Django 1.2 beta 1 release notes

February 5, 2010

Welcome to Django 1.2 beta 1!

This is the second in a series of preview/development releases leading up to the eventual release of Django 1.2, currently scheduled to take place in March 2010. This release is primarily targeted at developers who are interested in trying out new features and testing the Django codebase to help identify and resolve bugs prior to the final 1.2 release.

As such, this release is not intended for production use, and any such use is discouraged.

This document covers changes since the Django 1.2 alpha release; the 1.2 alpha release notes cover new and updated features in Django between 1.1 and 1.2 alpha.

Deprecations and other changes in 1.2 beta

This beta release deprecates two portions of public API, and introduces a potentially backwards-incompatible change to another. Under our API stability policy, deprecation proceeds over multiple release cycles: initially, the deprecated API will raise PendingDeprecationWarning, followed by raising DeprecationWarning in the next release, and finally removal of the deprecated API in the release after that. APIs beginning the deprecation process in Django 1.2 will be removed in the Django 1.4 release.

Unit test runners

Django 1.2 changes the test runner tools to use a class-based approach. Old style function-based test runners will still work, but should be updated to use the new class-based runners.

Syndication feeds

The django.contrib.syndication.feeds.Feed class is being replaced by the django.contrib.syndication.views.Feed class. The old feeds.Feed class is deprecated. The new class has an almost identical API, but allows instances to be used as views.

Also, in accordance with RSS best practices, RSS feeds will now include an atom:link element. You may need to update your tests to take this into account.

For more information, see the full syndication framework documentation.

What’s new in 1.2 beta

This 1.2 beta release marks the final feature freeze for Django 1.2; while most feature development was completed for 1.2 alpha (which constituted a freeze on major features), a few other new features were added afterward and so are new as of 1.2 beta.

Object-level permissions

A foundation for specifying permissions at the per-object level was added in Django 1.2 alpha but not documented with the alpha release.

The default authentication backends shipped with Django do not currently make use of this, but third-party authentication backends are free to do so. See the authentication docs for more information.

Permissions for anonymous users

If you provide a custom authentication backend with the attribute supports_anonymous_user set to True, the AnonymousUser class will check the backend for permissions, just as the normal User does. This is intended to help centralize permission handling; apps can always delegate the question of whether something is allowed or not to the authorization/authentication system. See the authentication docs for more details.

The Django 1.2 roadmap

Before the final Django 1.2 release, at least one additional preview/development releases will be made available. The current schedule consists of at least the following:

  • Week of March 2, 2010: First Django 1.2 release candidate. String freeze for translations.
  • Week of March 9, 2010: Django 1.2 final release.

If necessary, additional beta or release-candidate packages will be issued prior to the final 1.2 release. Django 1.2 will be released approximately one week after the final release candidate.

What you can do to help

In order to provide a high-quality 1.2 release, we need your help. Although this beta release is, again, not intended for production use, you can help the Django team by trying out the beta codebase in a safe test environment and reporting any bugs or issues you encounter. The Django ticket tracker is the central place to search for open issues:

Please open new tickets if no existing ticket corresponds to a problem you’re running into.

Additionally, discussion of Django development, including progress toward the 1.2 release, takes place daily on the django-developers mailing list:

... and in the #django-dev IRC channel on If you’re interested in helping out with Django’s development, feel free to join the discussions there.

Django’s online documentation also includes pointers on how to contribute to Django:

Contributions on any level – developing code, writing documentation or simply triaging tickets and helping to test proposed bugfixes – are always welcome and appreciated.

Development sprints for Django 1.2 will also be taking place at PyCon US 2010, on the dedicated sprint days (February 22 through 25), and anyone who wants to help out is welcome to join in, either in person at PyCon or virtually in the IRC channel or on the mailing list.