To understand Fanstatic, it’s useful to understand the following concepts.


Static resources are files that are used in the display of a web page, such as CSS files, Javascript files and images. Often resources are packaged as a collection of resources; we call this a library of resources.

Resource inclusion

Resources can be included in a web page in several ways.

A common forms of inclusion in HTML are Javascript files, which are included using the script tag, for instance like this:

<script type="text/javascript" src="/something.js"></script>

and CSS files, which are included using a link tag, like this:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="/something.css" type="text/css" />

A common way for Javascript and CSS to be included is in head section of a HTML page. Javascript can also be included in script tags elsewhere on the page, such as at the bottom.

Fanstatic can generate these resource inclusions automatically for you and insert them into your web page.

Fanstatic doesn’t do anything special for the inclusion of image or file resources, which could be included by the img or a tag. While Fanstatic can serve these resources for you, and also knows how to generate URLs to them, Fanstatic does not automatically insert them into your web pages: that’s up to your application.

Resource definitions

Fanstatic lets you define resources and their dependencies to make the automated rendering of resource inclusions possible.

You can see a resource inclusion as a Python import: when you import a module, you import a particular file in a particular package, and a resource inclusion is the inclusion of a particular resource (.js file, .css file) in a particular library.

A resource may depend on other resources. A Javascript resource may for instance require another Javascript resource. An example of this is jQuery UI, which requires the inclusion of jQuery on the page as well in order to work.

Fanstatic takes care of inserting these resources inclusions on your web page for you. It makes sure that resources with dependencies have their dependencies inserted as well.

Resource requirements

How do you tell Fanstatic that you’d like to include jQuery on a web page? You do this by making an resource requirement in Python: you state you need a resource.

It is common to construct complex web pages on the server with cooperating components. A datetime widget may for instance expect a particular datetime Javascript library to be loaded. Pages but also sub-page components on the server may have inclusion requirements; you can effectively make resource requirements anywhere on the server side, as long as the code is executed somewhere during the request that produces the page.