If you’re happy to develop on a virtual machine, the vagrant-wagtail-develop and docker-wagtail-develop setup scripts are the fastest way to get up and running. They will provide you with a running instance of the Wagtail Bakery demo site, with the Wagtail and bakerydemo codebases available as shared folders for editing on your host machine.
(Build scripts for other platforms would be very much welcomed - if you create one, please let us know via the Slack workspace!)
If you’d prefer to set up all the components manually, read on. These instructions assume that you’re familiar with using pip and virtualenv to manage Python packages.
Setting up the Wagtail codebase¶
Install Node.js, version 10. Instructions for installing Node.js can be found on the Node.js download page.
You can also use Node version manager (nvm) since Wagtail supplies a
.nvmrc file in the root of the project with the minimum required Node version - see nvm’s installation instructions.
You will also need to install the libjpeg and zlib libraries, if you haven’t done so already - see Pillow’s platform-specific installation instructions.
Clone a copy of the Wagtail codebase:
$ git clone https://github.com/wagtail/wagtail.git $ cd wagtail
With your preferred virtualenv activated, install the Wagtail package in development mode with the included testing and documentation dependencies:
$ pip install -e '.[testing,docs]' -U
Install Node through nvm (optional):
$ nvm install
Install the tool chain for building static assets:
$ npm install --no-save
Compile the assets:
$ npm run build
Any Wagtail sites you start up in this virtualenv will now run against this development instance of Wagtail. We recommend using the Wagtail Bakery demo site as a basis for developing Wagtail. Keep in mind that the setup steps for a Wagtail site may include installing a release version of Wagtail, which will override the development version you’ve just set up. In this case, you should install the site before running the
pip install -e step, or re-run that step after the site is installed.
From the root of the Wagtail codebase, run the following command to run all the tests:
$ python runtests.py
Running only some of the tests¶
At the time of writing, Wagtail has well over 2500 tests, which takes a while to
run. You can run tests for only one part of Wagtail by passing in the path as
an argument to
$ # Running in the current environment $ python runtests.py wagtail.core $ # Running in a specified Tox environment $ tox -e py36-dj22-sqlite-noelasticsearch wagtail.core $ # See a list of available Tox environments $ tox -l
You can also run tests for individual TestCases by passing in the path as
an argument to
$ # Running in the current environment $ python runtests.py wagtail.core.tests.test_blocks.TestIntegerBlock $ # Running in a specified Tox environment $ tox -e py36-dj22-sqlite-noelasticsearch wagtail.core.tests.test_blocks.TestIntegerBlock
Running migrations for the test app models¶
You can create migrations for the test app by running the following from the Wagtail root.
$ django-admin makemigrations --settings=wagtail.tests.settings
Testing against PostgreSQL¶
In order to run these tests, you must install the required modules for PostgreSQL as described in Django’s Databases documentation.
By default, Wagtail tests against SQLite. You can switch to using PostgreSQL by
$ python runtests.py --postgres
If you need to use a different user, password, host or port, use the
PGPORT environment variables respectively.
Testing against a different database¶
In order to run these tests, you must install the required client libraries and modules for the given database as described in Django’s Databases documentation or 3rd-party database backend’s documentation.
If you need to test against a different database, set the
environment variable to the name of the Django database backend to test against:
$ DATABASE_ENGINE=django.db.backends.mysql python runtests.py
This will create a new database called
test_wagtail in MySQL and run
the tests against it.
If you need to use different connection settings, use the following environment variables which correspond to the respective keys within Django’s DATABASES settings dictionary:
- Note that for MySQL, this must be
localhostif you need to connect using a TCP socket
- Note that for MySQL, this must be
It is also possible to set
DATABASE_DRIVER, which corresponds to the driver value within OPTIONS if an SQL Server engine is used.
You can test Wagtail against Elasticsearch by passing the
$ python runtests.py --elasticsearch
Wagtail will attempt to connect to a local instance of Elasticsearch
http://localhost:9200) and use the index
If your Elasticsearch instance is located somewhere else, you can set the
ELASTICSEARCH_URL environment variable to point to its location:
$ ELASTICSEARCH_URL=http://my-elasticsearch-instance:9200 python runtests.py --elasticsearch
Browser and device support¶
Wagtail is meant to be used on a wide variety of devices and browsers. Supported browser / device versions include:
|Mobile Safari||iOS Phone||Last 2|
|Mobile Safari||iOS Tablet||Last 2|
|MS Edge||Desktop||Last 2|
We aim for Wagtail to work in those environments. Our development standards ensure that the site is usable on other browsers and will work on future browsers. To test on IE, install virtual machines made available by Microsoft.
IE 11 is gradually falling out of use, and specific features are unsupported in this browser:
- Rich text copy-paste in the rich text editor.
- Sticky toolbar in the rich text editor.
- Focus outline styles in the main menu & explorer menu.
- Keyboard access to the actions in page listing tables.
Unsupported browsers / devices include:
|IE||Desktop||10 and below|
We want to make Wagtail accessible for users of a wide variety of assistive technologies. The specific standard we aim for is WCAG2.1, AA level. Wagtail’s administration user interface isn’t accessible at the moment (see issue #4199), but here are specific assistive technologies we aim to test for, and ultimately support:
|Screen reader||NVDA on Windows with Firefox ESR|
|Screen reader||VoiceOver on macOS with Safari|
|Voice control||Windows Speech Recognition|
|Voice control||macOS Dictation|
|Screen reader||Mobile VoiceOver on iOS, or TalkBack on Android|
We aim for Wagtail to work in those environments. Our development standards ensure that the site is usable with other assistive technologies. In practice, testing with assistive technology can be a daunting task that requires specialised training – here are tools we rely on to help identify accessibility issues, to use during development and code reviews:
Compiling static assets¶
gulp. The compiled assets are not committed to the repository, and are compiled before packaging each new release. Compiled assets should not be submitted as part of a pull request.
To compile the assets, run:
$ npm run build
This must be done after every change to the source files. To watch the source files for changes and then automatically recompile the assets, run:
$ npm start
Compiling the documentation¶
The Wagtail documentation is built by Sphinx. To install Sphinx and compile the documentation, run:
$ cd /path/to/wagtail $ # Install the documentation dependencies $ pip install -e '.[docs]' $ # Compile the docs $ cd docs/ $ make html
The compiled documentation will now be in
Open this directory in a web browser to see it.
Python comes with a module that makes it very easy to preview static files in a web browser.
To start this simple server, run the following commands:
$ cd docs/_build/html/ $ python -mhttp.server 8080
Now you can open <http://localhost:8080/> in your web browser to see the compiled documentation.
Sphinx caches the built documentation to speed up subsequent compilations. Unfortunately, this cache also hides any warnings thrown by unmodified documentation source files. To clear the built HTML and start fresh, so you can see all warnings thrown when building the documentation, run:
$ cd docs/ $ make clean $ make html
Wagtail also provides a way for documentation to be compiled automatically on each change.
To do this, you can run the following command to see the changes automatically at
$ cd docs/ $ make livehtml