Apps and instances

Applications can be added to the tree several times. Django itself supports this through the differentiation between application namespaces and instance namespaces. feincms3 builds on this functionality.

The feincms3.apps.apps_urlconf() function generates a dynamic URLconf Python module including all applications in their assigned place and adding the urlpatterns from ROOT_URLCONF at the end (or returns the value of ROOT_URLCONF directly if there are no active applications).

Application namespaces and instance namespace

The application URLconfs are included using nested namespaces:

  • The outer application namespace is "apps" by default.
  • The outer instance namespace is "apps-" + LANGUAGE_CODE.
  • The inner namespace is the app namespace, specified by the value of app_name în the apps’ URLconf module. The string must correspond with the value used in the APPLICATIONS list on the page model. application’s name in the APPLICATIONS list.
  • The inner instance namespace is the same as the app namespace, except if you return a different value in the applications app_instance_namespace function specified in the APPLICATIONS list.

Apps are contained in nested URLconf namespaces which allows for URL reversing using Django’s reverse() mechanism. The inner namespace is the app itself, the outer namespace the language. (Currently the apps code depends on LanguageMixin and cannot be used without it.) reverse_app() hides a good part of the complexity of finding the best match for a given view name since apps will often be added several times in different parts of the tree, especially on sites with more than one language.

Reversing application URLs

The best way for reversing app URLs is by using feincms3.apps.reverse_app(). The method expects at least two arguments, a namespace and a viewname. The namespace argument also supports passing a list of namespaces which is useful in conjunction with the app_instance_namespace option of applications.

reverse_app() first generates a list of viewnames and passes them on to feincms3.apps.reverse_any() (which returns the first viewname that can be reversed to a URL).

For the sake of an example let’s assume that our site is configured with english, german and french as available languages and that we’re trying to reverse the article list page, and that we are processing a german page:

from feincms3.apps import reverse_app

def page_detail(request, path=None):
    page = ...

    articles_list_url = reverse_app("articles", "article-list")

The list of viewnames reversed is in order:

  • apps-de.articles.article-list
  • apps-en.articles.article-list
  • apps-fr.articles.article-list

The german apps namespace comes first in the list. If the german part of the site does not contain an articles app, the reversing continues in all other languages.

If the namespace argument to reverse_app() was a list (or tuple), the list is even longer. Suppose that variants of the articles app may be added to the tree where only a single category is shown:

class Page(AppsMixin, LanguageMixin, ..., AbstractPage):
        ("articles", _("Articles"), {
            "urlconf": "app.articles.urls",
            "app_instance_namespace": lambda page: "{}-{}".format(
                page.application, page.category_id or "all"

    category = models.ForeignKey(

In this case we might prefer the URL of a specific categories’ articles app, but also be content with an articles app without a specific category:

    ["articles-{}".format(, "articles"],

The list of viewnames in this case is (assuming that the category has a pk value of 42):

  • apps-de.articles-42.article-list
  • apps-de.articles.article-list
  • apps-en.articles-42.article-list
  • apps-en.articles.article-list
  • apps-fr.articles-42.article-list
  • apps-fr.articles.article-list

As you can see reverse_app prefers apps in the current language to apps with the closer matching instance namespace.


Some of the time Django’s stock reverse() function works as well for reversing app URLs, e.g:

from django.urls import reverse


However, it’s still recommended to use reverse_app. reverse may not find apps because Django is content with the first match when searching for matching namespaces. Also, reverse may not find the best match in the presence of several app instances, be it because of several languages on the site or because of other factors.

Reversing URLs outside the request-response cycle

Outside the request-response cycle, respectively outside feincms3.apps.apps_middleware()’s request.urlconf assignment, the reversing functions only use the URLconf module configured using the ROOT_URLCONF setting. In this case applications are impossible to find. However, all reversing functions support specifying the root URLconf module used for reversing:

from feincms3.apps import apps_urlconf, reverse_app

reverse_app("articles", "article-list", urlconf=apps_urlconf())