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Other Pyramid Features


Pyramid has a command to preload your application into an interactive Python prompt. This can be useful for debugging or experimentation. The command is “pshell”, akin to “paster shell” in Pylons.

$ pshell development.ini
Python 2.6.5 (r265:79063, Apr 29 2010, 00:31:32)
[GCC 4.4.3] on linux2
Type "help" for more information.

  app          The WSGI application.
  registry     Active Pyramid registry.
  request      Active request object.
  root         Root of the default resource tree.
  root_factory Default root factory used to create `root`.


It doesn’t initialize quite as many globals as Pylons, but app and request will be the most useful.

Other commands

Other commands available:

  • proutes: list the application’s routes. (Akin to Pylons “paster routes”.)
  • pviews: list the application’s views.
  • ptweens: list the application’s tweens.
  • prequest: load the application, process a specified URL, and print the response body on standard output.


Pyramid does not include a form library. Pylons includes WebHelpers for form generation and FormEncode for validation and error messages. These work under Pyramid too. However, there’s no built-in equivalent to Pylons’ @validate decorator. Instead we recommend the “pyramid_simpleform” package, which replaces @validate with a more flexible structure.

There are several other form libraries people use with Pyramid. These are discussed in the regular Forms section in the Pyramid Cookbook.


WebHelpers is a third-party package containing HTML tag builders, text functions, number formatting and statistical functions, and other generic functions useful in templates and views. It’s a Pylons dependency but is optional in Pyramid.

The webhelpers.pylonslib subpackage does not work with Pyramid because it depends on Pylons’ special globals. webhelpers.mimehelper and webhelpers.paginate have Pylons-specific features that are disabled under other frameworks. WebHelpers has not been tested on Python 3.

The next version of WebHelpers may be released as a different distribution (WebHelpers2) with a subset of the current helpers ported to Python 3. It will probably spin off Paginate and the Feed Generator to separate distribitions.


The events framework provides hooks where you can insert your own code into the request-processing sequence, similar to how Apache modules work. It standarizes some customizations that were provided ad-hoc in Pylons or not at all. To use it, write a callback function for one of the event types in pyramid.events: ApplicationCreated, ContextFound, NewResponse, BeforeRender. The callback takes an event argument which is specific to the event type. You can register the event with @asubscriber or config.add_subscriber(). The Akhet demo has examples.

For more details see:

URL generation

Pyramid does not come with a URL generator equivalent to “pylons.url”. Individual methods are available on the Request object to generate specific kinds of URLs. Of these, route_url covers the normal case of generating a route by name:

request.route_url("route_name", variable1="value1")
request.route_path("route_name", variable1="value1")
request.route_url("search", _query={"q": "search term"}, _anchor="results")

As with all the *_url vs *_path methods, route_url generates an absolute URL, while route_path generates a “slash” URL (without the scheme or host). The _query argument is a dict of query parameters (or a sequence of key-value pairs). The _anchor argument makes a URL with a “#results” fragment. Other special keyword arguments are _scheme, _host, _port, and _app_url.

The advantage of using these methods rather than hardcoding the URL, is that it automatically addds the application prefix (which may be something more than “/” if the application is mounted on a sub-URL).

You can also pass additional positional arguments, and they will be appended to the URL as components. This is not very useful with URL dispatch, it’s more of a traversal thing.

If the route is defined with a pregenerator, it will be called with the positional and keyword arguments, and can modify them before the URL is generated.

Akhet has a URLGenerator class, which you can use as shown in the Akhet demo to make a url variable for your templates, using an event subscriber. Then you can do things like this:

url.route("route_name")          # Generate URL by route name.
url("route_name")                # The same.
url.app                          # The application's top-level URL.
url.current()                    # The current request URL. (Used to
                                 # link to the same URL with different
                                 # match variables or query params.)

You can also customize it to do things like this:

url.image("logo.png")            # Serve an image from the images dir.
url.deform("...")                # Static file in the Deform package.

If “url” is too long for you, you can even name it “u”!

Utility scripts

Pyramid has a documented way to write utility scripts for maintenance and the like. See Writing a Script.


Pyramid makes it easier to write unit tests for your views.

(XXX Need a comparison example.)


Pyramid has support for internationalization. At this time it’s documented mainly for Chameleon templates, not Mako.

Higher-level frameworks

Pyramid provides a flexible foundation to build higher-level frameworks on. Several have already been written. There are also application scaffolds and tarballs.

  • Kotti is a content management system that both works out of the box and can be extended.
  • Ptah is a framework that aims to have as many features as Django. (But no ponies, and no cowbells.) It has a minimal CMS component.
  • Khufu is a suite of scaffolds and utilities for Pyramid.
  • The Akhet demo we have mentioned before. It’s a working application in a tarball that you can copy code from.

At the opposite extreme, you can make a tiny Pyramid application in 14 lines of Python without a scaffold. The Pyramid manual has an example: Hello World. This is not possible with Pylons – at least, not without distorting it severely.