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Basic Templating - Python

Templating makes it easier to handle dynamic content on web pages. One of the better templating frameworks for Python is Cheetah. Keep reading to find out more.

  1. Templating with Cheetah
  2. Basic Templating
  3. Compiling Templates
  4. More Logic
By: Peyton McCullough
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 21
December 27, 2005

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Let's start off with a basic template with which to test out Cheetah. A simple counter will work fine. Create a file named counter.tmpl:

Hello, This page has been viewed $counter times.

In the above example, we will obviously want to substitute the $counter variable for the number of times the particular page has been viewed. It's pretty easy to turn our template into a real, working page in just a few lines of Python. We'll use a text file to store the count for simplicity's sake:

import os.path
from Cheetah.Template import Template

# Update the count
if os.path.exists ( 'count.txt' ):
   count = int ( file ( 'count.txt' ).read() )
   count = count + 1
   count = 1
file ( 'count.txt', 'r' ).write ( str ( count ) )

print Template ( file = 'counter.tmpl', searchList =
[{ 'counter': str ( count ) }] )

After updating the count, we simply pass the file we wish to parse and a dictionary containing the replacement value. Cheetah then does the rest and returns the result, which is printed.

It's also possible to pass objects to Cheetah. Take a look at this template, contact.tmpl, which display's a particular person's contact information:

<b>Name:</b> $profile.name<br />
<b>E-Mail:</b> $profile.email<br />
<b>Phone:</b> $profile.phone<br />
<b>MSN:</b> $profile.msn<br />
<b>AIM:</b> $profile.aim<br />
<b>ICQ:</b> $profile.icq<br />
<b>YIM:</b> $profile.yim

All we need to do is create an object with the above properties and pass it under the profile key:

from Cheetah.Template import Template

class Profile:
   def __init__ ( self, name, email, phone, msn, aim, icq, yim ):
      self.name = name
      self.email = email
      self.phone = phone
      self.msn = msn
      self.aim = aim
      self.icq = icq
      self.yim = yim

johnDoe = Profile ( 'John Doe', 'jdoe@google.com', '(555) 555-
5555', 'jdoe@google.com', 'JDoe', '0123456789', 'JDoe' )
print Template ( file = 'contact.tmpl', searchList =
[{ 'profile': johnDoe }] )

Cheetah then substitutes the appropriate attributes.

>>> More Python Articles          >>> More By Peyton McCullough

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