Getting Started

Install Flask Unchained

Create a new directory and enter it:

mkdir hello-flask-unchained && cd hello-flask-unchained

The tutorial will assume you’re working from the hello-flask-unchained directory from now on. All commands are assumed to be run from this top-level project directory, and the file names at the top of each code block are also relative to this directory.

Next, let’s create a new virtualenv, install Flask Unchained into it, and activate it:

# create our virtualenv and activate it
python3 -m venv venv && . venv/bin/activate

# install flask-unchained
pip install "flask-unchained[dev]"

# reactivate the virtualenv so that pytest will work correctly
deactivate && . venv/bin/activate

Python Virtual Environments

There are other ways to create virtualenvs for Python, and if you have a different preferred method that’s fine, but you should always use a virtualenv by some way or another.

Project Layout

Just like Flask, Flask Unchained apps can be written either as a single file or in multiple files following a (configurable) naming convention. A large project might have a folder structure that looks like this:

/home/user/dev/hello-flask-unchained
├── app                 # your app bundle package
│   ├── admins          # model admins
│   ├── commands        # click groups/commands
│   ├── extensions      # extension instances
│   ├── models          # sqlalchemy models
│   ├── serializers     # marshmallow serializers (aka schemas)
│   ├── services        # dependency-injectable services
│   ├── tasks           # celery tasks
│   ├── templates       # jinja templates
│   ├── views           # controllers and resources
│   ├── __init__.py
│   ├── config.py       # app config
│   └── routes.py       # declarative routes
├── assets              # static assets to be handled by Webpack
│   ├── images
│   ├── scripts
│   └── styles
├── bundles             # third-party bundle extensions/overrides
│   └── security        # a customized/extended Security Bundle
│       ├── models
│       ├── serializers
│       ├── templates
│       └── __init__.py
├── db
│   ├── fixtures        # sqlalchemy model fixtures (for seeding the dev db)
│   └── migrations      # alembic migrations (generated by flask-migrate)
├── static              # static assets (Webpack compiles to here, and Flask
│                       #  serves this folder at /static (by default))
├── templates           # the top-level templates folder
├── tests               # your pytest tests
├── webpack             # Webpack configs
└── unchained_config.py # the flask unchained config

By the end of this tutorial, we’ll have built something very close. But for now, let’s start with the basics.

A Minimal Hello World App

The starting project layout of our hello world app is three files:

/home/user/dev/hello-flask-unchained
├── unchained_config.py
├── app.py
└── test_app.py

Let’s create them:

touch unchained_config.py app.py test_app.py

And the code:

1
2
3
4
5
# unchained_config.py

BUNDLES = [
    'app',
]
 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9
10
11
# app.py

from flask_unchained import AppBundle, Controller, route

class App(AppBundle):
    pass

class SiteController(Controller):
    @route('/')
    def index(self):
        return 'Hello World!'

Whenever you create a new app in Flask Unchained, you start by creating a new “app bundle”: This is an overloaded term. The app bundle, conceptually, is your app. Literally, the app bundle is a subclass of AppBundle that must live in your app bundle’s module root (app.py here).

We can now start the development server with flask run and you should see your site running at http://localhost:5000:

flask run
 * Environment: development
 * Debug mode: on
 * Running on http://127.0.0.1:5000/ (Press CTRL+C to quit)

Let’s add a quick test before we continue.

# test_app.py

class TestSiteController:
    def test_index(self, client):
        r = client.get('site_controller.index')
        assert r.status_code == 200
        assert r.html.count('Hello World!') == 1

Here, we’re using the HTTP client pytest fixture to request the URL for the endpoint "site_controller.index", verifying the response has a status code of 200, and lastly checking that the string "Hello World!" is in the response.

Let’s make sure it passes:

pytest
======================== test session starts ========================
platform linux -- Python 3.6.6, pytest-3.6.4, py-1.5.4, pluggy-0.7.1
rootdir: /home/user/dev/hello-flask-unchained, inifile:
plugins: flask-0.10.0, Flask-Unchained-0.8.0
collected 1 item

test_app.py .                                                   [100%]
======================== 1 passed in 0.18 seconds ====================

NOTE: If you get any errors, you may need to deactivate and reactivate your virtualenv if you haven’t already since installing pytest.

If you haven’t already, now would be a good time to initialize a git repo and make our first commit. Before we do that though, let’s add a .gitignore file to make sure we don’t commit anything that shouldn’t be.

# .gitignore

*.egg-info
*.pyc
.coverage
.cache/
.pytest_cache/
.tox/
__pycache__/
build/
coverage_html_report/
db/*.sqlite
dist/
docs/_build
venv/

Initialize the repo and make our first commit:

git init
git add .

# review to make sure it's not going to do anything you don't want it to:
git status

git commit -m 'initial hello world commit'

OK, everything works, but this is about as basic as it gets. Let’s make things a bit more interesting by moving on to Views, Templates, and Static Assets.