TurboGears enables template rendering though the tg.decorators.expose decorator to link controller methods to template and through the tg.render_template() function.

Each template is rendered using a template engine, TurboGears provides some builtin engines but additional can be configured. The default_renderer for TurboGears applications is Kajiki which permits to write templates in pure xhtml and validates them to detect issues at compile time and prevent serving broken pages. For documentation on Kajiki templates see the Kajiki Template Language.

By default TurboGears references to templates using dotted notation, this is the path of the template file in terms of python packages. This makes possible to refer to template files independently from where the application is installed and started as it refers to the python package where the template file is provided.

Typical dotted notation path looks like: mypackage.templates.template_file and it doesn’t include any extention. If an extension is provided TurboGears will try to read the path as a file system path, not as a dotted notation path.

Explicit Engine in Exposition

The @expose decorator template files will always be rendered using the default_renderer specified into the application configurator unless explicitly set. To explicitly provide the template engine to use just prepend it to the template path in the form engine:template_path like kajiki:mypackage.templates.template_file.

Refer to Rendering Engines Configuration documentation for information on setting up available renderers and specifying the default one.

Template Variables

To pass template variables the controller is expected to return a dict with all the variables inside. Those will be available inside the template with the same name.

In addition to variables explicitly specified by the user, TurboGears adds some additional variables and utilities. The most useful one are probably:

  • h which is the lib.helpers module, this usually includes every utility function for formatting text and html in templates.
  • request, response, tmpl_context, app_globals, config which are the same available inside controllers.
  • identity which is the currently logged used when recognized
  • tg.url which is the utility function to create urls in TurboGears.

For a complete list of those variables refer to the tg.render_template() documentation. You can add additional variable to every single template by setting a variable_provider function inside the Application Configurator (app_cfg.base_config object).

This function is expected to return a dict with any variable that should be added the default template variables. It can even replace existing variables.