Django REST framework 3.8

The 3.8 release is a maintenance focused release resolving a large number of previously outstanding issues and laying the foundations for future changes.


If you use REST framework commercially and would like to see this work continue, we strongly encourage you to invest in its continued development by signing up for a paid plan.

We'd like to say thanks in particular our premium backers, Rover, Sentry, Stream, Machinalis, and Rollbar.

Breaking Changes

Altered the behaviour of read_only plus default on Field.

#5886 read_only fields will now always be excluded from writable fields.

Previously read_only fields when combined with a default value would use the default for create and update operations. This was counter-intuitive in some circumstances and led to difficulties supporting dotted source attributes on nullable relations.

In order to maintain the old behaviour you may need to pass the value of read_only fields when calling save() in the view:

def perform_create(self, serializer):

Alternatively you may override save() or create() or update() on the serializer as appropriate.


action decorator replaces list_route and detail_route

#5705 list_route and detail_route have been merge into a single action decorator. This improves viewset action introspection, and will allow extra actions to be displayed in the Browsable API in future versions.

Both list_route and detail_route are now pending deprecation. They will be deprecated in 3.9 and removed entirely in 3.10.

The new action decorator takes a boolean detail argument.

  • Replace detail_route uses with @action(detail=True).
  • Replace list_route uses with @action(detail=False).


Both APIView.exclude_from_schema and the exclude_from_schema argument to the @api_view decorator are now deprecated. They will be removed entirely in 3.9.

For APIView you should instead set a schema = None attribute on the view class.

For function based views the @schema decorator can be used to exclude the view from the schema, by using @schema(None).

Minor fixes and improvements

There are a large number of minor fixes and improvements in this release. See the release notes page for a complete listing.

What's next

We're currently working towards moving to using OpenAPI as our default schema output. We'll also be revisiting our API documentation generation and client libraries.

We're doing some consolidation in order to make this happen. It's planned that 3.9 will drop the coreapi and coreschema libraries, and instead use apistar for the API documentation generation, schema generation, and API client libraries.