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Configuring Django backends using speckenv’s 12factor support

There are many many 12factor utility apps available to configure databases, caches and the email backend in Django apps, for example dj-database-url, django-cache-url and dj-email-url. As I wrote in my 2020 blog post Using environment variables to configure Django I liked using them – a lot. However, this has changed a bit because I don’t like the fact that all released versions of those libraries modify the urllib.uses_netloc list with their own protocols (when it’s not necessary at all) and I don’t like it either that some bugs still exist in some libraries which make upgrading projects in our environments from Django 3.2 to Django 4.0 harder than it should be; the problem isn’t really caused by Django’s new built-in features but rather surfaced by it.

Anyway, since I already had a library which helped reading settings from the environment, adding another utility which transforms DSNs to configuration dictionaries understood by Django was straightforward. And that’s why I’m now happily using speckenv’s Django support for those use cases.

Reducing the amount of dependencies in a project maybe shouldn’t be a goal in itself, but replacing generic utilities with more opinionated utilities is certainly a net positive in my book (if it is possible!)

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