General coding guidelines


British English is preferred for user-facing text; this text should also be marked for translation (using the django.utils.translation.gettext function and {% translate %} template tag, for example). However, identifiers within code should use American English if the British or international spelling would conflict with built-in language keywords; for example, CSS code should consistently use the spelling color to avoid inconsistencies like background-color: $colour-red. American English is also the preferred spelling style when writing documentation. Learn more about our documentation writing style in Writing style guide.

File names

Where practical, try to adhere to the existing convention of file names within the folder where added.


  • Django templates - lower_snake_case.html

  • Documentation -

Naming conventions

Use classname in Python / HTML template tag variables

classname is preferred for any API / interface or Django template variables that need to output an HTML class.

Django template tag

Example template tag definition

def dialog_toggle(dialog_id, classname="", text=None):
    return {
        "classname": classname,
        "text": text,

Example template

{% comment "text/markdown" %}

    Variables accepted by this template:

    - `classname` - {string?} if present, adds classname to button
    - `dialog_id` - {string} unique id to use to reference the modal which will be triggered

{% endcomment %}

<button type="button" class="{{ classname }}" data-a11y-dialog-show="{{ dialog_id }}">
    {{ text }}

Example usage

{% dialog_toggle classname='button button-primary' %}

Python / Django class driven content

class Panel:
    def __init__(self, heading="", classname="", help_text="", base_form_class=None):
        self.heading = heading
        self.classname = classname





✅ Preferred for any new code.


✳️ Only if used as part of a generic attrs-like dict; however avoid due to conflicts with Python class keyword.


❌ Avoid for new code.


❌ Avoid for new code.


❌ Avoid for new code.


❌ Avoid for new code.


❌ Avoid for new code.