. And going all the way to verbosity 3, I also enable all logging statements that reach the root logger.

Go forth and log!

Best Practices Patterns

Patterns: don’t mess up the prod db!

With 12factor style environment configs, it’s a very easy to accidentally connect to your production database when you think you’re connecting to dev. Here’s a simple guard you can add to make sure your  DATABASE_URL isn’t somehow pointed to someplace it’s not supposed to (assuming you’re using Amazon AWS):


if [[ ${DATABASE_URL} == *"amazonaws"* ]]; then exit -1; fi


if 'amazonaws' in os.environ['DATABASE_URL']:
   exit('Cannot be run against a production database')


if 'amazonaws' in settings.DATABASES['default']['HOST']:
    raise CommandError('Cannot be run against a production database')

(thanks to x110dc for the bash syntax and 12factor link)

You didn't say the magic word