Gargoyle is designed to work around a very simple API. Generally, you pass in the switch key and a list of instances to check this key against.


The simplest way to use Gargoyle is as a decorator. The decorator will automatically integrate with filters registered to the User model, as well as IP address (using RequestConditionSet):

from gargoyle.decorators import switch_is_active

@switch_is_active('my switch name')
def my_view(request):
    return 'foo'

In the case of the switch being inactive and you are using the decorator, a 404 error is raised. You may also redirect the user to an absolute URL (relative to domain), or a named URL pattern:

# if redirect_to starts with a /, we assume it's a url path
@switch_is_active('my switch name', redirect_to='/my/url/path')

# alternatively use the url mapper
@switch_is_active('my switch name', redirect_to='access_denied')


An alternative, more flexible use of Gargoyle is with the is_active method. This allows you to perform validation on your own custom objects:

from gargoyle import gargoyle

def my_function(request):
    if gargoyle.is_active('my switch name', request):
        return 'foo'
        return 'bar'

# with custom objects
from gargoyle import gargoyle

def my_method(user):
    if gargoyle.is_active('my switch name', user):
        return 'foo'
        return 'bar'


If you prefer to use templatetags, Gargoyle provides a helper called ifswitch to give you easy conditional blocks based on active switches (for the request):

{% load gargoyle_tags %}

{% ifswitch switch_name %}
    switch_name is active!
{% else %}
    switch_name is not active :(
{% endifswitch %}

ifswitch can also be used with custom objects, like the gargoyle.is_active method:

{% ifswitch "my switch name" user %}
    "my switch name" is active!
{% endifswitch %}

Switch Inheritance

Switches utilizing the named pattern of parent:child will automatically inherit state from their parents. For example, if your switch, parent:child is globally enabled, but parent is disabled, when is_active('parent:child') is called it will return False.

A parent switch that has it’s status set to inherit will return the default value for a switch, which is False (the same as disabled).


Currently inheritance does not combine filters. If your child defines any filters, they will override all of the parents.

Testing Switches

Gargoyle includes a context manager, which may optionally be used as a decorator, to give temporary state to a switch on the currently executing thread.

from gargoyle.testutils import switches

def foo():
    print gargoyle.is_active('my_switch_name')

def foo():
    with switches(my_switch_name=True):
        print gargoyle.is_active('my_switch_name')

You may also optionally pass an instance of SwitchManager as the first argument:

def foo():
    with switches(gargoyle, my_switch_name=True):
        print gargoyle.is_active('my_switch_name')