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django-notifications-hq 0.7.0

GitHub notifications alike app for Django.

django-notifications Documentation

django-notifications is a GitHub notification alike app for Django, it was derived from django-activity-stream

Notifications are actually actions events, which are categorized by four main components.

  • Actor. The object that performed the activity.
  • Verb. The verb phrase that identifies the action of the activity.
  • Action Object. (Optional) The object linked to the action itself.
  • Target. (Optional) The object to which the activity was performed.

Actor, Action Object and Target are GenericForeignKeys to any arbitrary Django object. An action is a description of an action that was performed (Verb) at some instant in time by some Actor on some optional Target that results in an Action Object getting created/updated/deleted.

For example: justquick (actor) closed (verb) issue 2 (object) on activity-stream (target) 12 hours ago

Nomenclature of this specification is based on the Activity Streams Spec:


Installation is easy using pip and will install all required libraries.

$ pip install django-notifications-hq

or get it from source

$ git clone
$ cd django-notifications
$ python install

Note that django-model-utils will be installed: this is required for the pass-through QuerySet manager.

Then to add the Django Notifications to your project add the app notifications to your INSTALLED_APPS and urlconf.

The app should go somewhere after all the apps that are going to be generating notifications like django.contrib.auth:


Add the notifications urls to your urlconf:

import notifications

urlpatterns = patterns('',
    url('^inbox/notifications/', include(notifications.urls)),

The method of installing these urls, importing rather than using 'notifications.urls', is required to ensure that the urls are installed in the notifications namespace.

How to migrate schema

For Django 1.4~1.6

django-south support is shipped with django-notifications.

  1. Install latest version (>=1.0) django-south
  2. Execute migrate notifications to migrate django-notifications schema

For Django 1.7

Django 1.7 has built-in support for migrations. No need to install django-south.

  1. Execute migrate notifications

Generating Notifications

Generating notifications is probably best done in a separate signal.

from django.db.models.signals import post_save
from notifications import notify
from myapp.models import MyModel

def my_handler(sender, instance, created, **kwargs):
    notify.send(instance, verb='was saved')

post_save.connect(my_handler, sender=MyModel)

To generate an notification anywhere in your code, simply import the notify signal and send it with your actor, recipient, verb, and target.

from notifications import notify

notify.send(user, recipient=user, verb='you reached level 10')

notify.send(comment.user, recipient=user, verb=u'replied', action_object=comment,
            description=comment.comment, target=comment.content_object)

notify.send(follow_instance.user, recipient=follow_instance.follow_object, verb=u'has followed you',
            action_object=instance, description=u'', target=follow_instance.follow_object)

Extra data

You can attach arbitrary data to your notifications by doing the following:


Then, any extra arguments you pass to notify.send(...) will be attached to the .data attribute of the notification object. These will be serialised using the JSONField’s serialiser, so you may need to take that into account: using only objects that will be serialised is a good idea.

Soft delete

By default, delete/(?P<slug>\d+)/ deletes specified notification record from DB. You can change this behaviour to “mark Notification.deleted field as True” by:


With this option, QuerySet methods unread and read contain one more filter: deleted=False. Meanwhile, QuerySet methods deleted, active, mark_all_as_deleted, mark_all_as_active are turned on. See more details in QuerySet methods section.


QuerySet methods

Using django-model-utils, we get the ability to add queryset methods to not only the manager, but to all querysets that will be used, including related objects. This enables us to do things like:


which returns all unread notifications. To do this for a single user, we can do:

user = User.objects.get(pk=pk)

There are some other QuerySet methods, too.


Return all of the unread notifications, filtering the current queryset. When NOTIFICATIONS_SOFT_DELETE=True, this filter contains deleted=False.

Return all of the read notifications, filtering the current queryset. When NOTIFICATIONS_SOFT_DELETE=True, this filter contains deleted=False.

qs.mark_all_as_read() | qs.mark_all_as_read(recipient)

Mark all of the unread notifications in the queryset (optionally also filtered by recipient) as read.

qs.mark_all_as_unread() | qs.mark_all_as_unread(recipient)

Mark all of the read notifications in the queryset (optionally also filtered by recipient) as unread.


Return all notifications that have deleted=True, filtering the current queryset. Must be used with NOTIFICATIONS_SOFT_DELETE=True.

Return all notifications that have deleted=False, filtering the current queryset. Must be used with NOTIFICATIONS_SOFT_DELETE=True.

qs.mark_all_as_deleted() | qs.mark_all_as_deleted(recipient)

Mark all notifications in the queryset (optionally also filtered by recipient) as deleted=True. Must be used with NOTIFICATIONS_SOFT_DELETE=True.

qs.mark_all_as_active() | qs.mark_all_as_active(recipient)

Mark all notifications in the queryset (optionally also filtered by recipient) as deleted=False. Must be used with NOTIFICATIONS_SOFT_DELETE=True.

Model methods


A wrapper for Django’s timesince function.


Mark the current object as read.

Template tags

Put {% load notifications_tags %} in the template before you actually use notification tags.


{% notifications_unread %}

Give the number of unread notifications for a user, or nothing (an empty string) for an anonymous user.

Storing the count in a variable for further processing is advised, such as:

{% notifications_unread as unread_count %}
{% if unread_count %}
    You have <strong>{{ unread_count }}</strong> unread notifications.
{% endif %}

django-notifications Team

Core contributors (in alphabetical order):

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