Creating custom plugins for use with 3rd-party applications

How to create custom plugins

Django Media Tree comes with some generic View classes and Mixins that make it relatively easy to use FileNode objects with your own applications.

The following pseudo code should give you an idea of how to implement your own custom plugin that will render a file listing and work together with the 3rd-party application of your choice. It loosely looks like a Django CMS plugin. Please notice that the render() method is passed an options_instance, which can be a dictionary or an object with attributes to initialize the generic View class we are using, which is FileNodeListingView in this case. See Class-based generic views for more information on the View classes themselves:

from media_tree.contrib.views.listing import FileNodeListingMixin
from third_party_app import YourPluginSuperclass
from django.shortcuts import render_to_response

# Notice we are subclassing our third-party plugin class,
# as well as the FileNodeListingMixin
class CustomFileNodeListingPlugin(YourPluginSuperclass, FileNodeListingMixin):

    # Assuming render() is a standard method of YourPluginSuperclass
    def render(self, request, options_instance):

        # Get the generic view class using the method inherited from
        # the Mixin class.
        # Notice that get_detail_view() is inherited from the
        # FileNodeListingMixin. We are also passing our options model
        # instance for configuring the view instance.
        view = self.get_detail_view(request,

        # Get the template context as generated by the View class
        context_data = view.get_context_data()

        # Render with custom template
        return render_to_response('listing.html', context_data)

This is what our model classes (namely the class of the options_instance above) might look like:

from django.db import Models
from media_tree.fields import FileNodeForeignKey

class PluginOptions(models.Model):
    # These field names are derived from
    # media_tree.contrib.views.list.FileNodeListingView.
    list_max_depth = models.IntegerField()
    include_descendants = models.BooleanField()

class SelectedFolder(models.Model):
    plugin = models.ForeignKey(PluginOptions)
    folder = FileNodeForeignKey()

The first class contains our plugin option fields. Notice that when calling the get_detail_view() or get_view() methods provided by the FileNodeListingMixin and passing it an instance of this model, any fields that match attributes of the view object returned will be used to initialized the view object.

The second class creates a relationship between the options model and the FileNode model, i.e. you will be able to link FileNode objects to plugins.

View Mixins

View Mixins are classes that add methods useful for interfacing with Media Tree’s generic view classes to your custom plugin classes, as demonstrated in the above example.

You can use Mixins as superclasses for your custom plugins when interfacing with third-party applications, such as Django CMS. Please take a look at How to create custom plugins for more information.

Basically, a Mixin classes adds methods to your own class (which is subclassing a Mixin) for instantiating View classes. All attributes of your own class that also exist in the View class will be used to initialize View instances.

For instance, if your custom class has an attribute template_name, and an attribute with the same name also exists in the View class, then the View instance’s template_name attribute will be set accordingly.

Please refer to Class-based generic views for an overview of attributes you can define.