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Petal::Cookbook(3)    User Contributed Perl Documentation   Petal::Cookbook(3)

       Petal::Cookbook - Recipes for building templates	with Petal

       This document contains some examples of Petal template usage. Most of
       these examples deal with	using Petal to generate	HTML files from	HTML

   Template location
       When using Petal	for web	application development, your templates	should
       not need	to be accessible by the	webserver. In fact, it could be	a
       security	risk if	they are available since there may be code or comments
       which users should not see prior	to processing by Petal.	Thus, it is
       recommended to store your templates in a	non-web	accessible directory.
       Personally I prefer to place the	directory outside of the web root but
       you could also use permissions or .htaccess files to control access to
       the directory. This directory path should go into the $Petal::BASE_DIR
       global setting or the 'base_dir'	argument for the new() constructor.

   Template naming
       Petal is	indifferent about the name of the template files. Personally,
       I like to name my templates with	the .tmpl extension to help myself and
       designers distinguish templates from static html. Some GUI editors,
       though, will not	open files without a htm/html extension	(esp. under

   Fixing invalid templates (Is	this XML well-formed?)
       If you are getting a parse_error	when trying to process your template,
       you will	need to	clean up your XHTML template in	order for Petal	to
       process it.  Two	tools will be of great assistance in taking the	step
       towards better standards	compliance--HTML Tidy (<>)
       and xmllint. In addition, you can use the page validation services at
       W3C (<>). Alternatively,	you could use the
       Petal::Parser::HTB module which will parse non well-formed HTML
       documents using HTML::TreeBuilder.

       HTML Tidy will rewrite your document into valid XHTML and, if
       requested, even replace legacy formatting tags with their CSS
       counterparts. You can safely ignore the warnings	about proprietary
       attributes. Be sure to read the output of what HTML Tidy	is doing or
       else you	may find it removing important tags which it thinks are	empty
       or invalid (e.g., inline	elements outside of a block). One of the
       important options that should be	set is output_xhtml (-asxhtml from the
       command-line).  Here's an example of how	to use it (see the
       documentation for complete details):

	 tidy --asxhtml	original_file.html > new_file.html

       Once your document is well-formed, you can use xmllint to do day-to-day
       checking	that it	stays well-formed without having to wade through the
       warnings	that HTML Tidy will generate about proprietary attributes. The
       following command will check that a document is well-formed:

	 xmllint --noout <filename>

       To prevent errors about undefined namespace prefix, be sure to include
       these in	your template like so:

	 <html xmlns=""

       You may receive errors from xmllint about unknown entities such as
       &nbsp;.	These can be safely ignored, though you	can use	the numeric
       version &#160; instead to keep xmllint happy.  If you find a way	to
       suppress	these warnings,	please let us know. In the meantime, you can
       pass the	output through grep to ignore these bogus warnings:.

	 xmllint --noout  tmpl/contact_info.tmpl >& grep -v 'Entity'

       Now you have no excuse for not creating well-formed XHTML documents.

   Passing a hashreference to Petal::process
       An effective way	to collate data	to send	to the Petal process command
       is via a	hash reference.	Used as	follows, this technique	allows you to
       build up	your data to be	passed to the template slowly:

	 my $hash = { string =>	'Three', 'number' => 3 };
	 $hash->{'foo'}	= "bar";
	 my $template =	new Petal ( 'test.tmpl'	);
	 my $html = $template->process($hash);
	 # Output the results
	 print "Content-type: text/html\n\n";
	 print $html;

   Basic loops with tal:repeat
       One way to use tal:repeat is to create an a reference to	an array of
       anonymous hashes. Here is an example:

	 my $array_ref=	[
	   { firstname=>"David",
	   { firstname=>"Susan",

       With this array you can use the tal:repeat structure. Let's say you
       have this template - this is a snippet so don't forget the proper name
       space declarations and such:

	   <th>First Name</th>
	   <th>Last Name</th>

	 <tr tal:repeat="name names/list_of_names">
	   <td tal:content="name/firstname">First Name</td>
	   <td tal:content="name/lastname">Last	Name</td>

       If you processed	that template and the method call "list_of_names"
       returned	an array reference as described	above, you'd get:

	   <th>First Name</th>
	   <th>Last Name</th>



       So, in a	tal:repeat construct:

	 tal:repeat="tal_variable_name EXPRESSION"

       tal_variable_name is the	name of	the variable you use in	your tal
       template	to refer to each row of	data you are looping through.

       EXPRESSION should return	an array reference, where each row is an
       anonymous hash, array, scalar or	object.

       You can then refer to the members of the	anonymous hash like this:


   Assigning attributes	(submitted by Warren Smith)
       Up until	now, if	I wanted to use	petal to pre-select an item in a
       selectbox, I would have to do each item twice, like so:

	   <div	petal:repeat="option options">
	     <option petal:condition="true: option/selected" petal:attributes="value option/value" petal:content="option/label"	selected="selected">Option 1</option>
	     <option petal:condition="false: option/selected" petal:attributes="value option/value" petal:content="option/label">Option	2</option>

	 $VAR1 = [
		 { value => 1, label =>	'Option	1', selected =>	1 },
		 { value => 2, label =>	'Option	2', selected =>	0 },
		 { value => 4, label =>	'Option	3', selected =>	0 },

       After reading the Petal source, I found that if you use
       petal:attributes	to assign an attribute an undefined value, the
       attribute gets omitted, thus the	above code can be replaced with	the
       simpler version below:

	   <option petal:attributes="value option/value; selected option/selected" petal:content="option/label">Option 1</option>

	 $VAR1 = [
		 { value => 1, label =>	'Option	1', selected =>	1 },
		 { value => 2, label =>	'Option	2' },
		 { value => 4, label =>	'Option	3' },

       It turns	out that although not documented in Petal's documentation,
       this behavior is	part of	the TAL	specification:

       Thanks to Fergal	Daly for his knowledge of the TAL specification.

   Generating even/odd rows (submitted by Warren Smith)
       I developed a decode: modifier that works similar to Oracle's decode
       statement. It provides an if/then/else construct	and is part of the
       Petal::Utils collection of modifiers. Using decode, it is possible to
       make even/odd rows of a table different classes,	which allows you to do
       things like alter color,	font-size, etc,	is relatively easy.


	   <tr tal:repeat="emp employees" tal:attr="class decode: repeat/even 1	'even' 'odd'">
	     <td tal:content="emp/name">Employee Name</td>

       See Petal::Utils	for more information.

       Alternatively, this can be done entirely	with TAL (contributed by
       Jonathan	Vanasco):

	 <div tal:repeat="row rows">
		 <tag tal:omit-tag="string:1" tal:condition="repeat/even"><tag
	 tal:define="rowClass string:rowEven" tal:omit-tag="string:1"/></tag>
		 <tag tal:omit-tag="string:1" tal:condition="repeat/odd"><tag
	 tal:define="rowClass string:rowOdd" tal:omit-tag="string:1"/></tag>
			 tal:attributes="class rowClass"
		 This will use either the rowEven or rowOdd class. All of the 'tag'
	 elements are omitted on render. This uses a nested define tag in a
	 condition tag,	because	define precedes	condition in order of operations.

       The simplest way	to do odd/even rows may	to duplicate the code entirely
       for each	type or	row, though this may cause maintenance headaches:

	   <tr tal:repeat="emp employees">
	     <td tal:condition="repeat/odd" class="odd"	tal:content="emp/name">Employee	Name</td>
	     <td tal:condition="repeat/even" class="even" tal:content="emp/name">Employee Name</td>

   Invoking methods on objects
       Petal supports the ability to call an object's methods if passed	in to
       Petal::process via the %hash. Say you wish to check whether a
       particular record is contained in a recordset returned from an SQL
       query. Using OO-Perl techniques,	you could use the following technique
       as described by Jean-Michel:

       o   all your records are	hashrefs which come from some database

       o   you have a list of them to display

       Let's say that the database table looks like this:

       Raters (id, first_name, last_name, relation, phone, email)

       You could bless each record into	a package as is:

	   use MyApplication::Record::Rater;
	   my @records = complicated_query_somewhere_else();
	   bless $_, "MyApplication::Record::Rater" for	(@records);
	   $hash->{'records'} =	\@records;

       Your module could look like that:

	   package MyApplication::Record::Rater;
	   use strict;
	   use warnings;
	   use CGI;
	   use Carp;

	   sub is_current_id
	       my $self	= shift;
	       my $cgi	= CGI->new;
	       my $id =	$cgi->param ('');
	       return unless (defined $id and $id and $id =~ /^\d+$/);
	       return $id == $self->{id};


       Then on top of your existing data, you have a method which you can call
       from Petal, i.e.

	   <ul petal:repeat="record records">
	     <li petal:condition="true:record/is_current_id" petal:content="string: Current id = $record/id">Current id</li>

       This trick can also be used when	you have foreign keys in database


       For example, let's imagine that you have	a column called	'friend_id'.
       It references another 'rater' which is supposed to be a friend of that

       You could define	the following subroutine:

	   # give me the friend	record for that	person
	   sub friend
	       my $self	= shift;
	       my $friend_id = $self->{friend_id};
	       my $sql = 'select * from	rater where id = ?';
	       my $sth = $::DBH_CONNECTION->prepare_cached ($sql);
	       $sth->execute ($friend_id);
	       my $hash	= $sth->fetchrow_hashref;
	       return unless (defined $hash);

	       bless $hash, "MyApplication::Record::Rater";
	       return $hash;

       Then in your template, you could	do:

	 <div petal:if="true:rater/friend">
	   Your	friend is: <span petal:content="string:	$rater/friend/first_name $rater/friend/last_name">First	Last</span>


       Thanks to Jean-Michel Hiver for this tip.

       If you are doing	a lot of database manipulation via Petal, you probably
       should consider an object-relational mapping library . Personally, I
       recommend Class::DBI.  There is a list of many of these tools at	Perl
       Object Oriented Persistence (<>).

   Using	to build forms
       Calling the HTML	generating methods of from the Petal template
       provides	an extremely simple means to develop forms.  For example, the
       ususal ratnest of loops used to populate	a checkbox group can be
       replaced	by the simple and elegant construct below.  You	can put	in a
       dummy checkbox to give the HTML designer	something to look at. Be sure
       to call CGI with	the -compile option as follows:

	 use CGI qw(-compile [:all]);
	 $hash->{'query'} = new	CGI;
	 $hash->{'choices'} = [1, 2, 3,	4];

	 <span petal:replace="query/checkbox_group 'Choices' choices ''	'true'">
	   <input name="Choices" type="checkbox" value="test">Test</input>

       Thanks to Kurt Stephens for this	tip.

       This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
       under the same terms as Perl itself.

       All code	examples in these files	are hereby placed into the public
       domain. You are permitted and encouraged	to use this code in your own
       programs	for fun	or for profit as you see fit. A	simple comment in the
       code giving credit would	be courteous but is not	required.

       William McKee <>.

       Thanks to the following contributors: Jean-Michel Hiver,	Kurt Stephens,
       Warren Smith, Fergal Daly.

       Petal, Petal::Utils, the	test file t/084_Cookbook.t and the test
       template	t/data/cookbook.html.

perl v5.32.1			  2012-12-21		    Petal::Cookbook(3)


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