[mod_python] mod_python Live examples

Eric Walstad eric at ericwalstad.com
Mon Aug 16 18:29:29 EDT 2004

Hey Miles,

On Monday 16 August 2004 04:51 pm, Miles K. Forrest wrote:
> But I _want_ to learn.  And I'd like to seperate the HTML and
> Python code so I can still rely on HTML designers who, unlike
> myself, know how to build nice looking pages.  And I'd like to use
> Python.  But I can't seem to get a platform working.
Sorry if you mentioned this in other posts, but do you have mod_python 
working using the tutorial and examples yet?  If not, I'd get those 
nailed down before you start experimenting with templating.  
Templating will be one more layer of stuff to have to debug and could 
result in more hair-pulling-late-night-frustrations.

> I suppose having lots of choices when it comes to templating if you
> know what you're doing, but for someone like me the choice is
> difficult: which _should_ I choose?  Being told "it depends on what
> you're doing" doesn't help because I'm not sure what I'm going to
> do, I'm still learning.  I'm leaning towards PSP because it's
> built-in to mod_python, so it seems to me it will become a standard
> way of templating because it's already there.
> Can any gurus out there help guide this neophyte? (wincing a bit as
> I click send in fear of a "RTFM" retaliation - I've read so much my
> eyeballs are beginning to glaze over)
Here's *this* neophyte's templating system of choice:
SimpleTAL is a stand alone Python implementation of the TAL, TALES and 
METAL specifications used in Zope to power HTML and XML templates. 
SimpleTAL is an independent implementation of TAL; there are no 
dependencies on Zope nor is any of the Zope work re-used.

I like SimpleTAL because I already have experience with Zope's 
TAL/METAL templating system so there was no syntax for me to learn.  
Also, TAL plays VERY nicely with Dreamweaver, etc, as the syntax is 
XML.  Also, there's lots of documentation and examples for using 
Zope's Page Templates available out there.  (consider the terms ZPT, 
Zope Page Templates, TAL/METAL and SimpleTAL basically synonymous)

Here's a quote from Zope's TAL documentation that might give you an 
idea of how they work:
 How Page Templates Work

Page Templates use the Template Attribute Language (TAL). TAL consists 
of special tag attributes. For example, a dynamic page title might 
look like this:

<title tal:content="here/title">Page Title</title>

The tal:content attribute is a TAL statement. Since it has an XML 
namespace (the tal: part) most editing tools will not complain that 
they don't understand it, and will not remove it. It will not change 
the structure or appearance of the template when loaded into a 
WYSIWYG editor or a web browser. The name content indicates that it 
will set the text contained by the title tag, and the value 
"here/title" is an expression providing the text to insert into the 

In other words, the "Page Title" part above is replaced with the value 
of the variable named "title".

Of course, there are tags for looping, conditionals, etc.

I hope that helps.


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