Kees Hink
Kees Hink
20 oktober 2017

Bristol Wagtail Sprint

Several Wagtail developers joined forces in Bristol to improve the editor interface. Coen and I were there.


Host of the sprint was Torchbox, original developers of Wagtail.
Their office in Bristol easily fitted the twenty or more extra people, and was super nice to work in. There’s an honourable mention here for the Gaggia coffee machine.

The Coffee development stack


We started of with a meet & greet session, and next went on to form teams.

Coen joined the “Draftail” team. Their goal is to get the Draft.js editor working in Wagtail. Draft.js has several advantages over the current Hallo.js.

I went off to work on image usage reporting: where is an image used, and what does it look like in that aspect ratio.

At the end of the day there was a meeting of Wagtail’s core team meeting, which all sprinters were invited to attend. Topics included Django 2, Scheduled publishing, and others.

The work day ended with a “Show & tell” session where all teams showed what they worked on, and the result.


I came to the conclusion that image rendition previews would be hard to generate on image creation, but it’s definitely possible. A viable solution was already discussed in an older Wagtail issue. We could use this method to create this feature for our customers.

I continued by making improvements on the UI of the usage info of images, documents and snippets: Now you see the “Used N times” link also on the delete page. This give editors a hint that they might want to check if they can really delete that content.

Meanwhile, Coen worked on migrating HTML to JSON and back for the Draftail editor. In the meantime, he also added the “Awesome Wagtail” packages to


Another useful addition to the image usage information for editors would be showing where in streamfields an image is used. This is not easily solved, as there is no direct database relation.

However, at the end of the day we have a proof of concept. Bertrand has already improved the performance of this, and made it more re-usable. A suggested follow-up would be to turn this into a proper Wagtail add-on.

Coen worked with Catherine and Damon on reporting in the admin interface.

At the “Show & tell” there were longer demos. Quite a lot was done! Apart from the above, this included (but was not limited to):

  • React Draft.js editor: convert HTML to JSON and back (required for migrations)
  • Better UI for StreamFields, far better layout for nesting
  • Search improvements: autocomplete, weighting
  • Inventory of reporting tools for editors, Trello board with user stories

And we are proud to announce we’ll be hosting another Wagtail sprint in Arnhem, in March 2018!

We would like to thank Torchbox for leading the sprint, both on the technical and the social front, and for their hopitality. We enjoyed it!

We love code