Parsing query parameters in rest framework

Published by Karol Majta on 18th May 2013

Tiny Endian

It has always bothered me that you have to parse query parameters manually in django-rest-framework views, and there is no generic way to do it.

The old way

Basically I used to do it like this:

class MyView(APIView):
    def get(request):
        count = request.QUERY_PARAMS.get('count', None)
        if count is None:
            return Response(status=status.HTTP_400_BAD_REQUEST)
            count = int(count)
        except ValueError:
            return Response(status=status.HTTP_400_BAD_REQUEST)

        # do your work

This is the most tedious, repetetive and error prone method of parsing query params I can imagine, yet my code is liberally sprinkled with it. Why?

We'll basically, for some weird reason I kept thinking: hmm... serializers? they're good for POST. After a brief talk with Tom Christie I kept scratching my head and thinking why I did not figure this out myself!

Serializers are good for any dict

And they are really well suited for parsing request.QUERY_PARAMS and they save you plenty of lines.

The superb new way of doing this:

class MyQueryParamsExpectations(serializers.Serializer)
    count = fields.IntegerField()

class MyView(APIView):
    def get(request):
        qpe = MyQueryParamsExpectations(data=request.QUERY_PARAMS)
        if not qpe.is_valid():
            return Response(
        qp = qpe.object

        # do your work and be happy with less code :)

This is actually uber-awesome, because you can easily reuse query params serializers between multiple views.