Ralph/ February 22, 2020/ Bootstrap, Django

This is Part 2 of Building a Dashboard with Django and Bootstrap:

Introduction

If you follow the first part of this blog topic, you have a running Django dashboard.

But, unfortunately, the content is still static. Let’s review the current state:

Perfect. We are done with the basic setup.

Still, some work to do, because our dashboard is only a static dashboard. All content is programmed in the dashboard template file dashboard/templates/site/sb-admin-2/base.html

For example, look at the cards with the earnings at the top:

To achieve a more dynamic content, we need to move the desired parts of the dashboard from the template file to the frontend view file.

We will do this by following these steps:

  • Identify the dynamic parts
  • Move these parts from the template into for frontend view template index.html
  • Modify frontend view.py to generate dynamic content from data

Identify dynamic parts

How to find the parts, which are dynamic.

One way is to ask:

  • Which parts should be on every page (unchanged) and
  • What should change on every page

You mostly get the same answers by the question:

  • What are the main components of a web page (including navigation and content)

For answer the first question, take a look at the current page and “name” the areas:

So, these “names” are also the answer for the 3. Question:

  • sidemenu
  • top bar
  • content

And maybe you find additional “names”

  • header
  • footer
  • top menu
  • left and right sidebar

Find identified parts in template

Next step is, to find the identified parts in our dashboard template

dashboard/templates/site/sb-admin-2/base.html

This is an easy step, because the developer of the SB Admin 2 template documented their template well:

Looking into the code of the template, you will find comment lines describing the content:

  • <!-- Sidebar -->
  • <!-- Topbar -->
  • <!-- Top Search -->
  • <!-- Top Navbar -->
  • <!-- Begin Page Content-->

So, it is obvious what do to next:

  • get the dynamic part (lines under)<!-- Begin Page Content-->
    the green box in the following image
  • move it to the frontend template
  • place some information in the dashboard template, that the real content should be displayed here
    the blue curly braces in the following image

This is the way, the template system of django works:

Let’s explain this with a simple example: the page title

We declare a title (which should be considered as the default title). And in the frontend page, we declare the title for this page (the frontend page).

To achieve this, we have to tell our template system the following:

Now, we do the same with the content:

Looking at our resulting page, nothing changes. This is the desired result, but how could we be sure, that we really change the structure?

Well, let’s make a test and try to include a different content in the dashboard template.

Change the lines, where we include the content into this:

{% block content_missing %}
MISSING CONTENT
{% endblock content_missing %}

Did you notice the other name of the content: content_missing?

Change the template, save the file and have a look at the result:

Change content back, so your template is working again:

{% block content %}
MISSING CONTENT
{% endblock content %}

The final step in Part 3 will be replacing all static content of the dashboard with dynamic content.

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