Converting a repoze.bfg Application to PyramidΒΆ

Prior iterations of Pyramid were released as a package named repoze.bfg. repoze.bfg users are encouraged to upgrade their deployments to Pyramid, as, after the first final release of Pyramid, further feature development on repoze.bfg will cease.

Most existing repoze.bfg applications can be converted to a Pyramid application in a completely automated fashion. However, if your application depends on packages which are not “core” parts of repoze.bfg but which nonetheless have repoze.bfg in their names (e.g. repoze.bfg.skins, repoze.bfg.traversalwrapper, repoze.bfg.jinja2), you will need to find an analogue for each. For example, by the time you read this, there will be a pyramid_jinja2 package, which can be used instead of repoze.bfg.jinja2. If an analogue does not seem to exist for a repoze.bfg add-on package that your application uses, please email the Pylons-devel maillist; we’ll convert the package to a Pyramid analogue for you.

Here’s how to convert a repoze.bfg application to a Pyramid application:

  1. Ensure that your application works under repoze.bfg version 1.3 or better. See for repoze.bfg 1.3 installation instructions. If your application has an automated test suite, run it while your application is using repoze.bfg 1.3+. Otherwise, test it manually. It is only safe to proceed to the next step once your application works under repoze.bfg 1.3+.

    If your application has a proper set of dependencies, and a standard automated test suite, you might test your repoze.bfg application against repoze.bfg 1.3 like so:

    $ bfgenv/bin/python test

    bfgenv above will be the virtualenv into which you’ve installed repoze.bfg 1.3.

  2. Install Pyramid into a separate virtualenv as per the instructions in Installing Pyramid. The Pyramid virtualenv should be separate from the one you’ve used to install repoze.bfg. A quick way to do this:

    $ cd ~
    $ virtualenv --no-site-packages pyramidenv
    $ cd pyramidenv
    $ bin/easy_install pyramid
  3. Put a copy of your repoze.bfg application into a temporary location (perhaps by checking a fresh copy of the application out of a version control repository). For example:

    $ cd /tmp
    $ svn co http://my.server/my/bfg/application/trunk bfgapp
  4. Use the bfg2pyramid script present in the bin directory of the Pyramid virtualenv to convert all repoze.bfg Python import statements into compatible Pyramid import statements. bfg2pyramid will also fix ZCML directive usages of common repoze.bfg directives. You invoke bfg2pyramid by passing it the path of the copy of your application. The path passed should contain a “” file, representing your repoze.bfg application’s setup script. bfg2pyramid will change the copy of the application in place.

    $ ~/pyramidenv/bfg2pyramid /tmp/bfgapp

    bfg2pyramid will convert the following repoze.bfg application aspects to Pyramid compatible analogues:

    • Python import statements naming repoze.bfg APIs will be converted to Pyramid compatible import statements. Every Python file beneath the top-level path will be visited and converted recursively, except Python files which live in directories which start with a . (dot).
    • Each ZCML file found (recursively) within the path will have the default xmlns attribute attached to the configure tag changed from to Every ZCML file beneath the top-level path (files ending with .zcml) will be visited and converted recursively, except ZCML files which live in directories which start with a . (dot).
    • ZCML files which contain directives that have attributes which name a repoze.bfg API module or attribute of an API module (e.g. context="repoze.bfg.exceptions.NotFound") will be converted to Pyramid compatible ZCML attributes (e.g. context="pyramid.exceptions.NotFound). Every ZCML file beneath the top-level path (files ending with .zcml) will be visited and converted recursively, except ZCML files which live in directories which start with a . (dot).
  5. Edit the file of the application you’ve just converted (if you’ve been using the example paths, this will be /tmp/bfgapp/ to depend on the pyramid distribution instead the of repoze.bfg distribution in its install_requires list. If you used a scaffold to create the repoze.bfg application, you can do so by changing the requires line near the top of the file. The original may look like this:

    requires = ['repoze.bfg', ... other dependencies ...]

    Edit the so it has:

    requires = ['pyramid', ... other dependencies ...]

    All other install-requires and tests-requires dependencies save for the one on repoze.bfg can remain the same.

  6. Convert any install_requires dependencies your application has on other add-on packages which have repoze.bfg in their names to Pyramid compatible analogues (e.g. repoze.bfg.jinja2 should be replaced with pyramid_jinja2). You may need to adjust configuration options and/or imports in your repoze.bfg application after replacing these add-ons. Read the documentation of the Pyramid add-on package for information.

  7. Only if you use ZCML and add-ons which use ZCML: The default xmlns of the configure tag in ZCML has changed. The bfg2pyramid script effects the default namespace change (it changes the configure tag default xmlns from to

    This means that uses of add-ons which define ZCML directives in the namespace will begin to “fail” (they’re actually not really failing, but your ZCML assumes that they will always be used within a configure tag which names the namespace as its default xmlns). Symptom: when you attempt to start the application, an error such as ConfigurationError: ('Unknown directive', u'', u'workflow') is printed to the console and the application fails to start. In such a case, either add an xmlns="" attribute to each tag which causes a failure, or define a namespace alias in the configure tag and prefix each failing tag. For example, change this “failing” tag instance:

    <configure xmlns="">
        <failingtag attr="foo"/>

    To this, which will begin to succeed:

    <configure xmlns=""
        <bfg:failingtag attr="foo"/>

    You will also need to add the pyramid_zcml package to your install_requires list. In Pyramid, ZCML configuration became an optional add-on supported by the pyramid_zcml package.

  8. Retest your application using Pyramid. This might be as easy as:

    $ cd /tmp/bfgapp
    $ ~/pyramidenv/bin/python test
  9. Fix any test failures.

  10. Fix any code which generates deprecation warnings.

  11. Start using the converted version of your application. Celebrate.

Two terminological changes have been made to Pyramid which make its documentation and newer APIs different than those of repoze.bfg. The concept that BFG called model is called resource in Pyramid and the concept that BFG called resource is called asset in Pyramid. Various APIs have changed as a result (although all have backwards compatible shims). Additionally, the environment variables that influenced server behavior which used to be prefixed with BFG_ (such as BFG_DEBUG_NOTFOUND) must now be prefixed with PYRAMID_.