"Cache Timeout Default in Django"

I had to break a bad habit where I always specify explicit cache timeout settings when building custom template tags. For example, I might have a news feed for the homepage that looks something like this:

    from django.conf import settings
    from django.core.cache import cache
    from django.template import Library

    from news.models import Article

    register = Library()

    def show_news_feed():
        """Display 3 most recent news articles."""
        latest_articles = cache.get('news_latest_articles')
        if not latest_articles:
            latest_articles = Article.objects.order_by('-pub_date')[:3]
        return {'latest_articles': latest_articles}

Notice that I use a custom value for the timeout duration, which means somewhere in my settings.py I have to have:


or something like that. However, there is a default value already available when you set up your cache backend. Usually this looks something like this in settings.py:

    CACHES = {
        'default': {
            'BACKEND': 'django.core.cache.backends.memcached.MemcachedCache',
            'LOCATION': '',
            'KEY_PREFIX': '',
            'TIMEOUT': 300,
            'VERSION': 1,

Note the timeout value here. This value is used as a default whenever you import the cache module from django.core. In fact, 300 seconds is the default value regardless, so you could even leave it out here. Best to stay DRY unless otherwise needed.

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