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CubicWeb Blog

News about the framework and its uses.

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  • What's new in CubicWeb 3.16

    2013/01/23 by Aurelien Campeas

    What's new in CubicWeb 3.16?

    New functionalities

    • Add a new dataimport store (SQLGenObjectStore). This store enables a fast import of data (entity creation, link creation) in CubicWeb, by directly flushing information in SQL. This may only be used with PostgreSQL, as it requires the 'COPY FROM' command.

    API changes

    • Orm: set_attributes and set_relations are unified (and deprecated) in favor of cw_set that works in all cases.

    • db-api/configuration: all the external repository connection information is now in an URL (see #2521848), allowing to drop specific options of pyro nameserver host, group, etc and fix broken ZMQ source. Configuration related changes:

      • Dropped 'pyro-ns-host', 'pyro-instance-id', 'pyro-ns-group' from the client side configuration, in favor of 'repository-uri'. NO MIGRATION IS DONE, supposing there is no web-only configuration in the wild.
      • Stop discovering the connection method through repo_method class attribute of the configuration, varying according to the configuration class. This is a first step on the way to a simpler configuration handling.

      DB-API related changes:

      • Stop indicating the connection method using ConnectionProperties.
      • Drop _cnxtype attribute from Connection and cnxtype from Session. The former is replaced by a is_repo_in_memory property and the later is totaly useless.
      • Turn repo_connect into _repo_connect to mark it as a private function.
      • Deprecate in_memory_cnx which becomes useless, use _repo_connect instead if necessary.
    • the "tcp://" uri scheme used for ZMQ communications (in a way reminiscent of Pyro) is now named "zmqpickle-tcp://", so as to make room for future zmq-based lightweight communications (without python objects pickling).

    • Request.base_url gets a secure=True optional parameter that yields an https url if possible, allowing hook-generated content to send secure urls (e.g. when sending mail notifications)

    • Dataimport ucsvreader gets a new boolean ignore_errors parameter.

    Unintrusive API changes

    • Drop of cubicweb.web.uicfg.AutoformSectionRelationTags.bw_tag_map, deprecated since 3.6.

    User interface changes

    • The RQL search bar has now some auto-completion support. It means relation types or entity types can be suggested while typing. It is an awesome improvement over the current behaviour !
    • The action box associated with table views (from has been transformed into a nice-looking series of small tabs; it means that the possible actions are immediately visible and need not be discovered by clicking on an almost invisible icon on the upper right.
    • The uicfg module has moved to web/views/ and ui configuration objects are now selectable. This will reduce the amount of subclassing and whole methods replacement usually needed to customize the ui behaviour in many cases.
    • Remove changelog view, as neither cubicweb nor known cubes/applications were properly feeding related files.

    Other changes

    • 'pyrorql' sources will be automatically updated to use an URL to locate the source rather than configuration option. 'zmqrql' sources were broken before this change, so no upgrade is needed...
    • Debugging filters for Hooks and Operations have been added.
    • Some cubicweb-ctl commands used to show the output of msgcat and msgfmt; they don't anymore.

  • December 2012 CubicWeb Sprint Report

    2012/12/21 by Nicolas Chauvat

    For two days, on dec 13th/14th 2012, ten hackers gathered at Logilab to improve the user interface of CubicWeb. This hackathon was initiated by Crealibre. About a year ago, they started the Orbui project, a new user interface for CubicWeb based on the Bootstrap HTML/CSS framework.

    Several projects at Logilab and Crealibre proved that Orbui was heading in the right direction, but that it had to fight with the default user interface of Cubicweb. Orbui makes different design/ergonomic choices and needs different HTML/CSS structure and Javascript components.

    Sylvain published a roadmap back in may with a section titled "on the road to Bootstrap". After more than half a day of heated debate on the firts day, it was decided to follow the direction he pointed to. We started extracting from CubicWeb the default user interface and turning it into a set of cubes:

    • cubicweb-legacyui: css, views and templates extracted from CubicWeb 3.16, so as to provide full backward compatibility
    • cubicweb-bootstrap: empty cube with only bootstrap version 2.2.2 in data/
    • cubicweb-squareui: bootstrapified version of legacyui (slightly altered to benefit from the bootstrap css without breaking backward compatibility too hard)

    At the end of the sprint, one could add_cube('squareui') on an existing application and keep it usable... and get "some kind of responsiveness" for free, thus proving that we were on the right track.

    A lot of work is still ahead of us, but we have moved a few step forward towards the goal of making it easier to implement different UIs on top of CubicWeb 3.17.

    For the curious, here is what the skeleton of legacyui.views.maintemplate (aka cw.web.views.maintemplate) looks like:

    <body> (MainTemplate.template_body_header)
      <table id="header"> (HTMLPageHeader.main_header)
        for header in self.headers:
           <td id="header-{left,center,right}">
               render selected components(ctxcomponents, header-{left,center,right})
      <div id="stateheader">
         <div class="stateMessage"> HTMLPageHeader.state_header
      <div id="page"> MainTemplate.template_body_header
        <table id="mainLayout"> MainTemplate.template_body_header
          if boxes (selected components(ctxcomponents, left): MainTemplate.nav_column
            <td id="navColumnLeft">
              <div class="navboxes">
                 render boxes
          <td id="contentColumn"> MainTemplate.template_body_header
             render selected components(rqlinput)
             render selected components(applmessages)
             if navtop (selected components(ctxcomponents, navtop):
               <div id="contentheader">
                 render components
               <div class='clear'/>
             <div id="pageContent">
               if vtitle:
                  <div class="vtitle" />
               if etypenavigation:
                  render etypenavigation
               view pagination
               <div id="contentmain">
                  render view
               view pagination
             if navbottom (selected components(ctxcomponents, navbottom):
               <div id="contentfooter">
                 render components
          if boxes (selected components(ctxcomponents, right): MainTemplate.nav_column
            <div id="navColumnRight">
              <div class="navboxes">
                 render boxes
      <div id="footer">
         render actions selected (actions, 'footer')

    and here is what the skeleton from squareui.views.maintemplate looks like:

    <div class="container-fluid">
      <div id="header" class="row-fluid">
        <!-- .header -->
      <div class="row-fluid">
        <div id="navColumnLeft" class="span3">
          <!-- .leftcolumn -->
        <div id="contentColumn" class="span6">
          <!-- .contentcol -->
          <div class="row-fluid">
            <div id="contentheader" class="span12">
              <!-- .contentheader -->
          <div class="row-fluid">
            <div id="contentmain" class="span12">
              <!-- .contentmain -->
          <div class="row-fluid">
            <div id="contentfooter" class="span12">
              <!-- .contentfooter -->
        <div id="navColumnRight" class="span3">
          <!-- .rightcolumn -->
      <div id="footer" class="row-fluid">
        <!-- .footer -->

    Stay tuned for the updates on this (important) topic!

  • Géo − Geonames alignment

    2012/12/20 by Simon Chabot

    This blog post describes the main points of the alignment process between the French National Library's Géo repository of data, and the data extracted from Geonames.

    Alignment is the process of finding similar entities in different repositories. The Géo repository of data contains a lot of locations and the goal is to find those locations in the Geonames repository, and to be able to say that location in *Géo* is the same than this one in *Geonames*. For that purpose, Logilab developed a library, called Nazca, to build those links.

    To process the alignment between Géo and Geonames, we divided the Géo repository into two groups:

    • A group gathering the Géo data having information about longitude and latitude.
    • An other, gathering the data having no information about longitude and latitude.

    Group 1 - Data having geographical information

    The alignment process is made in five steps (see figure below):

    1. Data gathering

    We gather the information needed to align, that is to say, the unique identifier, the name, the longitude and the latitude. The same applies to the Geonames data.

    2. Standardization

    This step aims to make the data the as standard as possible. ie, set to lower case, remove the stop words, remove the punctuation and so on.

    4. Alignment

    Thanks to the Kdtree, we can quickly find the geographical nearest neighbours. During this fourth step, we loop over the nearest neighbours and assign to each a grade according to the similarity of its name and the name of the location we're looking for, using the Levenshtein distance. The alignment will be made with the best graded one.

    5. Saving the results

    Finally, we save all the results into a file.

    Group 2 - Data having no geographical information

    Let's have a look to the data having no information on the longitude and the latitude. The steps are more or less the same than before, except that we cannot find neighbours using a Kdtree. So, we use an other method to find location having a quite high level of similarity in their names. This method is called the Minhashing which has been shown to be quite relevant for this purpose.

    To minimise the amount of mistakes, we try to gather locations according to their country, knowing the country in often written in the location's preferred_label. This pre-treatment helps us to filter out the cities having the same name but located in different countries. For instance, there is Paris in France, there is Paris in the United States, and there is Paris in Canada. So the alignment is made country by country.

    The fourth and the fifth steps remain the sames.

    Results obtained

    The results we got are the followings :

      Amount of locations Aligned Non-aligned
    Group 1 97572 (89.3%) (10.7%)
    Group 2 150528 (72.9%) (27.1%)
    Total 248100 (79.3%) (20.7%)

    One problem we met is the language used to describe the location. Indeed, the similarity grade is given according the distance between the names, and one can notice that Londres and London, for instance, do not having the same spelling.despite they represent the same location.

    Results improvement

    In order to improve a little bit the results, we had a closer look to the 10.7% non-aligned of the first group. The problem of the language mentioned before was pretty clear. So we decided to use the following definition : two locations are identical, if they are geographically very close. Using this definition, we get rid of the name, and focus on the longitude and the latitude only.

    To estimate the exactness of the results, we pick 50 randomly chosen location and process to a manual checking. And the results are pretty good ! 98% are correct (49/50). That's how, based on a purely geographical approach, we can increase the results covering rate (from 89.3% to 99.6%).

    In the end, we get those results :

      Amount of locations Aligned Non-aligned
    Group 1 97572 (99.6%) (0.4%)
    Group 2 150528 (72.9%) (27.1%)
    Total 248100 (83.4%) (16.4%)

  • Candidature au concours dataconnexions#2

    2012/12/20 by Nicolas Chauvat

    Au nom de la communauté des utilisateurs et développeurs de CubicWeb, je viens de déposer la candidature suivante au concours dataconnexions#2.

    1. Questionnaire de description du Projet

    Intitulé du projet

    CubicWeb - plate-forme libre de développement pour le web sémantique

    Catégorie de concours choisie

    Choisir parmi: Grand public / Professionnel / Utilité publique / Mobilité et territoires

    Utilité publique (?)

    Quel problème tentez-vous de résoudre ?

    Décrivez le (ou les) problème(s) que votre projet tente de résoudre, ainsi que son (leur) importance : taille du marché, fréquence d’utilisation potentielle, population concernée, bénéfices éventuels de service public, etc. (maximum 1000 signes).

    L'avènement du web sémantique et de l'Open Data nécessite de disposer d'outils adaptés pour développer des applications centrées sur les données.

    Ces outils doivent permettre d'importer des données facilement, de les mettre en relation lorsqu'elles proviennent de sources disjointes, de les republier et de faciliter leur interrogation et leur visualisation.

    Idéalement, ces outils doivent utiliser et respecter les standards ouverts d'internet afin de simplifier les communications et les échanges, mais aussi faciliter le développement pour les terminaux multiples (ordinateur, tablette, smartphone).

    Comment tentez-vous de le résoudre ?

    Décrivez votre produit, service ou visualisation, dans sa forme actuelle et le cas échéant après les développements futurs éventuels que vous envisagez. Précisez le ou les jeux de données publiques que vous utilisez à cet effet (maximum 1000 signes).

    CubicWeb est une plate-forme libre de développement pour le web sémantique.

    CubicWeb permet aux développeurs de se concentrer sur les spécificités de leur application plutôt que d'avoir à réinventer les briques essentielles de l'import, la fusion, la publication, l'interrogation et la visualisation de données.

    CubicWeb est un logiciel libre développé ouvertement sur internet par une communauté réduite mais déjà internationale. CubicWeb est disponible sous licence LGPL, respecte les standards du W3C (RDF, SPARQL, HTML5, CSS3, Responsive Design) et sait gérer nativement plusieurs modèles de données faisant office de standards de fait (FOAF, SIOC, DOAP, etc).

    Quel est votre modèle d’affaire ?

    Décrivez le modèle d’affaire de votre projet, c’est-à-dire les conditions de sa pérennité et de son développement : plan d’affaires et projections commerciales dans le cas d’un projet entrepreneurial ; objectifs, donneurs clés, partie prenantes dans le cas d’un projet d’ordre civique (maximum 1000 signes).

    Plusieurs sociétés commerciales s'appuient aujourd'hui sur CubicWeb pour vendre des services informatiques. L'objectif de cette communauté est de croître pour bénéficier d'une audience plus large et d'une mutualisation plus importante des coûts de maintenance et de développement de la plate-forme CubicWeb.

    Parmi les utilisateurs de CubicWeb, on compte à ce jour la Bibliothèque nationale de France, EDF, GDF-Suez, le Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, le Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales, l'Institut Radioprotection et Sûreté Nucléaire, l'INRIA, des laboratoires de recherche médicale et des entreprises du domaine informatique.

    Quel est l’état d’avancement de votre projet ?

    Décrivez les étapes que vous avez franchies, les ressources mobilisées, les indicateurs et métriques déjà établies, etc. (maximum 1000 signes).

    Le projet CubicWeb est issu d'un effort de R&D commencé en 2001 par la société Logilab, qui avait comme objectif de se doter d'un outil permettant le développement d'applications centrées sur les données et respectant les standards du web sémantique en cours d'élaboration au W3C.

    Depuis 2008, CubicWeb est un logiciel libre dont le développement est mené ouvertement sur internet.

    Qui vous accompagne sur ce projet ?

    Décrivez l’équipe qui vous accompagne dans votre projet (le cas échéant), vos compétences, expériences et réalisations, ainsi que les partenaires éventuels qui vous soutiennent (maximum 1000 signes).


    Comment DataConnexions peut-­il vous aider ?

    Détaillez toutes les précisions additionnelles que vous souhaiteriez apporter au sujet de votre projet, et expliquez en quoi DataConnexions peut contribuer à pérenniser son développement (maximum 1000 signes).

    Plusieurs sociétés commerciales s'appuient aujourd'hui sur CubicWeb pour vendre des services informatiques. Les utilisations industrielles de CubicWeb sont variées et concernent des applications importantes, voire critiques.

    CubicWeb est un outil peu (re)connu et sa communauté est aujourd'hui réduite, malgré ses solides références et le récent engouement pour l'Open Data.

    DataConnexions pourrait être une tribune et une vitrine permettant à CubicWeb de trouver de nouveaux développeurs d'applications préférant bénéficier de l'expérience capitalisée dans cet outil libre plutôt que de rédécouvrir et déjouer un par un les pièges rencontrés au cours des dix ans qui ont été nécessaires à sa réalisation.

    L'objectif de cette candidature est donc de faire croître la communauté des utilisateurs et contributeurs de CubicWeb.

    2. Vidéo de présentation

    Lien permettant de télécharger une vidéo décrivant le Projet et ses fonctionnalités, d’une durée maximale de 3 minutes

    Ce n’est pas la qualité de la vidéo qui est jugée, mais le projet lui-même. La vidéo doit permettre de rendre compte des fonctionnalités du projet. Les candidats sont encouragés à réaliser une capture d’écran ou un « screencast » (par exemple avec des outils tels que CamStudio, Jing ou Screenr).

    Démonstration de l'utilisation de CubicWeb pour importer et visualiser la liste des gares françaises téléchargée depuis Sélection des gares par le filtre à facettes et affichage sur fond de carte openstreetmap, puis export en RDF, JSON et CSV.

    CubicWeb est une plate-forme libre de développement pour le web sémantique, qui permet aux développeurs de se concentrer sur les spécificités de leur application plutôt que d'avoir à réinventer les briques essentielles de l'import, la fusion, la publication, l'interrogation et la visualisation de données.

    Lien vers vidéo sur youtube. Miroir de la vidéo sur

    3. Accès en ligne au projet

    Lien permettant d’accéder au Projet, ou au code informatique compilé et interprétable du Projet

    Par exemple : URL permettant de consulter, ou, le cas échéant, de télécharger l’application, accompagnée, si nécessaire, d’instructions à cet effet. L’application devra être facile à installer et aisément démontrable sur sa plateforme de destination.

    4. Supports de communication

    Description Non Confidentielle

    Décrivez le Projet dans des termes compatibles avec une diffusion au grand public : non confidentiels, compréhensibles par le plus grand nombre, et mettant en avant l’intérêt du projet (maximum 1000 signes).

    cf "comment tentez-vous de le résoudre"

    Elément visuel de description

    Lien vers un élément visuel décrivant et mettant en valeur le projet et ses fonctionnalités (capture d’écran, page d’accueil, schéma de description).


    Logo du projet

    Lien vers le logo du projet.


  • Links roundup from

    2012/12/05 by Arthur Lutz

    A few people from Logilab attended the dotjs conference in Paris last week. The conference wasn't exactly what we expected, we were hoping for more technical talks. Nevertheless, some of the things we saw were quite interesting. Some of them could be relevant to CubicWeb.

    Here is a raw roundup of links collected last friday :

    Chrome developer toolsyeomangrunt.jsbackbone.jsDartTypeScriptLangExpress.jsMochaTestacularSASSAngular.jsEnyo.jsSocket.iowhen.jsCoffeescriptSource Maps explained

  • CubicWeb sprint in Paris - 2012/12/13-14

    2012/11/11 by Nicolas Chauvat


    To be decided. Some possible topics are :

    • Work on CubicWeb front end : Anything related to Themaintemplate, primaryview, reledit, tables handling etc.
    • Share the Evolution and more integration of the OrbUI project for CW
    • Things to do for HTML5 and bootstrap integration
    • Work on ideas from Thoughts on CubicWeb 4
    • ...

    other ideas are welcome, please bring them up on


    This sprint will take place in decembre 2012 from thursday the 13th to friday the 14th. You are more than welcome to come along, help out and contribute. An introduction is planned for newcomers.

    Network resources will be available for those bringing laptops.

    Address : 104 Boulevard Auguste-Blanqui, Paris. Ring "Logilab" (googlemap)

    Metro : Glacière

    Contact :

    Dates : 13/12/2012 to 14/12/2012


    • Celso Flores (Crealibre - Mexico)
    • Carine Fourrier (Crealibre - Mexico)
    • ...

  • Building your URLs in cubicweb

    2012/09/25 by Stéphane Bugat

    Building your URLs in cubicweb


    In cubicweb, you often have to build url's that redirect the current view to a specific entity view or allow the execution of a given action. Moreover, you often want also to fallback to the previous view once the specific action or edition is done, or redirect also to another entity's specific view.

    To do so, cubicweb provides you with a set of powerful tools, however as there is often more than one way to do it, this blog entry is here to help you in choosing the preferred way.

    Tools at your disposal

    The universal URL builder: build_url()

    build_url is accessible in any context, so for instance in the rendering of a given entity view you can call self._cw.build_url to build you URLs easily, which is the most common case. In class methods (for instance, when declaring the rendering methods of an EntityTableView), you can access it through the context of instantiated appobject which are usually given as argument, e.g. entity._cw.build_url. For test purposes you can also call session.build_url in cubicweb shells.

    build_url basically take a first optional, the path, relative to the base url of the site, and arbitrary named arguments that will be encoded as url parameters. Unless you wish to direct to a custom controller, or to match an URL rewrite url, you don't have to specify the path.

    Extra parameters given to build_url will vary according to your needs, however most common arguments understood by default cubicweb views are the followings:

    • vid: the built view __regid__;
    • rql: the RQL query used to retreive data on which the view should be applied;
    • eid: the identifier of an entity, which you should use instead of rql when the view apply to a single entity (most often);
    • __message: an information message to display inside the view;
    • __linkto: in case of an entity creation url, will allow to set some specific relations between both entities;
    • __redirectpath: the URL of the entity of the redirection;
    • __redirectvid: the view id of the redirection.

    __redirectvid and __redirectpath are used to control redirection after posting a form and are more detailed in the cubicweb documentation, chapter related to the edition control (

    Exploring entities associated URLs

    Generally, an entity has two important methods that retrieve its absolute or relative urls:

    • entity.rest_path() will return something like <type>/<eid> where <type> corresponds to the entity type and <eid> the entity eid;
    • entity.absolute_url() will return the full url of the entity http://<baseurl>/<type>/<eid>. In case you want to access a specific view of the entity, just pass the vid='myviewid' argument. You can give arbitrary arguments to this method that will be encoded as url parameters.

    Getting a proper RQL

    Passing the rql to the build_url method requires to have a proper RQL expression. To do so, there is a convenience method, printable_rql(), that is accessible in rset resulting from RQL queries. This allows to apply a view to the same result set as the one currently process, simply using rql = self.cw_rset.printable_rql().

    Getting URLs from the current view

    There are several ways to get URL of the current view, the canonical one being to use self._cw.relative_path(includeparams=True) which will return the path of the current view relative to the base url of the site (otherwise use self._cw.url(), including parameters or not according to value given as includeparams).

    You can also retrieve values given to individual parameters using self._cw.form, eg:

    • self._cw.form.get('vid', '') will return only the view id;
    • self._cw.form.get('rql', '') will return only the RQL;
    • self._cw.form.get('__redirectvid', '') will return the redirection view if defined;
    • self._cw.form.get('__redirectpath', '') will return the redirection path if defined.

    How to redirect to non-entity view?

    This case often appears when you want to create a link to a startup view or a controller. It the first case, you simply build you URL like this:

    self._cw.build_url('view', vid='my_view_id')

    The latter case appears when you want to call a controller directly without having to define a form in your view. This can happen for instance when you want to create a URL that will set a relation between 2 objects and do not need any confirmation for that. The URL construction is done like this:

    self._cw.build_url('my_controller_id', arg1=value1, arg2=value2, ...)

    Any extra arguments passed to the build_url method will be available in the controller as key, values pairs of the self._cw.forms dictionary. This is especially useful when you want to define some kind of hidden attributes but there is not form to put them into.

    And, last but not least, a convenient way to get the root URL of the instance:


    Some concrete cases

    Get the URL of the outofcontext view of an entity:

    link = entity.absolute_url(vid='outofcontext')

    Create a link to a given controller then fall back to the current view:

    • In your entity view:
    self.w(u'<a href="%s">Click me</a>' % xml_escape(
                    arg1=value1, arg2=value2,
    • In your controller:
    def publish(self, rset):
         value1, value2 = self._cw.form['arg1'], self._cw.form['arg2']
         # do some stuff with value1 and value2 here...
         raise Redirect(self._cw.build_url(rql=self._cw.form['rql'],
             __message=_('you message')))

    Create a link to add a given entity and relate this entity to the current one with a relation 'child_of', then go back to the current entity's view:

    entity = self.cw_rset.get_entity(0,0)
    self.w(u'<a href="%s">Click me</a>' % xml_escape(
                    __linkto='child_of:%s:object' % entity.eid,
                    __redirectvid=self._cw.form.get('vid', ''))))

    Same example, but we suppose that we are in a multiple rset entity view, and we want to go back afterwards to this view:

    entity = self.cw_rset.get_entity(0,0)
    self.w(u'<a href="%s">Click me</a>' % xml_escape(
                    __linkto='child_of:%s:object' % entity.eid,
                    __redirectvid=self._cw.form.get('vid', ''))))

    Create links to all 'menuactions' in a view:

    actions = self._cw.vreg['actions'].possible_actions(self._cw, rset=self.cw_rset)
    action_links = [unicode(self.action_link(x)) for x in actions.get('menuactions', ())]
    self.w( u'  |  '.join(action_links))

  • How to create your own forms and controllers?

    2012/09/05 by Stéphane Bugat


    Sometimes you need to associate to a given view your own specific form and the associated controller. We will see in this blog entry how it can be done in cubicweb on a concrete case.

    The case

    Let's suppose you're working on a social network project where you have to develop friend-of-a-frient (foaf) relationships between persons. For that purpose, we use the cubicweb-person cube and create in our scheme relations between persons like X in_contact_with Y:

    class in_contact_with(RelationDefinition):
          subject = 'Person'
          object = 'Person'
          cardinality = '**'
          symmetric = True

    We will also assume that a given Person corresponds to a unique CWUser through the relation is_user.

    Although it is not evident, we would like that any connected person can chose to disconnect himself from another person at any time. For that, we will create a table view that will display the list of connected users, with a custom column giving the ability to "disconnect" with the person.

    Before disconnecting with this particular person, we would like also to have a confirmation form.

    How to proceed

    The following steps were defined to address the above issue:

    1. Define a "contact view" that will display the list of known contacts of the connected user ;
    2. In this contact view, allow the user to click on a specific contact so as to remove him ;
    3. Create a deletion confirmation view, that will contain:
      • A form holding the buttons for deletion confirmation or cancel;
      • A controller responsible for the actual deletion or the cancelling.

    The contact view

    Rendering a table view of connected persons

    To display the list of connected persons to the current person, but also to add custom columns that do not refer specifically to attributes of a given entity, the best choice is to use EntityTableView (see here for more information):

    class ContactView(EntityTableView):
        __regid__ = 'contacts_tableview'
        __select__ = is_instance('Person')
        columns = ['person', 'firstname', 'surname', 'email', 'phone', 'remove']
        layout_args = {'display_filter': 'top', 'add_view_actions': None}
        def cell_remove(w, entity):
            """link to the suppression of the relation between both contacts"""
            icon_url = entity._cw.data_url('img/user_delete.png')
            action_url = entity._cw.build_url(eid=entity.eid,
                    __redirectvid=entity._cw.form.get('__redirectvid', ''))
            w(u'<a href="%(actionurl)s" title="%(title)s">'
                    u'<img alt="%(title)s" src="%(url)s" /></a>'
                    % {'actionurl': xml_escape(action_url),
                       'title': _('remove from contacts'),
        column_renderers = {
                'person': MainEntityColRenderer(),
                'email': RelatedEntityColRenderer(
                    getrelated=lambda x:x.primary_email and x.primary_email[0] \
                            or None),
                'phone': RelatedEntityColRenderer(
                    getrelated=lambda and[0] or None),
                'remove': EntityTableColRenderer(

    A few explanations about the above view:

    • By default, the column attribute contains a list of displayable attributes of the entity. If one element of the list does not correspond to an attribute, which is the case for 'remove' here, it has to have rendering function defined in the dictionnary column_renderers.
    • However, when the column header refers to a related entity attribute, we can easily use the rendering function RelatedEntityColRenderer, as it is the case for the email and phone display.
    • As for concerns the 'remove' column, we render a clickable image in the cell_remove method. Here we have chosen an icon from famfamsilk that is putted in our data/ directory, but feel free to chose a predefined icon in the cubicweb shared data directory.

    The redirection URL associated to each image has to be a link to a specific action allowing the user to remove the selected person from its contacts. It is built using the self._cw.build_url() convenience function. The redirection view, 'suppress_contact_view', will be defined later on. The eid argument passed refers to the id of the contact person the user wants to remove.

    Calling the contact view

    The above view has to be called with a given rset which corresponds to the list of known contacts for the connected user. In our case, we have defined a StartupView for the contact management, in which in the call function we have added the following piece of code:

    person = self._cw.user.related('is_user', 'object').get_entity(0,0)
    rset = self._cw.execute(
            'Any X WHERE X is Person, X in_contact_with Y, '
            'Y eid %(eid)s', {'eid': person.eid})
    self.w(u'<h3>' + _('Number of contacts in my network:'))
    self.w(unicode(len(rset)) + u'</h3>')
    if len(rset) != 0:
        self.wview('contacts_tableview', rset)

    The Person corresponding to the connected user is retrieved thanks to the use of the related method and the is_user relation. The contact table view is displayed inside the parent StartupView.

    Creation of the deletion confirmation view

    Defining the confirmation view for contact deletion

    The corresponding view is a simple View class instance, that will display a confirmation message and the related buttons. It could be defined as follows:

    class SuppressContactView(View):
        __regid__ = 'suppress_contact_view'
        def cell_call(self, row, col):
            entity = self.cw_rset.get_entity(row, col)
            msg = self._cw._('Are you sure you want to remove %(name)s from your contacts?')
            self.w(u'<p>' + msg % {'name': entity.dc_long_title()} + u'</p>')
            form = self._cw.vreg['forms'].select('suppress_contact_form',
                    self._cw, rset=self.cw_rset)
            form.add_hidden(u'eidto', entity.eid)
            form.add_hidden(u'eidfrom', self._cw.user.related('is_user',

    Inside the cell_call() method of this view, we will have to render a form which aims at displaying both buttons (confirm deletion or cancel deletion). This form will be described later on.

    The Person contact to remove is retrieved easily thanks to cw_rset. The Person corresponding to the connected user is here also retrieved thanks to the is_user relation. To make both of them available in the form, we add them at the instanciation of the form using the convenience function add_hidden(key,val).

    Defining the deletion form

    The deletion form as mentioned previously is only here to hold both buttons for the deletion confirmation or the cancelling. Both buttons are declared thanks to the form_buttons attribute of the form, which is instanciated from forms.FieldsForm:

    class SuppressContactForm(forms.FieldsForm):
        __regid__ = 'suppress_contact_form'
        domid = 'delete_contact_form'
        form_renderer_id = 'base'
        def action(self):
            return self._cw.build_url('suppress_contact_controller')
        form_buttons = [
                fw.Button(stdmsgs.BUTTON_DELETE, cwaction='delete'),
                fw.Button(stdmsgs.BUTTON_CANCEL, cwaction='cancel')]

    Specifying a given domid will ensure that your form will have a specific DOM identifier,the controller defined in the action method will be called without any ambiguity. The form_renderer_id is precised here so as to avoid additional display of informations which don't make sense here.

    Defining the controller

    The custom controller is instanciated from the Controller class in cubicweb.web.controller. The declaration of the controller should have the same domid than the calling form, as mentioned previously. The related actions are described in the publish() method of the controller:

    class SuppressContactController(Controller):
        __regid__ = 'suppress_contact_controller'
        domid = 'delete_contact_form'
        def publish(self, rset=None):
            if '__action_cancel' in self._cw.form.keys():
                msg = self._cw._('Deletion canceled')
                raise Redirect(self._cw.build_url(
            elif '__action_delete' in self._cw.form.keys():
                xid = self._cw.form['eidfrom']
                dead_contact = self._cw.entity_from_eid(xid)
                yid = self._cw.form['eidto']
                        'DELETE X in_contact_with Y'
                        '  WHERE X eid %(xid)s, Y eid %(yid)s',
                        {'xid': xid, 'yid': yid})
                msg = self._cw._('%s removed from your contacts') %\
                raise Redirect(self._cw.build_url(

    Retrieving of the user action is performed by testing if the '__action_<action>', where <action> refers to the cwaction in the button declaration, is present in the form keys. In the case of a cancelling, we simply redirect to the contact management view with a message specifying that the deletion has been cancelled. In the case of a deletion confirmation, both Person id's for the connected user and for the contact to remove are retrieved from the form hidden arguments.

    The deletion is performed using an RQL request on the relation in_contact_with. We also redirect the view to the contact management view, this time with another message confirming the deletion of the contact link.

  • Logilab at the LawFactory

    2012/07/16 by Vincent Michel

    We have been playing along with political data for a while, using CubicWeb to store and query various sets of open data (e.g. NosDeputes,, and testing different visualization tools. In particular, we have extended our prototype of News Analysis (see the presentation we made last year at Euroscipy), in order to use these political datasets as reference for the named entities extraction part. Last week's conference "The Law Factory" at Sciences Po was a really nice opportunity to meet people with similar interests in opendata for political sciences, and to find out which questions we should be asking our data ! Check out the talk of our presentation and a few screencasts (no sound) :

    Comments are welcome !

    Interresting things seen at #OLPC

    Among the different things that we have seen, we want to emphasize on:

    • Law is Code ( - This project by the team of Regards Citoyens, aims at analysing the laws and amendments, by extracting information from the French National Assembly website, and by pushing the contributions of the members of parlement to a given law in a git repository. If we can find the time, we'll turn that into a mercurial repository and integrate it into our above application using cubicweb-vcsfile.
    • Both national websites (Assemblée Nationale, Sénat), do not allow (yet...) to get data any other way than parsing the sites. However, it seems that the people involved are aware of the issues of opendata, and this may changed in the next months. In particular, the Senat use two databases (Basile and Ameli), and opening them to the public could be really interesting
    • Different projects about African parlements can be found on the following website :
    • Check out, ITCparliement which gives tools to analyse and share data from many different parliments.

    Saturday, at La Cantine Numérique, the discussions focused on the possibilities to share tools, and the possible collaborations. I think that this is the crucial point: How people can share tools and use them in a efficient way, without being an IT expert ?

    How does this inspire us for CubicWeb ?

    In this way, we have are thinking about some evolutions of CubicWeb that can fullfill (part) of these requirements:

    • easier installation, especially on Windows, and easier Postgresql configuration. This could perhaps be made by allowing some graphical interface for creating/managing the instances and the databases.
    • a graphical tool for schema construction. Even if the construction of a data model in CubicWeb is quite simple, and rely on the straightforward Python syntax, it could be interesting to expose a graphical tool for adding/removing/modifying entities from the schema, as well as some attributes or relations.
    • easier ways to import data. This point is not trivial, and we don't want to develop a specific language for defining import rules, that could be used for 80% of the cases, but will be painful to extend to the 20% exotic cases. We would rather develop some helpers to ease the building of some import scripts in Python, and to upload some CubicWeb instances already filled with open databases.

    Demo of CubicWeb as a follow up

    As a follow up of the conference, we are openning a demo site using CubicWeb to expose data of the past legislative and presidential elections (2002, 2007, 2012)

    The data used is published under Licence Ouverte / Open Licence by

    This demo site allows you to deeply explore the data, with different visualisations, and complex queries. Again, comments are welcome, especially if you want to retrieve some information but you don't know how to! This demo site will probably evolve in the next weeks, and we will use it to test different cubes that we have been building.

    PS: We are sorry we cannot open the propotype of news aggregator for now, as there are still licensing issues concerning the reusability of the different news sources that we get articles from.

  • What's new in CubicWeb 3.15

    2012/05/14 by Sylvain Thenault

    CubicWeb 3.15 introduces a bunch of new functionalities. In short (more details below):

    • ability to use ZMQ instead of Pyro to connect to repositories
    • ZMQ inter-instances messages bus
    • new LDAP source using the datafeed approach, much more flexible than the legacy 'ldapuser' source
    • full undo support

    Plus some refactorings regarding Ajax function calls, WSGI, the registry, etc. Read more for the detail.

    New functionalities

    • Add ZMQ server, based on the cutting edge ZMQ socket library. This allows to access distant instances, in a similar way as Pyro.
    • Publish/subscribe mechanism using ZMQ for communication among cubicweb instances. The new zmq-address-sub and zmq-address-pub configuration variables define where this communication occurs. As of this release this mechanism is used for entity cache invalidation.
    • Improved WSGI support. While there are still some caveats, most of the code which was twisted only is now generic and allows related functionalities to work with a WSGI front-end.
    • Full undo/transaction support: undo of modifications has finally been implemented, and the configuration simplified (basically you activate it or not on an instance basis).
    • Controlling HTTP status code returns is now much easier:
      • WebRequest now has a status_out attribute to control the response status ;
      • most web-side exceptions take an optional status argument.

    API changes

    • The base registry implementation has been moved to a new logilab.common.registry module (see #1916014). This includes code from :

      • cubicweb.vreg (everything that was in there)
      • cw.appobject (base selectors and all).

      In the process, some renaming was done:

      • the top level registry is now RegistryStore (was VRegistry), but that should not impact CubicWeb client code;
      • former selectors functions are now known as "predicate", though you still use predicates to build an object'selector;
      • for consistency, the objectify_selector decorator has hence been renamed to objectify_predicate;
      • on the CubicWeb side, the selectors module has been renamed to predicates.

      Debugging refactoring dropped the need for the lltrace decorator. There should be full backward compat with proper deprecation warnings. Notice the yes predicate and objectify_predicate decorator, as well as the traced_selection function should now be imported from the logilab.common.registry module.

    • All login forms are now submitted to <app_root>/login. Redirection to requested page is now handled by the login controller (it was previously handled by the session manager).

    • Publisher.publish has been renamed to Publisher.handle_request. This method now contains a generic version of the logic previously handled by Twisted. Controller.publish is not affected.

    Unintrusive API changes

    • New 'ldapfeed' source type, designed to replace 'ldapuser' source with data-feed (i.e. copy based) source ideas.
    • New 'zmqrql' source type, similar to 'pyrorql' but using ømq instead of Pyro.
    • A new registry called 'services' has appeared, where you can register server-side cubicweb.server.Service child classes. Their call method can be invoked from a web-side AppObject instance using the new self._cw.call_service method or a server-side one using self.session.call_service. This is a new way to call server-side methods, much cleaner than monkey patching the Repository class, which becomes a deprecated way to perform similar tasks.
    • a new ajaxfunction registry now hosts all remote functions (i.e. functions callable through the asyncRemoteExec JS api). A convenience ajaxfunc decorator will let you expose your python functions easily without all the appobject standard boilerplate. Backwards compatibility is preserved.
    • the 'json' controller is now deprecated in favor of the 'ajax' one.
    • WebRequest.build_url can now take a __secure__ argument. When True, cubicweb tries to generate an https url.

    User interface changes

    A new 'undohistory' view exposes the undoable transactions and gives access to undo some of them.

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