To introduce the API, we are going to get started with two example models, Author and Book in an app named library.

# library/
class Author(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=100)

class Book(models.Model):
    title = models.CharField(max_length=100)
    author = models.ForeignKey(Author)
    pub_date = models.DateField('publication date', null=True)
    price = models.DecimalField('Book price', decimal_places=2)

Bootstrap the Metadata

To reiterate the introduction, Avocado is about making the best use of data model's metadata and expanding on that basis.

Avocado comes with a init subcommand which introspects Django models and creates DataField instances representing the model fields.

By default, DataField instances are not created for primary and foreign key fields. In practice, surrogate key fields are used infrequently as is, thus they are not created by default. To override this behavior and include key fields, add the flag --include-keys.

Likewise, model fields may be marked as not being editable in the model field definitions. This flag is turned used typically for operational or bookkeeping fields such as timestamps. By default, DataField instances are not created for these either, but can be overridden by passing the --include-non-editable.

Run the init subcommand to create the fields:

python avocado init library
1 field added for Author
2 fields added for Book

Note: The avocado command acts as a parent for various subcommands. Simply type python avocado to show a list of available subcommands.


So what is a DataField? A DataField instance represents a single Django model field instance. These three attributes uniquely identify a model field.

  • f.app_name - The name of the app this field's model is defined in
  • f.model_name - The name of the model this field is defined for
  • f.field_name - The name of the field on the model
>>> from avocado.models import DataField
>>> f = DataField.init('library', 'book', 'title')
>>> f
<DataField ''>

These three attributes allow you to access the actual field instance and model class:

  • f.field - The Django model field this DataField instance represents
  • f.model - The model class of the field
>>> f.field
<django.db.models.fields.CharField at 0x101b5fe10>
>>> f.model
<class 'library.models.Book'>


Additional metadata can be defined for this object to make it more useful to users. Define various descriptors to enhance meaning of a data field.

  • - A verbose human-readable name of the field. This will be derived from the model field's verbose_name value by default.
  • f.name_plural - The plural form of the verbose name. If not defined, an s will be appended to when the plural form is accessed provided does not already end with s.
  • f.description - A long description for the field. This will be derived from the model field's help_text value by default.
  • f.keywords - Other related keywords (this is primarily applicable for search indexing)
  • f.unit - The unit of the data, for example gram
  • f.unit_plural - The plural form of the unit, for example grams. If not defined, an s will be appended to f.unit when the plural form is accessed, provided f.unit does not already end with s.
>>> = 'Price'
# f.name_plural can be set, but does not need to be since
# this is a simple plural form
>>> f.get_plural_name()
# likewise with the f.unit_plural..
>>> f.unit = 'dollar'
>>> f.get_plural_unit()

Data Properties

  • f.enumerable - A flag denoting if the field's data is composed of an enumerable set. During a init, each field's data is evaluated based on the internal type and the size of the data (number of distinct values). By default, if the field is a CharField and has ENUMERABLE_MAXIMUM or less distinct values, this will be set to True.