View Configuration

View lookup is the Pyramid subsystem responsible for finding and invoking a view callable. View configuration controls how view lookup operates in your application. During any given request, view configuration information is compared against request data by the view lookup subsystem in order to find the "best" view callable for that request.

In earlier chapters, you have been exposed to a few simple view configuration declarations without much explanation. In this chapter we will explore the subject in detail.

Mapping a Resource or URL Pattern to a View Callable

A developer makes a view callable available for use within a Pyramid application via view configuration. A view configuration associates a view callable with a set of statements that determine the set of circumstances which must be true for the view callable to be invoked.

A view configuration statement is made about information present in the context resource (or exception) and the request.

View configuration is performed in one of two ways:

View Configuration Parameters

All forms of view configuration accept the same general types of arguments.

Many arguments supplied during view configuration are view predicate arguments. View predicate arguments used during view configuration are used to narrow the set of circumstances in which view lookup will find a particular view callable.

View predicate attributes are an important part of view configuration that enables the view lookup subsystem to find and invoke the appropriate view. The greater the number of predicate attributes possessed by a view's configuration, the more specific the circumstances need to be before the registered view callable will be invoked. The fewer the number of predicates which are supplied to a particular view configuration, the more likely it is that the associated view callable will be invoked. A view with five predicates will always be found and evaluated before a view with two, for example.

This does not mean however, that Pyramid "stops looking" when it finds a view registration with predicates that don't match. If one set of view predicates does not match, the "next most specific" view (if any) is consulted for predicates, and so on, until a view is found, or no view can be matched up with the request. The first view with a set of predicates all of which match the request environment will be invoked.

If no view can be found with predicates which allow it to be matched up with the request, Pyramid will return an error to the user's browser, representing a "not found" (404) page. See Changing the Not Found View for more information about changing the default Not Found View.

Other view configuration arguments are non-predicate arguments. These tend to modify the response of the view callable or prevent the view callable from being invoked due to an authorization policy. The presence of non-predicate arguments in a view configuration does not narrow the circumstances in which the view callable will be invoked.

Non-Predicate Arguments


The name of a permission that the user must possess in order to invoke the view callable. See Configuring View Security for more information about view security and permissions.

If permission is not supplied, no permission is registered for this view (it's accessible by any caller).


The view machinery defaults to using the __call__ method of the view callable (or the function itself, if the view callable is a function) to obtain a response. The attr value allows you to vary the method attribute used to obtain the response. For example, if your view was a class, and the class has a method named index and you wanted to use this method instead of the class's __call__ method to return the response, you'd say attr="index" in the view configuration for the view. This is most useful when the view definition is a class.

If attr is not supplied, None is used (implying the function itself if the view is a function, or the __call__ callable attribute if the view is a class).


Denotes the renderer implementation which will be used to construct a response from the associated view callable's return value.

See also

See also Renderers.

This is either a single string term (e.g., json) or a string implying a path or asset specification (e.g., templates/ naming a renderer implementation. If the renderer value does not contain a dot (.), the specified string will be used to look up a renderer implementation, and that renderer implementation will be used to construct a response from the view return value. If the renderer value contains a dot (.), the specified term will be treated as a path, and the filename extension of the last element in the path will be used to look up the renderer implementation, which will be passed the full path.

When the renderer is a path—although a path is usually just a simple relative pathname (e.g., templates/, implying that a template named "" is in the "templates" directory relative to the directory of the current package)—the path can be absolute, starting with a slash on Unix or a drive letter prefix on Windows. The path can alternatively be a asset specification in the form some.dotted.package_name:relative/path, making it possible to address template assets which live in a separate package.

The renderer attribute is optional. If it is not defined, the "null" renderer is assumed (no rendering is performed and the value is passed back to the upstream Pyramid machinery unchanged). Note that if the view callable itself returns a response (see View Callable Responses), the specified renderer implementation is never called.


When you supply an http_cache value to a view configuration, the Expires and Cache-Control headers of a response generated by the associated view callable are modified. The value for http_cache may be one of the following:

  • A nonzero integer. If it's a nonzero integer, it's treated as a number of seconds. This number of seconds will be used to compute the Expires header and the Cache-Control: max-age parameter of responses to requests which call this view. For example: http_cache=3600 instructs the requesting browser to 'cache this response for an hour, please'.

  • A datetime.timedelta instance. If it's a datetime.timedelta instance, it will be converted into a number of seconds, and that number of seconds will be used to compute the Expires header and the Cache-Control: max-age parameter of responses to requests which call this view. For example: http_cache=datetime.timedelta(days=1) instructs the requesting browser to 'cache this response for a day, please'.

  • Zero (0). If the value is zero, the Cache-Control and Expires headers present in all responses from this view will be composed such that client browser cache (and any intermediate caches) are instructed to never cache the response.

  • A two-tuple. If it's a two-tuple (e.g., http_cache=(1, {'public':True})), the first value in the tuple may be a nonzero integer or a datetime.timedelta instance. In either case this value will be used as the number of seconds to cache the response. The second value in the tuple must be a dictionary. The values present in the dictionary will be used as input to the Cache-Control response header. For example: http_cache=(3600, {'public':True}) means 'cache for an hour, and add public to the Cache-Control header of the response'. All keys and values supported by the webob.cachecontrol.CacheControl interface may be added to the dictionary. Supplying {'public':True} is equivalent to calling response.cache_control.public = True.

Providing a non-tuple value as http_cache is equivalent to calling response.cache_expires(value) within your view's body.

Providing a two-tuple value as http_cache is equivalent to calling response.cache_expires(value[0], **value[1]) within your view's body.

If you wish to avoid influencing the Expires header, and instead wish to only influence Cache-Control headers, pass a tuple as http_cache with the first element of None, i.e., (None, {'public':True}).


CSRF checks will affect any request method that is not defined as a "safe" method by RFC2616. In practice this means that GET, HEAD, OPTIONS, and TRACE methods will pass untouched and all others methods will require CSRF. This option is used in combination with the pyramid.require_default_csrf setting to control which request parameters are checked for CSRF tokens.

This feature requires a configured session factory.

If this option is set to True then CSRF checks will be enabled for POST requests to this view. The required token will be whatever was specified by the pyramid.require_default_csrf setting, or will fallback to csrf_token.

If this option is set to a string then CSRF checks will be enabled and it will be used as the required token regardless of the pyramid.require_default_csrf setting.

If this option is set to False then CSRF checks will be disabled regardless of the pyramid.require_default_csrf setting.

In addition, if this option is set to True or a string then CSRF origin checking will be enabled.

See Checking CSRF Tokens Automatically for more information.

New in version 1.7.


The view name of a different view configuration which will receive the response body of this view as the request.wrapped_body attribute of its own request, and the response returned by this view as the request.wrapped_response attribute of its own request. Using a wrapper makes it possible to "chain" views together to form a composite response. The response of the outermost wrapper view will be returned to the user. The wrapper view will be found as any view is found. See View Configuration. The "best" wrapper view will be found based on the lookup ordering. "Under the hood" this wrapper view is looked up via pyramid.view.render_view_to_response(context, request, 'wrapper_viewname'). The context and request of a wrapper view is the same context and request of the inner view.

If wrapper is not supplied, no wrapper view is used.


A dotted Python name to a function (or the function itself) which will be used to decorate the registered view callable. The decorator function will be called with the view callable as a single argument. The view callable it is passed will accept (context, request). The decorator must return a replacement view callable which also accepts (context, request). The decorator may also be an iterable of decorators, in which case they will be applied one after the other to the view, in reverse order. For example:

@view_config(..., decorator=(decorator2, decorator1))
def myview(request):

Is similar to decorating the view callable directly:

def myview(request):

An important distinction is that each decorator will receive a response object implementing pyramid.interfaces.IResponse instead of the raw value returned from the view callable. All decorators in the chain must return a response object or raise an exception:

def log_timer(wrapped):
    def wrapper(context, request):
        start = time.time()
        response = wrapped(context, request)
        duration = time.time() - start
        response.headers['X-View-Time'] = '%.3f' % (duration,)'view took %.3f seconds', duration)
        return response
    return wrapper

A Python object or dotted Python name which refers to a view mapper, or None. By default it is None, which indicates that the view should use the default view mapper. This plug-point is useful for Pyramid extension developers, but it's not very useful for "civilians" who are just developing stock Pyramid applications. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.


A media type that will be matched against the Accept HTTP request header. If this value is specified, it must be a specific media type such as text/html or text/html;level=1. If the media type is acceptable by the Accept header of the request, or if the Accept header isn't set at all in the request, this predicate will match. If this does not match the Accept header of the request, view matching continues.

If accept is not specified, the HTTP_ACCEPT HTTP header is not taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to invoke the associated view callable.

The accept argument is technically not a predicate and does not support wrapping with pyramid.config.not_().

See Accept Header Content Negotiation for more information.

Changed in version 1.10: Specifying a media range is deprecated and will be removed in Pyramid 2.0. Use explicit media types to avoid any ambiguities in content negotiation.


When this value is True, the context argument must be a subclass of Exception. This flag indicates that only an exception view should be created, and that this view should not match if the traversal context matches the context argument. If the context is a subclass of Exception and this value is False (the default), then a view will be registered to match the traversal context as well.

New in version 1.8.

Predicate Arguments

These arguments modify view lookup behavior. In general the more predicate arguments that are supplied, the more specific and narrower the usage of the configured view.


The view name required to match this view callable. A name argument is typically only used when your application uses traversal. Read Traversal to understand the concept of a view name.

If name is not supplied, the empty string is used (implying the default view).


An object representing a Python class of which the context resource must be an instance or the interface that the context resource must provide in order for this view to be found and called. This predicate is true when the context resource is an instance of the represented class or if the context resource provides the represented interface; it is otherwise false.

It is possible to pass an exception class as the context if your context may subclass an exception. In this case two views will be registered. One will match normal incoming requests, and the other will match as an exception view which only occurs when an exception is raised during the normal request processing pipeline.

If context is not supplied, the value None, which matches any resource, is used.


If route_name is supplied, the view callable will be invoked only when the named route has matched.

This value must match the name of a route configuration declaration (see URL Dispatch) that must match before this view will be called. Note that the route configuration referred to by route_name will usually have a *traverse token in the value of its pattern, representing a part of the path that will be used by traversal against the result of the route's root factory.

If route_name is not supplied, the view callable will only have a chance of being invoked if no other route was matched. This is when the request/context pair found via resource location does not indicate it matched any configured route.


This value should be an interface that the request must provide in order for this view to be found and called.

If request_type is not supplied, the value None is used, implying any request type.

This is an advanced feature, not often used by "civilians".


This value can be either a string (such as "GET", "POST", "PUT", "DELETE", "HEAD", or "OPTIONS") representing an HTTP REQUEST_METHOD or a tuple containing one or more of these strings. A view declaration with this argument ensures that the view will only be called when the method attribute of the request (i.e., the REQUEST_METHOD of the WSGI environment) matches a supplied value.

Changed in version 1.4: The use of "GET" also implies that the view will respond to "HEAD".

If request_method is not supplied, the view will be invoked regardless of the REQUEST_METHOD of the WSGI environment.


This value can be any string or a sequence of strings. A view declaration with this argument ensures that the view will only be called when the request has a key in the request.params dictionary (an HTTP GET or POST variable) that has a name which matches the supplied value.

If any value supplied has an = sign in it, e.g., request_param="foo=123", then the key (foo) must both exist in the request.params dictionary, and the value must match the right hand side of the expression (123) for the view to "match" the current request.

If request_param is not supplied, the view will be invoked without consideration of keys and values in the request.params dictionary.


This param may be either a single string of the format "key=value" or a tuple containing one or more of these strings.

This argument ensures that the view will only be called when the request has key/value pairs in its matchdict that equal those supplied in the predicate. For example, match_param="action=edit" would require the action parameter in the matchdict match the right hand side of the expression (edit) for the view to "match" the current request.

If the match_param is a tuple, every key/value pair must match for the predicate to pass.

If match_param is not supplied, the view will be invoked without consideration of the keys and values in request.matchdict.

New in version 1.2.


This value should be a reference to a Python class or interface that a parent object in the context resource's lineage must provide in order for this view to be found and called. The resources in your resource tree must be "location-aware" to use this feature.

If containment is not supplied, the interfaces and classes in the lineage are not considered when deciding whether or not to invoke the view callable.

See Location-Aware Resources for more information about location-awareness.


This value should be either True or False. If this value is specified and is True, the WSGI environment must possess an HTTP_X_REQUESTED_WITH header (i.e., X-Requested-With) that has the value XMLHttpRequest for the associated view callable to be found and called. This is useful for detecting AJAX requests issued from jQuery, Prototype, and other Javascript libraries.

If xhr is not specified, the HTTP_X_REQUESTED_WITH HTTP header is not taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to invoke the associated view callable.


This value represents an HTTP header name or a header name/value pair.

If header is specified, it must be a header name or a headername:headervalue pair.

If header is specified without a value (a bare header name only, e.g., If-Modified-Since), the view will only be invoked if the HTTP header exists with any value in the request.

If header is specified, and possesses a name/value pair (e.g., User-Agent:Mozilla/.*), the view will only be invoked if the HTTP header exists and the HTTP header matches the value requested. When the headervalue contains a : (colon), it will be considered a name/value pair (e.g., User-Agent:Mozilla/.* or Host:localhost). The value portion should be a regular expression.

Whether or not the value represents a header name or a header name/value pair, the case of the header name is not significant.

If header is not specified, the composition, presence, or absence of HTTP headers is not taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to invoke the associated view callable.


This value represents a regular expression pattern that will be tested against the PATH_INFO WSGI environment variable to decide whether or not to call the associated view callable. If the regex matches, this predicate will be True.

If path_info is not specified, the WSGI PATH_INFO is not taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to invoke the associated view callable.


If specified, this value should be one of None, True, False, or a string representing the "check name". If the value is True or a string, CSRF checking will be performed. If the value is False or None, CSRF checking will not be performed.

If the value provided is a string, that string will be used as the "check name". If the value provided is True, csrf_token will be used as the check name.

If CSRF checking is performed, the checked value will be the value of request.POST[check_name]. This value will be compared against the value of request.session.get_csrf_token(), and the check will pass if these two values are the same. If the check passes, the associated view will be permitted to execute. If the check fails, the associated view will not be permitted to execute.

Note that using this feature requires a session factory to have been configured.

New in version 1.4a2.


If specified, this value should be a string or a tuple representing the physical path of the context found via traversal for this predicate to match as true. For example, physical_path='/', physical_path='/a/b/c', or physical_path=('', 'a', 'b', 'c'). This is not a path prefix match or a regex, but a whole-path match. It's useful when you want to always potentially show a view when some object is traversed to, but you can't be sure about what kind of object it will be, so you can't use the context predicate. The individual path elements between slash characters or in tuple elements should be the Unicode representation of the name of the resource and should not be encoded in any way.

New in version 1.4a3.


If specified, this value should be a principal identifier or a sequence of principal identifiers. If the pyramid.request.Request.effective_principals() method indicates that every principal named in the argument list is present in the current request, this predicate will return True; otherwise it will return False. For example: or effective_principals=('fred', 'group:admins').

New in version 1.4a4.


If custom_predicates is specified, it must be a sequence of references to custom predicate callables. Use custom predicates when no set of predefined predicates do what you need. Custom predicates can be combined with predefined predicates as necessary. Each custom predicate callable should accept two arguments, context and request, and should return either True or False after doing arbitrary evaluation of the context resource and/or the request. If all callables return True, the associated view callable will be considered viable for a given request.

If custom_predicates is not specified, no custom predicates are used.


Pass a key/value pair here to use a third-party predicate registered via pyramid.config.Configurator.add_view_predicate(). More than one key/value pair can be used at the same time. See View and Route Predicates for more information about third-party predicates.

New in version 1.4a1.

Inverting Predicate Values

You can invert the meaning of any predicate value by wrapping it in a call to pyramid.config.not_.

1from pyramid.config import not_
4    'mypackage.views.my_view',
5    route_name='ok',
6    request_method=not_('POST')
7    )

The above example will ensure that the view is called if the request method is not POST, at least if no other view is more specific.

This technique of wrapping a predicate value in not_ can be used anywhere predicate values are accepted:

New in version 1.5.

Adding View Configuration Using the @view_config Decorator


Using this feature tends to slow down application startup slightly, as more work is performed at application startup to scan for view configuration declarations. For maximum startup performance, use the view configuration method described in Adding View Configuration Using add_view() instead.

The view_config decorator can be used to associate view configuration information with a function, method, or class that acts as a Pyramid view callable.

Here's an example of the view_config decorator that lives within a Pyramid application module

1from resources import MyResource
2from pyramid.view import view_config
3from pyramid.response import Response
5@view_config(route_name='ok', request_method='POST', permission='read')
6def my_view(request):
7    return Response('OK')

Using this decorator as above replaces the need to add this imperative configuration stanza:

1config.add_view('mypackage.views.my_view', route_name='ok',
2                request_method='POST', permission='read')

All arguments to view_config may be omitted. For example:

1from pyramid.response import Response
2from pyramid.view import view_config
5def my_view(request):
6    """ My view """
7    return Response()

Such a registration as the one directly above implies that the view name will be my_view, registered with a context argument that matches any resource type, using no permission, registered against requests with any request method, request type, request param, route name, or containment.

The mere existence of a @view_config decorator doesn't suffice to perform view configuration. All that the decorator does is "annotate" the function with your configuration declarations, it doesn't process them. To make Pyramid process your pyramid.view.view_config declarations, you must use the scan method of a pyramid.config.Configurator:

1# config is assumed to be an instance of the
2# pyramid.config.Configurator class

Please see Declarative Configuration for detailed information about what happens when code is scanned for configuration declarations resulting from use of decorators like view_config.

See pyramid.config for additional API arguments to the scan() method. For example, the method allows you to supply a package argument to better control exactly which code will be scanned.

All arguments to the view_config decorator mean precisely the same thing as they would if they were passed as arguments to the pyramid.config.Configurator.add_view() method save for the view argument. Usage of the view_config decorator is a form of declarative configuration, while pyramid.config.Configurator.add_view() is a form of imperative configuration. However, they both do the same thing.

@view_config Placement

A view_config decorator can be placed in various points in your application.

If your view callable is a function, it may be used as a function decorator:

1from pyramid.view import view_config
2from pyramid.response import Response
5def edit(request):
6    return Response('edited!')

If your view callable is a class, the decorator can also be used as a class decorator. All the arguments to the decorator are the same when applied against a class as when they are applied against a function. For example:

 1from pyramid.response import Response
 2from pyramid.view import view_config
 5class MyView(object):
 6    def __init__(self, request):
 7        self.request = request
 9    def __call__(self):
10        return Response('hello')

More than one view_config decorator can be stacked on top of any number of others. Each decorator creates a separate view registration. For example:

1from pyramid.view import view_config
2from pyramid.response import Response
6def edit(request):
7    return Response('edited!')

This registers the same view under two different names.

The decorator can also be used against a method of a class:

 1from pyramid.response import Response
 2from pyramid.view import view_config
 4class MyView(object):
 5    def __init__(self, request):
 6        self.request = request
 8    @view_config(route_name='hello')
 9    def amethod(self):
10        return Response('hello')

When the decorator is used against a method of a class, a view is registered for the class, so the class constructor must accept an argument list in one of two forms: either a single argument, request, or two arguments, context, request.

The method which is decorated must return a response.

Using the decorator against a particular method of a class is equivalent to using the attr parameter in a decorator attached to the class itself. For example, the above registration implied by the decorator being used against the amethod method could be written equivalently as follows:

 1from pyramid.response import Response
 2from pyramid.view import view_config
 4@view_config(attr='amethod', route_name='hello')
 5class MyView(object):
 6    def __init__(self, request):
 7        self.request = request
 9    def amethod(self):
10        return Response('hello')

Adding View Configuration Using add_view()

The pyramid.config.Configurator.add_view() method within pyramid.config is used to configure a view "imperatively" (without a view_config decorator). The arguments to this method are very similar to the arguments that you provide to the view_config decorator. For example:

1from pyramid.response import Response
3def hello_world(request):
4    return Response('hello!')
6# config is assumed to be an instance of the
7# pyramid.config.Configurator class
8config.add_view(hello_world, route_name='hello')

The first argument, a view callable, is the only required argument. It must either be a Python object which is the view itself or a dotted Python name to such an object. In the above example, the view callable is the hello_world function.

When you use only add_view() to add view configurations, you don't need to issue a scan in order for the view configuration to take effect.

@view_defaults Class Decorator

New in version 1.3.

If you use a class as a view, you can use the pyramid.view.view_defaults class decorator on the class to provide defaults to the view configuration information used by every @view_config decorator that decorates a method of that class.

For instance, if you've got a class that has methods that represent "REST actions", all of which are mapped to the same route but different request methods, instead of this:

 1from pyramid.view import view_config
 2from pyramid.response import Response
 4class RESTView(object):
 5    def __init__(self, request):
 6        self.request = request
 8    @view_config(route_name='rest', request_method='GET')
 9    def get(self):
10        return Response('get')
12    @view_config(route_name='rest', request_method='POST')
13    def post(self):
14        return Response('post')
16    @view_config(route_name='rest', request_method='DELETE')
17    def delete(self):
18        return Response('delete')

You can do this:

 1from pyramid.view import view_defaults
 2from pyramid.view import view_config
 3from pyramid.response import Response
 6class RESTView(object):
 7    def __init__(self, request):
 8        self.request = request
10    @view_config(request_method='GET')
11    def get(self):
12        return Response('get')
14    @view_config(request_method='POST')
15    def post(self):
16        return Response('post')
18    @view_config(request_method='DELETE')
19    def delete(self):
20        return Response('delete')

In the above example, we were able to take the route_name='rest' argument out of the call to each individual @view_config statement because we used a @view_defaults class decorator to provide the argument as a default to each view method it possessed.

Arguments passed to @view_config will override any default passed to @view_defaults.

The view_defaults class decorator can also provide defaults to the pyramid.config.Configurator.add_view() directive when a decorated class is passed to that directive as its view argument. For example, instead of this:

 1from pyramid.response import Response
 2from pyramid.config import Configurator
 4class RESTView(object):
 5    def __init__(self, request):
 6        self.request = request
 8    def get(self):
 9        return Response('get')
11    def post(self):
12        return Response('post')
14    def delete(self):
15        return Response('delete')
17def main(global_config, **settings):
18    config = Configurator()
19    config.add_route('rest', '/rest')
20    config.add_view(
21        RESTView, route_name='rest', attr='get', request_method='GET')
22    config.add_view(
23        RESTView, route_name='rest', attr='post', request_method='POST')
24    config.add_view(
25        RESTView, route_name='rest', attr='delete', request_method='DELETE')
26    return config.make_wsgi_app()

To reduce the amount of repetition in the config.add_view statements, we can move the route_name='rest' argument to a @view_defaults class decorator on the RESTView class:

 1from pyramid.view import view_defaults
 2from pyramid.response import Response
 3from pyramid.config import Configurator
 6class RESTView(object):
 7    def __init__(self, request):
 8        self.request = request
10    def get(self):
11        return Response('get')
13    def post(self):
14        return Response('post')
16    def delete(self):
17        return Response('delete')
19def main(global_config, **settings):
20    config = Configurator()
21    config.add_route('rest', '/rest')
22    config.add_view(RESTView, attr='get', request_method='GET')
23    config.add_view(RESTView, attr='post', request_method='POST')
24    config.add_view(RESTView, attr='delete', request_method='DELETE')
25    return config.make_wsgi_app()

pyramid.view.view_defaults accepts the same set of arguments that pyramid.view.view_config does, and they have the same meaning. Each argument passed to view_defaults provides a default for the view configurations of methods of the class it's decorating.

Normal Python inheritance rules apply to defaults added via view_defaults. For example:

2class Foo(object):
3    pass
5class Bar(Foo):
6    pass

The Bar class above will inherit its view defaults from the arguments passed to the view_defaults decorator of the Foo class. To prevent this from happening, use a view_defaults decorator without any arguments on the subclass:

2class Foo(object):
3    pass
6class Bar(Foo):
7    pass

The view_defaults decorator only works as a class decorator; using it against a function or a method will produce nonsensical results.

Configuring View Security

If an authorization policy is active, any permission attached to a view configuration found during view lookup will be verified. This will ensure that the currently authenticated user possesses that permission against the context resource before the view function is actually called. Here's an example of specifying a permission in a view configuration using add_view():

1# config is an instance of pyramid.config.Configurator
3config.add_route('add', '/add.html', factory='mypackage.Blog')
4config.add_view('myproject.views.add_entry', route_name='add',
5                permission='add')

When an authorization policy is enabled, this view will be protected with the add permission. The view will not be called if the user does not possess the add permission relative to the current context. Instead the forbidden view result will be returned to the client as per Protecting Views with Permissions.

NotFound Errors

It's useful to be able to debug NotFound error responses when they occur unexpectedly due to an application registry misconfiguration. To debug these errors, use the PYRAMID_DEBUG_NOTFOUND environment variable or the pyramid.debug_notfound configuration file setting. Details of why a view was not found will be printed to stderr, and the browser representation of the error will include the same information. See Environment Variables and .ini File Settings for more information about how, and where to set these values.

Accept Header Content Negotiation

The accept argument to pyramid.config.Configurator.add_view() can be used to control view lookup by dispatching to different views based on the HTTP Accept request header. Consider the example below in which there are three views configured.

from pyramid.httpexceptions import HTTPNotAcceptable
from pyramid.view import view_config

@view_config(accept='application/json', renderer='json')
@view_config(accept='text/html', renderer='templates/hello.jinja2')
def myview(request):
    return {
        'name': request.GET.get('name', 'bob'),

def myview_unacceptable(request):
    raise HTTPNotAcceptable

Each view relies on the Accept header to trigger an appropriate response renderer. The appropriate view is selected here when the client specifies headers such as Accept: text/* or Accept: application/json, text/html;q=0.9 in which only one of the views matches or it's clear based on the preferences which one should win. Similarly, if the client specifies a media type that no view is registered to handle, such as Accept: text/plain, it will fall through to myview_unacceptable and raise 406 Not Acceptable.

There are a few cases in which the client may specify an Accept header such that it's not clear which view should win. For example:

  • Accept: */*.

  • More than one acceptable media type with the same quality.

  • A missing Accept header.

  • An invalid Accept header.

In these cases the preferred view is not clearly defined (see RFC 7231#section-5.3.2) and Pyramid will select one randomly. This can be controlled by telling Pyramid what the preferred relative ordering is between various media types by using pyramid.config.Configurator.add_accept_view_order(). For example:

from pyramid.config import Configurator

def main(global_config, **settings):
    config = Configurator(settings=settings)
    return config.make_wsgi_app()

Now, the application/json view should always be preferred in cases where the client wasn't clear.

Default Accept Ordering

Pyramid will always sort multiple views with the same (name, context, route_name) first by the specificity of the accept offer. For any set of media type offers with the same type/subtype, the offers with params will weigh more than the bare type/subtype offer. This means that text/plain;charset=utf8 will always be offered before text/plain.

By default, within a given type/subtype, the order of offers is unspecified. For example, text/plain;charset=utf8 versus text/plain;charset=latin1 are sorted randomly. Similarly, between media types the order is also unspecified other than the defaults described below. For example, image/jpeg versus image/png versus application/pdf. In these cases, the ordering may be controlled using pyramid.config.Configurator.add_accept_view_order(). For example, to sort text/plain higher than text/html and to prefer a charset=utf8 versus a charset=latin-1 within the text/plain media type:

config.add_accept_view_order('text/plain', weighs_more_than='text/html')
config.add_accept_view_order('text/plain;charset=utf8', weighs_more_than='text/plain;charset=latin-1')

It is an error to try and sort accept headers across levels of specificity. You can only sort a type/subtype against another type/subtype, not against a type/subtype;params. That ordering is a hard requirement.

By default, Pyramid defines a very simple priority ordering for views that prefers human-readable responses over JSON:

  • text/html

  • application/xhtml+xml

  • application/xml

  • text/xml

  • text/plain

  • application/json

API clients tend to be able to specify their desired headers with more control than web browsers, and can specify the correct Accept value, if necessary. Therefore, the motivation for this ordering is to optimize for readability. Media types that are not listed above are ordered randomly during view lookup between otherwise-similar views. The defaults can be overridden using pyramid.config.Configurator.add_accept_view_order() as described above.

Influencing HTTP Caching

New in version 1.1.

When a non-None http_cache argument is passed to a view configuration, Pyramid will set Expires and Cache-Control response headers in the resulting response, causing browsers to cache the response data for some time. See http_cache in Non-Predicate Arguments for the allowable values and what they mean.

Sometimes it's undesirable to have these headers set as the result of returning a response from a view, even though you'd like to decorate the view with a view configuration decorator that has http_cache. Perhaps there's an alternative branch in your view code that returns a response that should never be cacheable, while the "normal" branch returns something that should always be cacheable. If this is the case, set the prevent_auto attribute of the response.cache_control object to a non-False value. For example, the below view callable is configured with a @view_config decorator that indicates any response from the view should be cached for 3600 seconds. However, the view itself prevents caching from taking place unless there's a should_cache GET or POST variable:

from pyramid.view import view_config

def view(request):
    response = Response()
    if 'should_cache' not in request.params:
        response.cache_control.prevent_auto = True
    return response

Note that the http_cache machinery will overwrite or add to caching headers you set within the view itself, unless you use prevent_auto.

You can also turn off the effect of http_cache entirely for the duration of a Pyramid application lifetime. To do so, set the PYRAMID_PREVENT_HTTP_CACHE environment variable or the pyramid.prevent_http_cache configuration value setting to a true value. For more information, see Preventing HTTP Caching.

Note that setting pyramid.prevent_http_cache will have no effect on caching headers that your application code itself sets. It will only prevent caching headers that would have been set by the Pyramid HTTP caching machinery invoked as the result of the http_cache argument to view configuration.

Debugging View Configuration

See pviews: Displaying Matching Views for a Given URL for information about how to display each of the view callables that might match for a given URL. This can be an effective way to figure out why a particular view callable is being called instead of the one you'd like to be called.