fieldTales.txt 3.73 KB
Formulator Field - TALES

  Description

    Sometimes you'd like a field property to be dynamic instead of
    just a value filled in in the 'Edit' tab of the field. To 
    make your fields more dynamic, you can enter TALES expressions
    in the TALES tab. Whenever you (or some code) asks for the value of
    that field property next with 'get_value()', the TALES expression
    will be evaluated and the result will be the value of that
    property.

    Properties which are overridden with a TALES expression are shown
    between square brackets ([ and ]) in the main Edit tab, and the
    value of the property in the edit tab will be ignored. To stop
    using a TALES expression for a particular property, remove the
    expression in the TALES tab.

    A TALES expression should return an object of the same type as the
    property field would return after validation. For instance, a
    TALES expression for a StringField would return a simple string,
    for an IntegerField it would return an integer, and for a
    CheckBoxField it would return true or false (or something that
    Python accepts as such).

  More information about TALES

    The specification:

      http://dev.zope.org/Wikis/DevSite/Projects/ZPT/TALES%20Specification%201.3
     
  Predefined variables

    Two predefined variables are in the expression namespace, 'form',
    and 'field'. You can use them to call their methods (though one
    should be careful with some, to avoid infinite recursion), and
    also methods and scripts that are the form's (or field's)
    acquisition context. You can also pass them to the methods you
    call.

  Relation to the Override tab

    The TALES tab is meant to eventually obsolute the Override tab;
    the use of the Override tab can therefore be considered
    deprecated. Once Zope Page Templates (and thus TALES) become part
    of the Zope core distribution, I plan to phase out the Override
    tab altogether.

    If an override tab says this:

       foo

    where foo is a Python Script that is acquired by the form, for
    instance, you can now do:

      python:form.foo()

    This is longer, but the advantage is that you can now pass
    parameters, for instance:

      python:form.bar(1, 'hey')
  
  Example

    A good example of the use of the TALES tab is the 'items' property
    of a ListField; frequently you may want to get these items from
    elsewhere, for instance from a database. In this case you would
    fill in the name of the override method for 'items' that retrieves
    the right data.

    The 'right data' in this case is that which validation of the
    builtin field ListTextArea would return. This is a list of tuples,
    one tuple for each element. Each tuple consists of two strings;
    the name that should be displayed to the user for that item, and
    the actual value that will be submitted.

    This for instance is a Python script 'random_numbers' that will
    return 'n' random numbers as the elements, where 'n' is the (single)
    parameter to the Python script::

      # random_numbers
      import random
      result = []
      for i in range(n):
        number = random.randint(0, 100)
        tuple = str(number), str(number)
        result.append(tuple)
      return result

    You can call this script with the following expression for items,
    which will give 10 random numbers.

      python:form.random_numbers(10)
 
    Caveat: in the current Formulator implementation it is very hard
    to actually go through validation successfully, as exactly the
    same random numbers need to be generated twice; once for the
    display phase, and once during the validation phase. The
    implementation currently assumes the list won't change through
    multiple calls to calculate the 'items' property.