Basic Inheritance


Cheetah, like Python, is an object-oriented language if you so choose to use it in that fashion. That is to say that you can use Cheetah in with object-oriented principles or you can use Cheetah in a strictly functional sense, like Python, Cheetah does not place restrictions on these barriers.

While Cheetah is not strictly Python, it was designed as such to interoperate, particularly with the notion of classes, with Python itself. In effect you can define Python classes that inherit and extend from Cheetah-derived classes and vice versa. For this, Cheetah defines a few directives (denoted with the # hash-mark) that are of some help, the most important one being the #extends directive, with others playing important roles like #import, #attr and #super

In this recipe/tutorial I intend to explain and define a few key inheritance patterns with Cheetah, being:

  • A Cheetah Template inheriting from Python
  • Python inheriting from a Cheetah Template
  • Cheetah Templates and “mixins

This document also operates on the assumption that the reader is at least somewhat familiar with the basic tenets of object-oriented programming in Python.

Cheetah inheriting from Python

Whether or not you are aware of it, Cheetah templates are always inheriting from a Python class by default. Unless otherwise denoted, Cheetah templates are compiled to Python classes that subclass from the Cheetah.Template.Template class.

What if you would like to introduce your own Template base class? Easily acheived by defining your own Template class in a Python module, for example:

import Cheetah.Template

class CookbookTemplate(Cheetah.Template.Template):
    _page = 'Cookbook'
    author = 'R. Tyler Ballance'
    def pageName(self):
        return self._page or 'Unknown'

Figure 1.

For this example, I want all my subclasses of the CookbookTemplate to define a page author which will be used in some shared rendering code, to accomplish this my templates will need to subclass from CookbookTemplate explicitly instead of implicitly subclassing from Cheetah.Template.Template:

#import cookbook
#extends cookbook.CookbookTemplate
#attr author = 'Tavis Rudd'

## The rest of my recipe template would be below

Figure 2. recipe1.tmpl