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ll.ul4c documentation

How to use UL4

ll.ul4c provides templating for XML/HTML as well as any other text-based format. A template defines placeholders for data output and basic logic (like loops and conditional blocks), that define how the final rendered output will look.

ll.ul4c compiles a template to an internal format, which makes it possible to implement renderers for these templates in multiple programming languages.

Apart from this Python implementation there are implementations for Java (both a compiler and renderer) and Javascript (renderer only).

Embedding

In the template source any text surrounded by <? and ?> is a "template tag". The first word inside the tag is the tag type. It defines what the tag does. For example <?print foo?> is a print tag (it prints the value of the variable foo). A complete example template looks like this:

<?if data?>
    <ul>
        <?for item in data?>
            <li><?print xmlescape(item)?></li>
        <?end for?>
    </ul>
<?end if?>

(For text formats where the delimiters <? and ?> collide with elements that are used often or where using these delimiters is inconvenient it's possible to specify a different delimiter pair when compiling the template.)

A complete Python program that compiles a template and renders it might look like this:

from ll import ul4c

code = '''
    <?if data?>
        <ul>
            <?for item in data?>
                <li><?print item?></li>
            <?end for?>
        </ul>
    <?end if?>
'''

template = ul4c.Template(code)

print(template.renders(data=["Python", "Java", "Javascript", "PHP"]))

The variables that should be available to the template code can be passed to the method Template.renders as keyword arguments. renders returns the final rendered output as a string. Alternatively the method render can be used, which is a generator and returns the output piecewise.

Builtin types

The following object types can be created used insided templates:

  • strings

  • integers

  • floats

  • date objects

  • color objects

  • The "null" value (None)

  • boolean values (True and False)

  • lists

  • dictionaries

  • UL4 templates

Note that depending on the implementation language of the renderer additional types might be supported, e.g. a Python renderer will probably support tuples and lists and anything supporting __getitem__ (or __iter__ when the list is used in a loop) for lists, Java might support anything implementing the List interface (or the Collection interface if the list is used in a loop).

Objects of these types can either be passed to the template in the call to the render function, or the template can create objects of thoses types itself. The syntax for creating such a constant is very similar to Python's syntax.

The "null" constant

The "null" constant can be referred to via None.

Boolean constants

The boolean constants can be referred to via True and False.

Integer constants

Integer constants can be written in decimal, hexadecimal, octal and binary: 42, 0x2a, 0o52 and 0b101010 all refer to the integer value 42.

Float constants

Float constants must contain a decimal point or an exponential specifier, e.g. 42., 4e23.

String constants

Strings are delimited with single or double quotes and support all escape sequences that Python supports (except \N{}). Strings constants allow \uXXXX escaping. Examples:

  • "abc" and 'abc';

  • "'" and '\'' are single quotes;

  • '"' and "\"" are double quotes;

  • "\n" is a line feed and "\t" is a tab;

  • "\x61" and "\u0061" are lowercase "a"s;

Strings can also be delimited with triple single or double quotes like in Python. These strings support embedded line feeds.

Date constants

Date objects have a date and time including microseconds. Date constants can be created like this:

  • @(2008-12-24)

  • @(2008-12-24T12:34)

  • @(2008-12-24T12:34:56)

  • @(2008-12-24T12:34:56.987654)

Color constants

Color values are 8 bit red, green, blue and alpha values. Color constants can be created like this:

  • #fff

  • #fff8

  • #0063a8

  • #0063a880

The variants with 3 or 6 hex digits will create a color object with an alpha value of 255.

Lists

Lists can be created like this:

  • []

  • [1, 2, 3]

  • [None, 42, "foo", [False, True]]

It is also possible to create a list with a list comprehension:

["(" + c.upper() + ")" for c in "hurz" if c < "u"]

This will create the list:

["(H)", "(R)"]

The if condition is optional, i.e.:

["(" + c.upper() + ")" for c in "hurz"]

will create the list:

["(H)", "(U)", "(R)", "(Z)"]

Dictionaries

Dictionaries can be created like this:

  • {}

  • {1: 2, 3: 4}

  • {"foo": 17, "bar": 23}

It is also possible to create a dictionary with a dictionary comprehension:

{ c.upper() : "(" + c + ")" for c in "hurz" if c < "u"}

This will create the dictionary:

{ "H": "(h)", "R": "(r)"}

The if condition is optional, i.e.:

{ c.upper() : "(" + c + ")" for c in "hurz"}

will create the dictionary:

{ "H": "(h)", "R": "(r)", "U": "(u)", "Z": "(z)"}

Sets

Sets can be created like this:

  • {/} (this is the empty set)

  • {1, 2, 3}

  • {"foo", "bar"}

The empty set also be created with the function set:

``set()``.

It is also possible to create a set with a set comprehension:

{c.upper() for c in "hurz" if c < "u"}

This will create the set:

{"H", "R"}

The if condition is optional, i.e.:

{c.upper() for c in "hurz"}

will create the dictionary:

{"H", "R", "U", "Z"}

The Undefined object

The object Undefined will be returned when a non-existant variable, a non-existant dictionary entry or an index that is out of range for a list/string is accessed.

Template code

The template code tries to mimic Python syntax as far as possible, but is limited to what is required for templates and does not allow executing arbitrary Python statements. In some spots it also borrows Javascript semantics.

ll.ul4c supports the following tag types:

print

The print tag outputs the value of a variable or any other expression. If the expression doesn't evaluate to a string it will be converted to a string first. The format of the string depends on the renderer, but should follow Python's str() output as much as possible (except that for None no output may be produced):

<h1><?print person.lastname?>, <?print person.firstname?></h1>

printx

The printx tag outputs the value of a variable or any other expression and escapes the characters <, >, &, ' and " with the appropriate character or entity references for XML or HTML output.

for

The for tag can be used to loop over the items in a list, the characters in a string or the keys in a dictionary. The end of the loop body must be marked with an <?end for?> tag:

<ul>
    <?for person in data.persons?>
        <li><?print person.lastname?>, <?person.firstname?></li>
    <?end for?>
</ul>

In for loops variable unpacking is supported, so you can do the following:

<?for (key, value) in dict.items()?>

if dict is a dictionary.

This unpacking can be arbitrarily nested, i.e. the following is possible too:

<?for (i, (key, value)) in enumerate(dict.items())?>

break

The break tag can be used to break out of the innermost running loop.

continue

The continue tag can be used to skip the rest of the loop body of the innermost running loop.

if

The if tag can be used to output a part of the template only when a condition is true. The end of the if block must be marked with an <?end if?> tag. The truth value of an object is mostly the same as in Python:

  • None is false.

  • The integer 0 and the float value 0.0 are false.

  • Empty strings, lists and dictionaries are false.

  • timedelta and monthdelta objects for an empty timespan (i.e. timedelta(0, 0, 0) and monthdelta(0)) are false.

  • False is false.

  • Undefined is false.

  • Anything else is true.

For example we can output the person list only if there are any persons:

<?if persons?>
    <ul>
        <?for person in persons?>
            <li><?print person.lastname?>, <?person.firstname?></li>
        <?end for?>
    </ul>
<?end if?>

elif and else are supported too:

<?if persons?>
    <ul>
        <?for person in persons?>
            <li><?print person.lastname?>, <?person.firstname?></li>
        <?end for?>
    </ul>
<?else?>
    <p>No persons found!</p>
<?end if?>

or:

<?if len(persons)==0?>
    No persons found!
<?elif len(persons)==1?>
    One person found!
<?else?>
    <?print len(persons)?> persons found!
<?end if?>

code

The code tag can contain statements that define or modify variables or expressions which will be evaluated for their side effects. Apart from the assigment operator =, the following augmented assignment operators are supported:

  • += (adds a value to the variable)

  • -= (subtracts a value from the variable)

  • *= (multiplies the variable by a value)

  • /= (divides the variable by a value)

  • //= (divides the variable by a value, rounding down to the next smallest integer)

  • &= (Does a modulo operation and replaces the variable value with the result)

For example the following template will output 40:

<?code x = 17?>
<?code x += 23?>
<?print x?>

def

The def tag defines a new template as a variable. Usage looks like this:

<?def quote?>
    "<?print text?>"
<?end def?>

This defines a local variable quote that is a template object. This template can be called like any other template, that has been passed to the outermost template:

<?code quote.render(text="foo")?>

(Here an <?code?> tag is used. The expression in the <?code?> tag is evaluated for the side effect of generating output.)

It's also possible to include a signature in the definition of the template. This makes it possible to define default values for template variables and to call templates with positional arguments:

<?def quote(text='foo')?>
    "<?print text?>"
<?end def?>
<?code quote.render()?> and <?code quote.render("bar")?>

This will output "foo" and "bar".

* and ** arguments are also supported:

<?def weightedsum(*args)?>
    <?print sum(i*arg for (i, arg) in enumerate(args, 1))?>
<?end def?>
<?code weightedsum.render(17, 23, 42)?>

This will print 189 (i.e. 1 * 17 + 2 * 23 + 3 * 42).

note

A note tag is a comment, i.e. the content of the tag will be completely ignored.

Nested scopes

UL4 templates support lexical scopes. This means that a template that is defined (via <?def?>) inside another template has access to the local variables of the outer template. The inner template sees the state of the variables at the point in time when the <?def?> tag was executed (this includes the inner template itself, but no variables defined later). The following example will output 1:

<?code i = 1?>
<?def x?>
    <?print i?>
<?end def?>
<?code i = 2?>
<?code x.render()?>

However the state that the template sees is a "shallow" copy of the state of the variables at the point in time when the inner template was defined. So:

<?code i = [1]?>
<?def x?>
    <?print i?>
<?end def?>
<?code i.append(2)?>
<?code x.render()?>

does output [1, 2].

Expressions

ll.ul4c supports many of the operators supported by Python. The following subchapters describe all expression/operators that UL4 supports and are ordered from highest precedence to lowest.

Generator expressions

UL4 supports generator expressions with look like list comprehensions without the square brackets. Generator expression do not create lists in memory but instead return an iterable that can be iterated once. Function and methods that require an iterable argument can directly consume such iterables:

<?print ", ".join("(" + c + ")" for c in "gurk")?>

will output:

(g), (u), (r), (k)

Outside of function/method arguments (or when more that one argument is passed) parentheses are required around generator expressions:

<?code ge = ("(" + c + ")" for c in "gurk")?>
<?print ", ".join(ge)?>

Index/slice access

Index and slice access is available for all container types, i.e. in the expression a[b] the following type combinations are supported:

  • string, integer: Returns the bth character from the string a. Note that negative b values are supported and are relative to the end, so a[-1] is the last character.

  • list, integer: Returns the bth list entry of the list a. Negative b values are supported too.

  • dict, string: Return the value from the dictionary a corresponding to the key b. Note that some implementations might support keys other than strings too. (The Python and Java implementations do for example. The Javascript implementation does too, if Map is supported.)

If the specified key doesn't exist or the index is out of range for the string or list, a special "undefined" object is returned.

Slices are also supported (for list and string objects). As in Python one or both of the indexes may be missing to start at the first or end after the last character/item. Negative indexes are relative to the end. Indexes that are out of bounds are simply clipped:

  • <?print "Hello, World!"[7:-1]?> prints World.

  • <?print "Hello, World!"[:-8]?> prints Hello.

Attribute access

For string keys it's also possible to access dictionary entries via the attribute access operator ., i.e. foo.key is the same as foo["key"] if foo is a dictionary.

Function calls

A function call in UL4 looks like this: date(2014, 10, 9, 17, 29). (this returns the date object @(2014-10-09T17:29)). Some of the trailing arguments in a function call might be optional and have default values. For example the first three arguments for the date function (year, month and day) are required, the remaining four arguments (hour, minute, second and microsecond) are optional and default to 0.

Parameter values can also be passed via keyword arguments, i.e. date(2014, 10, 9) could also be written as date(day=9, month=10, year=2014).

Furthermore Python's * and ** syntax is supported for passing additional positional or keyword arguments. For example:

<?code args = [2014, 10, 9, 17, 29]?>
<?code d = date(*args)?>

is the same as:

<?code d = date(2014, 10, 9, 17, 29)?>

The same can also be done with a keyword dictionary and the ** syntax:

<?code kwargs = {"day": 9, "month": 10, "year": 2014, "hour": 17: "minute": 29}?>
<?code d = date(**kwargs)?>

Of course it's also possible to mix argument passing mechanics:

<?code d = date(2014, *[10, 9], **{"hour": 17, "minute": 29})?>

or:

<?code d = date(2014, month=10, day=9, **{'hour': 17, 'minute': 29})?>

However the * and ** arguments can only be use at the end of the argument list and positional arguments must always be before keyword arguments.

A list of builtin functions can be found in a later chapter.

Unary operators

Arithmetic negation

The unary operator - inverts the sign of its operand, which must be an integer, float of boolean value:

<?code x = 42?><?print -x?>

prints -42. For - boolean values are treated as the numbers 0 and 1, i.e.:

<?code x = True?><?print -x?>

prints -1.

Binary negation

The unary operator ~ inverts the bits of an integer or boolean value. Non-negative numbers are interpreted as having an unlimited number of leading 0 bits and negative numbers are interpreted as having an unlimited number of leading 1 bits. The means that ~x will be negative if x is non-negative and vice versa.

Multiplicative binary operators

Multiplication

The multiplication operator * returns the arithmetic product of its operands (which must be integer, float or boolean values). Furthermore it's possible to multiply a sequence (i.e. a string or list) with a non-negative integer to get a new sequences that repeats the items of the original sequence a number of times, e.g. "foo" * 2 returns "foofoo" and [1, 2, 3] * 3 return [1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3]. Multiplying with 0 returns an empty string or list.

True division

The true division operator / returns the quotient of its operands (which must be integer, float or boolean values). The result is always a float value. 1/2 returns 0.5.

Floor division

The float division operator // returns the quotient of its operands (which must be integer, float or boolean values) rounded down to an integer. If any of the operands is a float the result is a float too, otherwise it's an integer.

1//2 returns 0.

Modulo

The modulo operator % returns the remainder from the division of the first operand by the second, e.g. 15 % 7 returns 1.

Additive binary operators

Addition

The addition operator + returns the sum of its operands (which must be integer, float or boolean values). Furthermore sequences of the same type can be added, so "foo" + "bar" returns "foobar" and [1, 2] + [3, 4] returns [1, 2, 3, 4].

Substraction

The substraction operator - returns the difference of its operands (which must be integer, float or boolean values).

Bit shift operators

Binary left shift operator

The binary left shift operator << shifts the bits of its first operand (an integer or boolean) to the left by the number of positions given by the second operand (which must also be an integer or boolean).

Binary right shift operator

The binary right shift operator >> shifts the bits of its first operand (an integer or boolean) to the right by the number of positions given by the second operand (which must also be an integer or boolean).

Binary bitwise and operator

The bitwise and operator & returns the bitwise "and" combination of its operands (which must be integer of boolean values). E.g. 6 & 3 returns 2.

As with the unary operator ~, negative numbers are interpreted as having an unlimited number of leading 1 bits.

Binary bitwise exclusive or operator

The bitwise exclusive or operator ^ returns the bitwise exclusive "or" combination of its operands (which must be integer of boolean values). E.g. 6 ^ 3 returns 5.

Negative numbers are again interpreted as having an unlimited number of leading 1 bits.

Binary bitwise inclusive or operator

The bitwise inclusive or operator | returns the bitwise inclusive "or" combination of its operands (which must be integer of boolean values). E.g. 6 | 3 returns 7.

Negative numbers are again interpreted as having an unlimited number of leading 1 bits.

Binary comparison operators

The comparison operators ==, !=, <, <=, > and >= compare the value of the two operands. == and != support comparison of all types of object. All others support comparsison of "compatible" objects, which means all "number" objects (integer, float and boolean) can be compared with each other, all other objects can only be compared to objects of the same type.

Containment tests

The in operator

The in operator test whether the first operand is contained in the second operand. In the expression a in b the following type combinations are supported:

  • string, string: Checks whether a is a substring of b.

  • any object, list: Checks whether the object a is in the list b (comparison is done by value not by identity)

  • string, dict: Checks whether the key a is in the dictionary b. (Note that some implementations might support keys other than strings too. E.g. Python and Java do, Javascript doesn't.)

The not in operator

The not in operator returns the inverted result of the in operator, i.e. it tests whether the first operand is not contained in the second operand.

Boolean negation

The unary operator not inverts the truth value of its operand. I.e. not x is True for None, False, the undefined value, 0, 0.0, empty lists, strings, dictionaries and other empty container and False for everything else.

Boolean "and" operator

The binary operator and returns whether both of its operands are true. It work like in Python by short-circuiting operand evaluation, i.e. if the result is clear from the first operand the seconds won't be evaluated.

Furthermore and always return one of the operands.

So a and b first evaluates a; if a is false, its value is returned; otherwise, b is evaluated and the resulting value is returned.

Boolean "or" operator

The binary operator or returns whether any of it's operands is true. Like and evaluation is short-circuited and one of the operands is returned.

For example, the following code will output the data.title object if it's true, else data.id will be output:

<?printx data.title or data.id?>

Conditional expressions

The conditional expression (also called an "inline if") a if c else b first evaluates the condition c. If it is true a is evaluated and returned else b is evaluated and returned.

Functions

ll.ul4c supports a number of functions.

now

now() returns the current date and time as a date object.

utcnow

utcnow() returns the current date and time as a date object in UTC.

date

date() creates a date object from the parameter passed in. date() supports from three parameters (year, month, day) upto seven parameters (year, month, day, hour, minute, second, microsecond).

timedelta

timedelta returns an object that represents a timespan. timedelta allows from zero to three arguments specifying the numbers of days, seconds and microseconds. Passing negative values or values that are out of bounds (e.g. 24*60*60+1 seconds) is allowed. Arguments default to 0, i.e. timedelta() returns the timespan for "0 days, 0 seconds, 0 microseconds". In a boolean context this object is treated as false (i.e. bool(timedelta())) returns False). The following arithmetic operations are supported:

  • date + timedelta

  • date - timedelta

  • timedelta + timedelta

  • timedelta - timedelta

  • number * timedelta

  • timedelta * number

  • timedelta / number

  • timedelta // int

monthdelta

monthdelta returns an object that represents a timespan of a number of months. monthdelta allows zero or one arguments. With zero arguments monthdelta returns the timespan for "0 months". In a boolean context this object is treated as false (i.e. bool(monthdelta())) or bool(monthdelta(0))) return False). The following arithmetic operations are supported:

  • date + monthdelta

  • date - monthdelta

  • monthdelta + monthdelta

  • monthdelta - monthdelta

  • int * monthdelta

  • monthdelta // int

For operations involving date objects, if the resulting day falls out of the range of valid days for the target month, the last day for the target month will be used instead, i.e. <?print @(2000-01-31) + monthdelta(1)?> prints 2000-02-29 00:00:00.

isundefined

isundefined(foo) returns True if foo is Undefined, else False is returned:

data is <?if isundefined(data)?>undefined<?else?>defined<?end if?>!

isdefined

isdefined(foo) returns False if foo is Undefined, else True is returned:

data is <?if isdefined(data)?>defined<?else?>undefined<?end if?>!

isnone

isnone(foo) returns True if foo is None, else False is returned:

data is <?if isnone(data)?>None<?else?>something else<?end if?>!

isbool

isbool(foo) returns True if foo is True or False, else False is returned.

isint

isint(foo) returns True if foo is an integer object, else False is returned.

isfloat

isfloat(foo) returns True if foo is a float object, else False is returned.

isstr

isstr(foo) returns True if foo is a string object, else False is returned.

isdate

isdate(foo) returns True if foo is a date object, else False is returned.

istimedelta

istimedelta(foo) returns True if foo is a timedelta object, else False is returned.

ismonthdelta

ismonthdelta(foo) returns True if foo is a monthdelta object, else False is returned.

islist

islist(foo) returns True if foo is a list object, else False is returned.

isdict

isdict(foo) returns True if foo is a dictionary object, else False is returned.

iscolor

iscolor(foo) returns True if foo is a color object, else False is returned.

istemplate

istemplate(foo) returns True if foo is a template object, else False is returned.

bool

bool(foo) converts foo to an boolean. I.e. True or False is returned according to the truth value of foo. Calling bool without arguments returns False.

int

int(foo) converts foo to an integer. foo can be a string, a float, a boolean or an integer. int can also be called with two arguments. In this case the first argument must be a string and the second is the number base for the conversion. Calling int without arguments returns 0.

float

float(foo) converts foo to a float. foo can be a string, a float, a boolean or an integer. Calling float without arguments returns 0.0.

str

str(foo) converts foo to a string. If foo is None or Undefined the result will be the empty string. For lists and dictionaries the exact format is undefined, but should follow Python's repr format. For color objects the result is a CSS expression (e.g. "#fff"). Calling str without arguments returns the empty string.

repr

repr(foo) converts foo to a string representation that is useful for debugging proposes. The output in most cases looks that the UL4 constant that could be used to recreate the object.

list

list(foo) converts foo to a list. This works for lists, strings and all iterable objects. Calling list without arguments returns an empty list.

set

set(foo) converts foo to a set. This works for lists, strings and all iterable objects. Calling set without arguments returns an empty set.

slice

slice returns a slice from a sequence or iterator. You can either pass the stop index (i.e. slice(foo, 10) is an iterator over the first 10 items from foo), or a start and stop index (slice(foo, 10, 20) return the 11th upto to 20th item from foo) or a start and stop index and a step size. If given start and stop must be non-negative and step must be positive.

asjson

asjson(foo) returns a JSON representation of the object foo. (Date objects, color objects and templates are not supported by JSON, but asjson will output the appropriate Javascript code for those objects).

fromjson

fromjson(foo) decodes the JSON string foo and returns the resulting object. (Date objects, color objects and templates are not supported by fromjson).

asul4on

asul4on(foo) returns the UL4ON representation of the object foo.

fromul4on

fromul4on(foo) decodes the UL4ON string foo and returns the resulting object.

len

len(foo) returns the length of a string, or the number of items in a list or dictionary.

any

any(foo) returns True if any of the items in the iterable foo is true. Otherwise False is returns. If foo is empty False is returned.

all

all(foo) returns True if all of the items in the iterable foo are true. Otherwise False is returns. If foo is empty True is returned.

enumerate

Enumerates the items of the argument (which must be iterable, i.e. a string, a list or dictionary) and for each item in the original iterable returns a two item list containing the item position and the item itself. For example the following code:

<?for (i, c) in enumerate("foo")?>
    (<?print c?>=<?print i?>)
<?end for?>

prints:

(f=0)(o=1)(o=2)

isfirstlast

Iterates through items of the argument (which must be iterable, i.e. a string, a list or dictionary) and gives information about whether the item is the first and/or last in the iterable. For example the following code:

<?for (first, last, c) in isfirstlast("foo")?>
    <?if first?>[<?end if?>
    (<?print c?>)
    <?if last?>]<?end if?>
<?end for?>

prints:

[(f)(o)(o)]

isfirst

Iterates through items of the argument (which must be iterable, i.e. a string, a list or dictionary) and gives information about whether the item is the first in the iterable. For example the following code:

<?for (first, c) in isfirst("foo")?>
    <?if first?>[<?end if?>
    (<?print c?>)
<?end for?>

prints:

[(f)(o)(o)

islast

Iterates through items of the argument (which must be iterable, i.e. a string, a list or dictionary) and gives information about whether the item is the last in the iterable. For example the following code:

<?for (last, c) in islast("foo")?>
    (<?print c?>)
    <?if last?>]<?end if?>
<?end for?>

prints:

(f)(o)(o)]

enumfl

This function is a combination of enumerate and isfirstlast. It iterates through items of the argument (which must be iterable, i.e. a string, a list or dictionary) and gives information about whether the item is the first and/or last in the iterable and its position. For example the following code:

<?for (index, first, last, c) in enumfl("foo")?>
    <?if first?>[<?end if?>
    (<?print c?>=<?print index?>)
    <?if last?>]<?end if?>
<?end for?>

prints:

[(f=0)(o=1)(o=2)]

first

first returns the first element produced by an iterable object. If the iterable is empty the default value (which is the second parameter and defaults to None) is returned.

last

last returns the last element produced by an iterable object. If the iterable is empty the default value (which is the second parameter and defaults to None) is returned.

sum

sum returns the sum of the number from the iterable passed in. The second parameter is the start value (i.e. the value that will be added to the total sum) and defaults to 0. For example the template <?print sum(range(101))?> will output 5050.

xmlescape

xmlescape takes a string as an argument. It returns a new string where the characters &, <, >, ' and " have been replaced with the appropriate XML entity or character reference. For example:

<?print xmlescape("<'foo' & 'bar'>")?>

prints:

&lt;&#39;foo&#39; &amp; ;&#39;bar&#39&gt;

If the argument is not a string, it will be converted to a string first.

<?printx foo?> is a shortcut for <?print xmlescape(foo)?>.

min

min returns the minimum value of its two or more arguments. If it's called with one argument, this argument must be iterable and min returns the minimum value of this argument.

max

max returns the maximum value of its two or more arguments. If it's called with one argument, this argument must be iterable and max returns the maximum value of this argument.

sum

sum returns the sum of the values in the passed in iterable. The second argument specifies the starting value (defaulting to 0).

sorted

sorted returns a sorted list with the items from its argument. For example:

<?for c in sorted('abracadabra')?><?print c?><?end for?>

prints:

aaaaabbcdrr

Supported arguments are iterable objects, i.e. strings, lists, dictionaries and colors.

chr

chr(x) returns a one-character string containing the character with the codepoint x. x must be an integer. For example <?print chr(0x61)?> outputs a.

ord

This is the inverse function to chr The argument for ord must be a one-character string. ord returns the codepoint of that character as an integer. For example <?print ord('a')?> outputs 97.

hex

Return the hexadecimal representation of the integer argument (with a leading 0x). For example <?print hex(42)?> outputs 0x2a.

oct

Return the octal representation of the integer argument (with a leading 0o). For example <?print oct(42)?> outputs 0o52.

bin

Return the binary representation of the integer argument (with a leading 0b). For example <?print bin(42)?> outputs 0b101010.

range

range returns an object that can be iterated and will produce consecutive integers up to the specified argument. With two arguments the first is the start value and the second is the stop value. With three arguments the third one is the step size (which can be negative). For example the following template:

<?for i in range(4, 10, 2)?>(<?print i?>)<?end for?>

outputs:

(4)(6)(8)

type

type returns the type of the object as a string. Possible return values are "undefined", "none", "bool", "int", "float", "str", "list", "dict", "date", "timedelta", "monthdelta", "color", "template" and "function". (If the type isn't recognized None is returned.)

rgb

rgb returns a color object. It can be called with

  • three arguments, the red, green and blue values. The alpha value will be set to 255;

  • four arguments, the red, green, blue and alpha values.

Arguments are treated as values from 0 to 1 and will be clipped accordingly. For example:

<?print rgb(1, 1, 1)?>

prints #fff`.

random

random() returns a random float value between 0 (included) and 1 (excluded).

randrange

randrange(start, stop, step) returns a random integer value between start (included) and stop (excluded). step specifies the step size (i.e. when r is the random value, (r-start) % step will always be 0). step and start can be omitted.

randchoice

randchoice(seq) returns a random item from the sequence seq.

Methods

Objects in ll.ul4c support some methods too (depending on the type of the object).

upper

The upper method of strings returns an uppercase version of the string for which it's called:

<?print 'foo'.upper()?>

prints:

FOO

lower

The lower method of strings returns an lowercase version of the string for which it's called.

capitalize

The capitalize method of strings returns a copy of the string with its first letter capitalized.

startswith

x.startswith(y) returns True if the string x starts with the string y and False otherwise.

endswith

x.endswith(y) returns True if the string x ends with the string y and False otherwise.

strip

The string method strip returns a copy of the string with leading and trailing whitespace removed. If an argument chars is given and not None, characters in chars will be removed instead.

lstrip

The string method lstrip returns a copy of the string with leading whitespace removed. If an argument chars is given and not None, characters in chars will be removed instead.

rstrip

The string method rstrip returns a copy of the string with trailing whitespace removed. If an argument chars is given and not None, characters in chars will be removed instead.

split

The string method split splits the string into separate "words" and returns the resulting list. Without any arguments, the string is split on whitespace characters. With one argument the argument specifies the separator to use. The second optional argument specifies the maximum number of splits to do.

rsplit

The string method rsplit works like split, except that splitting starts from the end (which is only relevant when the maximum number of splits is given).

find

This method searches for a substring of the string or an item in a list and returns the position of the first appearance of the substring/item or -1 if the string/item can't be found. For example "foobar".find("bar") returns 3. The optional second and third argument specify the start and end position for the search.

rfind

This method works like find but searches from the end.

replace

The string method replace has two arguments. It returns a new string where each occurrence of the first argument is replaced by the second argument, i.e. "abracadabra".replace("ab", "ba") returns "baracadbara"

get

get is a dictionary method. d.get(k, v) returns d[k] if the key k is in d, else v is returned. If v is not given, it defaults to None.

join

join is a string method. It returns a concatentation of the strings in the argument sequence with the string itself as the separator, i.e.:

<?print "+".join("1234")?>

outputs:

1+2+3+4

renders

The renders method of template objects renders the template and returns the output as a string. The parameter can be passed via keyword argument or via the ** syntax:

<?code output = template.renders(a=17, b=23)?>
<?code data = {'a': 17, 'b': 23)?>
<?code output = template.renders(**data)?>

isoformat

isoformat is a date method. It returns the date object in ISO 8601 format, i.e.:

<?print now().isoformat()?>

might output:

2010-02-22T18:30:29.569639

mimeformat

mimeformat is a date method. It returns the date object in MIME format (assuming the date object is in UTC), i.e.:

<?print utcnow().mimeformat()?>

might output:

Mon, 22 Feb 2010 17:38:40 GMT

day, month, year, hour, minute, second, microsecond, weekday

Those methods are date methods. They return a specific attribute of a date object. For example the following reproduces the mimeformat output from above (except for the linefeeds of course):

<?code weekdays = ['Mon', 'Tue', 'Wed', 'Thu', 'Fri', 'Sat', 'Sun']?>
<?code months = ['Jan', 'Feb', 'Mar', 'Apr', 'May', 'Jun', 'Jul', 'Aug', 'Sep', 'Oct', 'Nov', 'Dec']?>
<?code t = @(2010-02-22T17:38:40.123456)?>
<?print weekdays[t.weekday()]?>,
<?print format(t.day(), '02')?>
<?print months[t.month()-1]?>
<?print format(t.year(), '04')?>
<?print format(t.hour(), '02')?>:
<?print format(t.minute(), '02')?>:
<?print format(t.second(), '02')?>.
<?print format(t.microsecond(), '06')?> GMT

week

week is a date method. This method returns the week number of the year. It supports one argument: the weekday number that should be considered the start day of the week (0 for Monday, ... 6 for Sunday). All days in a new year preceding the first week start day are considered to be in week 0. The week start day defaults to 0 (Monday).

yearday

yearday is a date method. It returns the number of days since the beginning of the year, so:

<?print @(2010-01-01).yearday()?>

prints 1 and:

<?print @(2010-12-31).yearday()?>

prints 365.

append

append is a list method. It adds its arguments to the end of the list for which it is called:

<?code v = [1, 2]?>
<?code v.append(3, 4)?>
<?print v?>

prints [1, 2, 3, 4].

insert

insert is a list method. Its first argument in the insert position, the remaining arguments are the items that will be inserted at that position, so:

<?code v = [1, 4]?>
<?code v.insert(1, 2, 3)?>
<?print v?>

prints [1, 2, 3, 4].

pop

pop is a list method. It removes the last item of the list and returns it. If an index is passed the item at that position is removed and returned. A negative index is treated as relative to the end of the list.

update

update is a dictionary method. It supports an arbitrary number of positional and keyword arguments. Each positional argument may be a dictionary, all the items in the dictionary will be copied to the target dictionary. A positional argument may also be an iterable of (key, value) pairs. These will also be copied to the target dictionary. After each positional argument is copied over in a last step the keyword arguments will be copied to the target dictionary.

Templates as functions

UL4 templates can be used as functions too. Calling a template as a function will ignore any output from the template. The return value will be the value of the first <?return?> tag encountered:

from ll import ul4c

code = """
    <?for item in data?>
        <?if "i" in item?>
            <?return item?>
        <?end if?>
    <?end for?>
"""

function = ul4c.Template(code)

output = function(data=["Python", "Java", "Javascript", "PHP"]))

With this, output will be the string "Javascript".

When no <?return?> tag is encountered, None will be returned.

When a <?return?> tag is encountered when the template is used as a template, output will simply stop and the return value will be ignored.

Custom attributes

It is possible to expose attributes of an object to UL4 templates. This is done by setting the class attribute ul4attrs:

from ll import ul4c

class Person:
    ul4attrs = {"firstname", "lastname"}

    def __init__(self, firstname, lastname, age):
        self.firstname = firstname
        self.lastname = lastname
        self.age = age

p = Person("John", "Doe", 42)

template = ul4c.Template("<?print p.lastname?>, <?print p.firstname?>")
print(template.renders(p=p))

This will output Doe, John.

Attributes not in ul4attrs will not be visible:

template = ul4c.Template("<?print type(p.age)?>")
print(template.renders(p=p))

This will output undefined. Exposing attributes via ul4attr also makes it possible to use dictionary access to the object, i.e. iterating over the object, using in and not in tests and using the methods items and values.

Custom methods

It is also possible to expose methods of an object to UL4 templates. This is done by including the method name in the ul4attr class attribute:

from ll import ul4c

class Person:
    ul4attrs = {"fullname"}

    def __init__(self, firstname, lastname):
        self.firstname = firstname
        self.lastname = lastname

    def fullname(self):
        return self.firstname + " " + self.lastname

p = Person("John", "Doe")

template = ul4c.Template("<?print p.fullname()?>")
print(template.renders(p=p))

This will output John Doe.

If the method should produce output in addition to returning a value, the decorator ul4c.generator must be used (in addition to including the method name in ul4attrs:

from ll import ul4c

class Person:
    ul4attrs = {"print_fullname"}

    def __init__(self, firstname, lastname):
        self.firstname = firstname
        self.lastname = lastname

    @ul4c.generator
    def print_fullname(self):
        yield self.firstname
        yield " "
        yield self.lastname
        return 42

p = Person("John", "Doe")

template = ul4c.Template("<?code result = p.print_fullname()?>: result = <?print result?>")
print(template.renders(p=p))

This outputs John Doe: result = 42.

Delimiters

It is possible to specify alternative delimiters for the template tags:

>>> from ll import ul4c
>>> t = ul4c.Template(
...     "{{for i in range(10)}}{{print i}};{{end for}}",
...     startdelim="{{",
...     enddelim="}}"
... )
>>> t.renders()
'0;1;2;3;4;5;6;7;8;9;'

Whitespace

Normally the literal text between template tags will be output as it is. However it is possible to specify that linefeeds and the following indentation should be ignored. This is done with the parameter keepws:

>>> from ll import ul4c
>>> t = ul4c.Template("""
...     <?for i in range(10)?>
...         <?print i?>
...         ;
...     <?end for?>
... """, keepws=False)
>>> t.renders()
'0;1;2;3;4;5;6;7;8;9;'

Using keepws=True (the default) the output would include all the line feeds and whitespace:

'\n\t\n\t\t0\n\t\t;\n\t\n\t\t1\n\t\t;\n\t\n\t\t2...
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