Provided by: libpetal-perl_2.25-1_all bug


       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 templates.


   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 Windows).

   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-

         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


           <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:

       ·   all your records are hashrefs which come from some database

       ·   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 fields.


       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 person.

       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


       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