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Templates

A template is a file on disk which can be used to render dynamic data provided by a view. Pyramid offers a number of ways to perform templating tasks out of the box, and provides add-on templating support through a set of bindings packages.

Before discussing how built-in templates are used in detail, we'll discuss two ways to render templates within Pyramid in general: directly, and via renderer configuration.

Using Templates Directly

The most straightforward way to use a template within Pyramid is to cause it to be rendered directly within a view callable. You may use whatever API is supplied by a given templating engine to do so.

Pyramid provides various APIs that allow you to render templates directly from within a view callable. For example, if there is a Chameleon ZPT template named foo.pt in a directory named templates in your application, you can render the template from within the body of a view callable like so:

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from pyramid.renderers import render_to_response

def sample_view(request):
    return render_to_response('templates/foo.pt',
                              {'foo':1, 'bar':2},
                              request=request)

The sample_view view callable function above returns a response object which contains the body of the templates/foo.pt template. In this case, the templates directory should live in the same directory as the module containing the sample_view function. The template author will have the names foo and bar available as top-level names for replacement or comparison purposes.

In the example above, the path templates/foo.pt is relative to the directory containing the file which defines the view configuration. In this case, this is the directory containing the file that defines the sample_view function. Although a renderer path is usually just a simple relative pathname, a path named as a renderer can be absolute, starting with a slash on UNIX or a drive letter prefix on Windows. The path can alternately be an asset specification in the form some.dotted.package_name:relative/path. This makes it possible to address template assets which live in another package. For example:

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from pyramid.renderers import render_to_response

def sample_view(request):
    return render_to_response('mypackage:templates/foo.pt',
                              {'foo':1, 'bar':2},
                              request=request)

An asset specification points at a file within a Python package. In this case, it points at a file named foo.pt within the templates directory of the mypackage package. Using an asset specification instead of a relative template name is usually a good idea, because calls to render_to_response() using asset specifications will continue to work properly if you move the code containing them to another location.

In the examples above we pass in a keyword argument named request representing the current Pyramid request. Passing a request keyword argument will cause the render_to_response function to supply the renderer with more correct system values (see System Values Used During Rendering), because most of the information required to compose proper system values is present in the request. If your template relies on the name request or context, or if you've configured special renderer globals, make sure to pass request as a keyword argument in every call to a pyramid.renderers.render_* function.

Every view must return a response object, except for views which use a renderer named via view configuration (which we'll see shortly). The pyramid.renderers.render_to_response() function is a shortcut function that actually returns a response object. This allows the example view above to simply return the result of its call to render_to_response() directly.

Obviously not all APIs you might call to get response data will return a response object. For example, you might render one or more templates to a string that you want to use as response data. The pyramid.renderers.render() API renders a template to a string. We can manufacture a response object directly, and use that string as the body of the response:

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from pyramid.renderers import render
from pyramid.response import Response

def sample_view(request):
    result = render('mypackage:templates/foo.pt',
                    {'foo':1, 'bar':2},
                    request=request)
    response = Response(result)
    return response

Because view callable functions are typically the only code in Pyramid that need to know anything about templates, and because view functions are very simple Python, you can use whatever templating system you're most comfortable with within Pyramid. Install the templating system, import its API functions into your views module, use those APIs to generate a string, then return that string as the body of a Pyramid Response object.

For example, here's an example of using "raw" Mako from within a Pyramid view:

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from mako.template import Template
from pyramid.response import Response

def make_view(request):
    template = Template(filename='/templates/template.mak')
    result = template.render(name=request.params['name'])
    response = Response(result)
    return response

You probably wouldn't use this particular snippet in a project, because it's easier to use the supported Mako bindings. But if your favorite templating system is not supported as a renderer extension for Pyramid, you can create your own simple combination as shown above.

Note

If you use third-party templating languages without cooperating Pyramid bindings directly within view callables, the auto-template-reload strategy explained in Automatically Reloading Templates will not be available, nor will the template asset overriding capability explained in Overriding Assets be available, nor will it be possible to use any template using that language as a renderer. However, it's reasonably easy to write custom templating system binding packages for use under Pyramid so that templates written in the language can be used as renderers. See Adding and Changing Renderers for instructions on how to create your own template renderer and Available Add-On Template System Bindings for example packages.

If you need more control over the status code and content-type, or other response attributes from views that use direct templating, you may set attributes on the response that influence these values.

Here's an example of changing the content-type and status of the response object returned by render_to_response():

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from pyramid.renderers import render_to_response

def sample_view(request):
    response = render_to_response('templates/foo.pt',
                                  {'foo':1, 'bar':2},
                                  request=request)
    response.content_type = 'text/plain'
    response.status_int = 204
    return response

Here's an example of manufacturing a response object using the result of render() (a string):

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from pyramid.renderers import render
from pyramid.response import Response

def sample_view(request):
    result = render('mypackage:templates/foo.pt',
                    {'foo':1, 'bar':2},
                    request=request)
    response = Response(result)
    response.content_type = 'text/plain'
    return response

System Values Used During Rendering

When a template is rendered using render_to_response() or render(), or a renderer= argument to view configuration (see Templates Used as Renderers via Configuration), the renderer representing the template will be provided with a number of system values. These values are provided to the template:

request
The value provided as the request keyword argument to render_to_response or render or the request object passed to the view when the renderer= argument to view configuration is being used to render the template.
req
An alias for request.
context
The current Pyramid context if request was provided as a keyword argument to render_to_response or render, or None if the request keyword argument was not provided. This value will always be provided if the template is rendered as the result of a renderer= argument to view configuration being used.
renderer_name
The renderer name used to perform the rendering, e.g. mypackage:templates/foo.pt.
renderer_info
An object implementing the pyramid.interfaces.IRendererInfo interface. Basically, an object with the following attributes: name, package and type.
view
The view callable object that was used to render this template. If the view callable is a method of a class-based view, this will be an instance of the class that the method was defined on. If the view callable is a function or instance, it will be that function or instance. Note that this value will only be automatically present when a template is rendered as a result of a renderer= argument; it will be None when the render_to_response or render APIs are used.

You can define more values which will be passed to every template executed as a result of rendering by defining renderer globals.

What any particular renderer does with these system values is up to the renderer itself, but most template renderers make these names available as top-level template variables.

Templates Used as Renderers via Configuration

An alternative to using render_to_response() to render templates manually in your view callable code, is to specify the template as a renderer in your view configuration. This can be done with any of the templating languages supported by Pyramid.

To use a renderer via view configuration, specify a template asset specification as the renderer argument, or attribute to the view configuration of a view callable. Then return a dictionary from that view callable. The dictionary items returned by the view callable will be made available to the renderer template as top-level names.

The association of a template as a renderer for a view configuration makes it possible to replace code within a view callable that handles the rendering of a template.

Here's an example of using a view_config decorator to specify a view configuration that names a template renderer:

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from pyramid.view import view_config

@view_config(renderer='templates/foo.pt')
def my_view(request):
    return {'foo':1, 'bar':2}

Note

You do not need to supply the request value as a key in the dictionary result returned from a renderer-configured view callable. Pyramid automatically supplies this value for you so that the "most correct" system values are provided to the renderer.

Warning

The renderer argument to the @view_config configuration decorator shown above is the template path. In the example above, the path templates/foo.pt is relative. Relative to what, you ask? Because we're using a Chameleon renderer, it means "relative to the directory in which the file which defines the view configuration lives". In this case, this is the directory containing the file that defines the my_view function. View-configuration-relative asset specifications work only in Chameleon, not in Mako templates.

Similar renderer configuration can be done imperatively. See Writing View Callables Which Use a Renderer.

See also

See also Built-In Renderers.

Although a renderer path is usually just a simple relative pathname, a path named as a renderer can be absolute, starting with a slash on UNIX or a drive letter prefix on Windows. The path can alternately be an asset specification in the form some.dotted.package_name:relative/path, making it possible to address template assets which live in another package.

Not just any template from any arbitrary templating system may be used as a renderer. Bindings must exist specifically for Pyramid to use a templating language template as a renderer.

By default, views rendered via a template renderer return a Response object which has a status code of 200 OK, and a content-type of text/html. To vary attributes of the response of a view that uses a renderer, such as the content-type, headers, or status attributes, you must use the API of the pyramid.response.Response object exposed as request.response within the view before returning the dictionary. See Varying Attributes of Rendered Responses for more information.

The same set of system values are provided to templates rendered via a renderer view configuration as those provided to templates rendered imperatively. See System Values Used During Rendering.

Debugging Templates

A NameError exception resulting from rendering a template with an undefined variable (e.g. ${wrong}) might end up looking like this:

RuntimeError: Caught exception rendering template.
 - Expression: ``wrong``
 - Filename:   /home/fred/env/proj/proj/templates/mytemplate.pt
 - Arguments:  renderer_name: proj:templates/mytemplate.pt
               template: <PageTemplateFile - at 0x1d2ecf0>
               xincludes: <XIncludes - at 0x1d3a130>
               request: <Request - at 0x1d2ecd0>
               project: proj
               macros: <Macros - at 0x1d3aed0>
               context: <MyResource None at 0x1d39130>
               view: <function my_view at 0x1d23570>

NameError: wrong

The output tells you which template the error occurred in, as well as displaying the arguments passed to the template itself.

Automatically Reloading Templates

It's often convenient to see changes you make to a template file appear immediately without needing to restart the application process. Pyramid allows you to configure your application development environment so that a change to a template will be automatically detected, and the template will be reloaded on the next rendering.

Warning

Auto-template-reload behavior is not recommended for production sites as it slows rendering slightly; it's usually only desirable during development.

In order to turn on automatic reloading of templates, you can use an environment variable, or a configuration file setting.

To use an environment variable, start your application under a shell using the PYRAMID_RELOAD_TEMPLATES operating system environment variable set to 1, For example:

$ PYRAMID_RELOAD_TEMPLATES=1 $VENV/bin/pserve myproject.ini

To use a setting in the application .ini file for the same purpose, set the pyramid.reload_templates key to true within the application's configuration section, e.g.:

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[app:main]
use = egg:MyProject
pyramid.reload_templates = true

Available Add-On Template System Bindings

The Pylons Project maintains several packages providing bindings to different templating languages including the following:

Template Language Pyramid Bindings
Chameleon pyramid_chameleon
Jinja2 pyramid_jinja2
Mako pyramid_mako