IETF Datatracker

Nightly Dev DB Image
Python Version
Django Version
Node Version
MariaDB Version

The day-to-day front-end to the IETF database for people who work on IETF standards.

Getting Started

This project is following the standard Git Feature Workflow development model. Learn about all the various steps of the development workflow, from creating a fork to submitting a pull request, in the Contributing guide.

Make sure to read the Styleguides section to ensure a cohesive code format across the project.

You can submit bug reports, enhancement and new feature requests in the discussions area. Accepted tickets will be converted to issues.


  • Python 3.6
  • Django 2.x
  • Node.js 16.x
  • MariaDB 10

See the Docker Dev Environment section for a preconfigured docker environment.

Git Cloning Tips

Because of the extensive history of this project, cloning the datatracker project locally can take a long time / disk space. You can speed up the cloning process by limiting the history depth, for example:

  • To fetch only up to the 10 latest commits:
    git clone --depth=10
  • To fetch only up to a specific date:
    git clone --shallow-since=DATE

Code Tree Overview

The ietf/templates/ directory contains Django templates used to generate web pages for the datatracker, mailing list, wgcharter and other things.

Most of the other ietf sub-directories, such as meeting, contain the python/Django model and view information that go with the related templates. In these directories, the key files are:

File Description binds a URL to a view, possibly selecting some data from the model. has the data models for the tool area. has the views for this tool area, and is where views are bound to the template.

Adding a New Web Page

To add a new page to the tools, first explore the to see if the model you need already exists. Within are classes such as:

class IETFWG(models.Model):
    ACTIVE = 1
    group_acronym = models.ForeignKey(Acronym, primary_key=True, unique=True, editable=False)
    group_type = models.ForeignKey(WGType)
    proposed_date = models.DateField(null=True, blank=True)
    start_date = models.DateField(null=True, blank=True)
    dormant_date = models.DateField(null=True, blank=True)

In this example, the IETFWG class can be used to reference various fields of the database including group_type. Of note here is that group_acronym is the Acronym model so fields in that model can be accessed (e.g.,

Next, add a template for the new page in the proper sub-directory of the ietf/templates directory. For a simple page that iterates over one type of object, the key part of the template will look something like this:

{% for wg in object_list %}
<td><a href="{{ wg.email_archive }}">{{ wg }}</a></td>
<td>{{ }}</td>
{% endfor %}

In this case, we’re expecting object_list to be passed to the template from the view and expecting it to contain objects with the IETFWG model.

Then add a view for the template to A simple view might look like:

def list_wgwebmail(request):
    wgs = IETFWG.objects.all();
    return render_to_response('mailinglists/wgwebmail_list.html', {'object_list': wgs})

The selects the IETFWG objects from the database and renders the template with them in object_list. The model you’re using has to be explicitly imported at the top of in the imports statement.

Finally, add a URL to display the view to For this example, the reference to list_wgwebmail view is called:

urlpatterns += patterns('',
     (r'^wg/$', views.list_wgwebmail),

Testing your work

Assuming you have the database settings configured already, you can run the server locally with:

 $ ietf/ runserver localhost:<port>

where <port> is arbitrary. Then connect your web browser to localhost:<port> and provide the URL to see your work.

When you believe you are ready to commit your work, you should run the test suite to make sure that no tests break. You do this by running

 $ ietf/ test --settings=settings_sqlitetest

Docker Dev Environment

In order to simplify and reduce the time required for setup, a preconfigured docker environment is available.

Read the Docker Dev Environment guide to get started.

Continuous Integration


Database & Assets

Nightly database dumps of the datatracker are available at

Note that this link is provided as reference only. To update the database in your dev environment to the latest version, you should instead run the docker/cleandb script!

Additional data files used by the datatracker (e.g. instance drafts, charters, rfcs, agendas, minutes, etc.) are available at

A script is available at docker/scripts/ to automatically fetch these resources via rsync.


View Github