Article / 10th Mar 2009

Southerly Breezes

Work on South has been going full steam ahead lately, with some good results.

Two major features that I've been wanting to implement for ages are now in SVN trunk, and due for imminent release with South 0.5. They are:

  • ORM Freezing: Much like the strangely similar feature of Migratory (which is what inspired this), South now has the ability to 'freeze' models to make them accessible inside the migration, so you can write data migrations more easily. Things like fake models needed for the other ends of ForeignKeys (when creating tables and the like) are also now implemented using the same system, to make things cleaner.
  • Automatic change detection: Before this was impossible, but now, if you freeze all of an app's models into a migration, South can compare that with the current state and automatically write a migration for the changes that have occurred. There's a setting to automatically freeze the app into every migration to make this more usable, too.

I'm very excited about these new features; they should make the next release of South one not to be missed. There's also other changes under the hood, as well, including a new, much more robust models.py parser. Documentation for these features is up already, and the tutorial will be extended (given a second part) soon, in order to cover them - they're features we want everyone using, since they'll save you time, and, hopefully stress.

If you feel like testing the new features before the next release, just check out trunk and have a play. Your feedback is also more than welcome on our new South mailing list, which you should also have a look at.