Programming templates

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In order to produce the appropriate result, the gwd server of GeneWeb does tow things:

  • it produces directly HTML code which is returned to the web client
  • it examines a text file which provides instructions for producing the desired output. These instructions can be viewed as a GeneWeb specific programming language. The produced output is in general HTML code, but can be anything else (Henri has built a few template files that produce a mixture of HTML style tags and LaTeX for further processing into pure LaTeX).

Some pages are produced with the first method, and cannot be changed short of changing the Ocaml code of gwd itself (list of such pages here). Other pages are entirely produced with the second method and allow for total used control through the template emchanism.

The template language has the following properties:

  • anything that is not an instruction (or its parameters) is text that is produced as output. (check CR LF behaviour)
  • output producing instructions begin with a & and terminate with a ;
    • execution flow: %if; %then; %else; %foreach; (each of these instructions open a block terinating with a %end;)
    • file handling: %include.file; %origin_file;
    • procedure definition: %define; (terminates with a %end)
    • variable definition: %let;variable%type;%in; (opens a block terminating with a %end)
    • procedure call: %apply;
    • arithmetic: %reset_count; %init_count; %incr_count;
  • context setting or testing instructions do not begin with a & and terminate with a ;
    • setting: family; father; mother; child; witness; relation;
    • testing: has_parents; has_children; are_married; is_cremated; ... (list to be completed)
    • misc:

The best approach to discovering this programming language is to read the existing template files. All the instructions have a fairly self explanatory name. What may be needed is a full list of available instructions. (Note: does anybody know of a context aware text editor?).

Short examples

%define;loc_long_married(xx)
  %apply;loc_married_to%with;%xx.sex%and;
    %if;(marriage_place = "")
      %if;(on_marriage_date = "")
      %else; <em>%on_marriage_date;
        %if;wedding_birthday; ([happy birthday to them!])%end;
        </em>
      %end;
    %else;
      %if;(on_marriage_date = "")<em>, %marriage_place;, </em>
      %else; <em>%on_marriage_date;
        %if;wedding_birthday; ([happy birthday to them!])%end;
        , %marriage_place, </em>
      %end;
    %end;
  %end;
%end;

Usage : <em>&nbsp;%apply;loc_long_married("child")</em>

  <ul>
    %if;has_birth_date;
      <li>%apply;capitalize(nth([born],sex)) %on_birth_date;
      %if;birthday; ([happy birthday to you!])%end;
      %if;has_birth_place; - %birth_place;%end;</li>%nl;
      %if;computable_age;<li>[*age] : %age;</li>%end;
    %else;
      %if;has_birth_place;
        <li>%apply;capitalize(nth([born],sex)) - %birth_place;</li>%nl;
      %end;
    %end;

The following example is an extract of the welcome page and shows that one must master HTML as much as this new GeneWeb programming language.

    <h3 class="with_picto" style=" background-image:url(%image_prefix;/picto_loupe.png)"> 
           [*search/case sensitive]0
    </h3>
      <form id="form-person" method="get" action="%action;">
        <div>
          %hidden;
          <input type="hidden" name="m" value="NG"%/>
          <span class="highlight">[person/persons]0</span>
          <br%/>
          <input type="text" name="fn" placeholder="[*first name/first names]0" size="25" 
            maxlength="200"%/>
          <input type="text" name="sn" placeholder="[*surname/surnames]0" size="25" 
            maxlength="200"%/>
          <br%/>
          <input type="text" name="n" placeholder="[*public name], [*alias] 
            %if;browsing_with_sosa_ref;, [n° Sosa relative to]%end; ..." size="53" 
            maxlength="200"%/>
          <input type="submit" value="Ok"%/>
          <br%/>
          %if;browsing_with_sosa_ref;%apply;display_sosa_ref%with;%sosa_ref;%end;%end;
        </div>
      </form>