Building a Classified Ad Web Site

In this assignment, you will build a web site that is roughly equivalent to

This web site is a classified ad web site. People can view ads without logging in and if they log in, they can create their own ads. It uses a social login that allows loging using github accounts.

You will build this application by borrowing parts and pieces from the code that runs

and combining them into a single application.

Make sure to get the latest version of dj4e-samples. If you have never checked it out on PythonAnywhere:

cd ~
git clone

If it already is on PythonAnywhere:

cd ~/dj4e-samples
git pull

Note: Do not build this application by forking the sample application repository and hacking it. There is just too much cruft in that repository that will make it hard to develop your application. You will end up with a lot cleaner code by taking pieces from the sample applications and copying them into a new application. At some point, we will ask you to hand in the source of your application and we will check to make sure you are not using a fork of the sample application.

Borrowing from the Samples Repository

(1) Make a new project under your django_projects called adlist.

(2) Copy dj4e-samples/requirements.txt to django_projects/adlist/requirements.txt and launch a shell. If you are using virtual environments you must run the pip command in your virtual environment. In PythonAnywhere under Linux you would say:

workon django3

Then run:

pip install -r requirements.txt   # or pip3

This will pull in important extra libraries that your application will need. On PythonAnywhere make sure to double check under the Web tab under the Virtualenv section that you have it set to something like:


So that your python application is run within the virtual environment.

(3) Copy the and files and the entire home folder from the dj4e-samples project:

cp ~/dj4e-samples/dj4e-samples/ ~/django_projects/adlist/adlist
cp ~/dj4e-samples/dj4e-samples/ ~/django_projects/adlist/adlist
mkdir ~/django_projects/adlist/home
cp -r ~/dj4e-samples/home/* ~/django_projects/adlist/home

(4) Edit the ~/dango_projects/adlist/adlist/ and then delete all the INSTALLED_APPLICATIONS after home. You also have to search and replace dj4e-samples with adlist in a few places. Also set the name of your application in the file:

# Used for a default title
APP_NAME = 'ChucksList'

This shows up in default page titles and default page navigation.

(5) Edit your django_projects/adlist/adlist/ and remove all of the path() calls to the sample applications. Make sure to keep the path() to include the home.urls. Also keep the site and favicon rules in your

(6) Edit the file django_projects/adlist/home/templates/home/main.html and put this HTML in the file:

    <title>{{ settings.APP_NAME }}</title>
    <h1>Welcome to {{ settings.APP_NAME }}</h1>
    Hello world.

(7) At this point, you should be able to run:

python3 check

Keep running check until it does not find any errors.

(8) If you have errors, you might find the grep tool very helpful in figuring out where you might find certain errors. For example, lets say after you did all the editing, and went to the ads url and got this error:

NoReverseMatch at /ads
'myarts' is not a registered namespace

You thought you fixed all the instances where the string "myarts" was in your code, but you must have missed one. You can manually look at every file individually or use the following command to let the computer do the searching:

cd ~/django_projects/adlist
grep -r myarts *

You might see output like this:

ads/templates/ads/ad_list.html:<a href="{% url 'login' %}?next={% url 'myarts:all' %}">Login</a>

The grep program is searching for all the files in the current folder and in subfolders for any lines in any file that have the string "myarts" in them and shows you the file name and the line within the file.

The grep command is the "Generalized Regular Expression Parser" and is one of the most useful Linux commands to know.

(8) Once your application can start without error, set up the database for your project:

python3 makemigrations
python3 migrate
python3 createsuperuser

There won't be many working urls. Try these two to see if you have the home code working properly:

Look at how pretty the login form looks :). Don't worry about social login yet. We will get to that later. Favicons are shown in the tabs in the browser. We will get to favicons later too :)

If you get an error like Could not import for social_django when running or restarting your PythonAnywhere webapp, don't worry - you will see this warning until you set up social login.

Building the Ads Application

In this section, you will pull bits and pieces of the sample applications repository and pull them into your ads application. Note: If you find you have a problem saving files in the PythonAnywhere system using their browser-based editor, you might need to turn off your ad blocker.

(1) Create a new ads application within your adlist project:

cd django_projects/adlist
python3 startapp ads

The add the application to your adlist/adlist/ and `adlist/adlist/'.

(2) Use this in your ads/

from django.db import models
from django.core.validators import MinLengthValidator
from django.contrib.auth.models import User
from django.conf import settings

class Ad(models.Model) :
    title = models.CharField(
            validators=[MinLengthValidator(2, "Title must be greater than 2 characters")]
    price = models.DecimalField(max_digits=7, decimal_places=2, null=True)
    text = models.TextField()
    owner = models.ForeignKey(settings.AUTH_USER_MODEL, on_delete=models.CASCADE)
    created_at = models.DateTimeField(auto_now_add=True)
    updated_at = models.DateTimeField(auto_now=True)

    # Shows up in the admin list
    def __str__(self):
        return self.title

(3) Pull in pieces of myarts application other than Then adapt the,,, and templates to be suitable for a classified ad application and the above model. A big part of this assignment is to use the view classes that are in and used in The new owner field should not be shown to the user on the create and update forms, it should be automatically set by the classes like OwnerCreateView in If you see an "owner" drop down in your user interface the program is not implemented correctly and will fail the autograder.

(4) When you are implementing the update and delete views, make sure to follow the url patterns the update and delete operations. They should be of the form /ad/14/update and /ad/14/delete. Something like the following should work in your

from django.urls import path, reverse_lazy
from . import views

urlpatterns = [
    path('', views.AdListView.as_view()),
    path('ads', views.AdListView.as_view(), name='all'),
    path('ad/<int:pk>', views.AdDetailView.as_view(), name='ad_detail'),
        views.AdCreateView.as_view(success_url=reverse_lazy('ads:all')), name='ad_create'),
        views.AdUpdateView.as_view(success_url=reverse_lazy('ads:all')), name='ad_update'),
        views.AdDeleteView.as_view(success_url=reverse_lazy('ads:all')), name='ad_delete'),

Adding the Bootstrap menu to the top of the page

Next we will add the bootstrap navigation bar to the top of your application as shown in:

This top bar includes a 'Create Ad' navigation item and the login/logout navigation as well as the gravatar when the user logs in.

(2) Edit all four of the ads_ files in ads/templates/ads to change them so they extend ads/base_menu.html. Change the first line of each file from:

{% extends "base_bootstrap.html" %}

to be:

{% extends "base_menu.html" %}

(3) Then create home/templates/base_menu.html with the following content:

{% extends "base_bootstrap.html" %}
{% block navbar %}
{% load app_tags %}
<nav class="navbar navbar-default navbar-inverse">
  <div class="container-fluid">
    <div class="navbar-header">
        <a class="navbar-brand" href="/">{{ settings.APP_NAME }}</a>
    <!-- -->
    <ul class="nav navbar-nav">
      {% url 'ads' as ads %}
      <li {% if request.get_full_path == ads %}class="active"{% endif %}>
          <a href="{% url 'ads:all' %}">Ads</a></li>
    <ul class="nav navbar-nav navbar-right">
        {% if user.is_authenticated %}
        <a href="{% url 'ads:ad_create' %}">Create Ad</a>
        <li class="dropdown">
            <a href="#" data-toggle="dropdown" class="dropdown-toggle">
                <img style="width: 25px;" src="{{ user|gravatar:60 }}"/><b class="caret"></b>
            <ul class="dropdown-menu">
                <li><a href="{% url 'logout' %}?next={% url 'ads:all' %}">Logout</a></li>
        {% else %}
        <a href="{% url 'login' %}?next={% url 'ads:all' %}">Login</a>
        {% endif %}
{% endblock %}

(4) Find the line in your base_bootstrap.html that looks like this:

    <meta name="dj4e-code" content="99999999">

and change the 9999999 to be "missing"

Make sure to check the autograder for additional markup requirements.

When you are done, you should see an 'Ads' menu on the left and a 'Create Ad' link on the right just like the sample implementation.

Fun Challenges

(1) Make yourself a gravatar at - it is super easy and you will see your avatar when you log in in your application and elsewhere with gravatar enabled apps. The gravatar can be any thing you like - it does not have to be a picture of you.

(2) Change your home/static/favicon.ico to a favicon of your own making. I made my favicon at - it might not change instantly after you update the favicon because they are cached extensively. Probably the best way to test is to go right to the favicon url after up update the file and press 'Refresh' and.or switch browsers.

(3) Make social login work. Take a look at, copy it into adlist\adlist/ and go through the process on github to get your client ID and secret. The documentation is in comments of the file. Also take a look at dj4e-samples/ and make sure that the "Switch to social login" code is correct and at the end of your adlist\adlist/

You can register two applications with github - one on localhost and one on PythonAnywhere. If you are using github login on localhost - make sure that you register instead of http://localhost:8000/ and use that in your browser to test your site. If you use localhost, you probably will get the The redirect_uri MUST match the registered callback URL for this application. error message when you use social login.

Working with Ambiguity

This assignment is more vague than previous assignments - on purpose. The goal is to get closer to the development model for actual applications. You know what you want to build and start with a mostly blank slate. You look at sample code, reuse some code form stuff you build earlier, do some online searching and glue pieces of what you find together to make your application. Of course as you are gluing bits from various places together, they always break and you have to adjust things so they fit in your application.

So this is kind of like the real world - when you have to build your own first application for someone else.

Let us know if you really get stuck. We want you to succeed in this assignment.