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Flask-FlatPages provides a collections of pages to your Flask application. Pages are built from “flat” text files as opposed to a relational database.


Install the extension with one of the following commands:

$ easy_install Flask-FlatPages

or alternatively if you have pip installed:

$ pip install Flask-FlatPages

or you can get the source code from github.


To get started all you need to do is to instantiate a :class:`FlatPages` object after configuring the application:

from flask import Flask
from flask_flatpages import FlatPages

app = Flask(__name__)
pages = FlatPages(app)

you can also pass the Flask application object later, by calling :meth:`~.FlatPages.init_app`:

pages = FlatPages()

def create_app(config='mysettings.cfg'):
    app = Flask(__name__)
    return app

Flask-FlatPages accepts the following configuration values. All of them are optional.

Path to the directory where to look for page files. If relative, interpreted as relative to the application root, next to the static and templates directories. Defaults to pages.
Filename extension for pages. Files in the FLATPAGES_ROOT directory without this suffix are ignored. Defaults to .html.
Encoding of the pages files. Defaults to utf8.
Callable or import string for a callable that takes the unicode body of a page, and return its HTML rendering as a unicode string. Defaults to :func:`~.pygmented_markdown`.
Wether to reload pages at each request. See :ref:`laziness-and-caching` for more details. The default is to reload in DEBUG mode only.

How it works

When first needed (see :ref:`laziness-and-caching` for more about this), the extension loads all pages from the filesystem: a :class:`Page` object is created for all files in FLATPAGES_ROOT whose name ends with FLATPAGES_EXTENSION.

Each of these objects is associated to a path: the slash-separated (whatever the OS) name of the file it was loaded from, relative to the pages root, and excluding the extension. For example, for an app in C:\myapp with the default configuration, the path for the C:\myapp\pages\lorem\ipsum.html is lorem/ipsum.

Each file is made of a YAML mapping of metadata, a blank line, and the page body:

title: Hello
published: 2010-12-22

Hello, *World*!

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, …

The body format defaults to Markdown with Pygments baked in if available, but depends on the FLATPAGES_HTML_RENDERER configuration value.

To use Pygments, you need to include the style declarations separately. You can get them with :func:`.pygments_style_defs`:

def pygments_css():
    return pygments_style_defs('tango'), 200, {'Content-Type': 'text/css'}

and in templates:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="{{ url_for('pygments_css') }}">

Laziness and caching

:class:`.FlatPages` does not hit the filesystem until needed but when it does, it reads all pages from the disk at once.

Then, pages are not loaded again unless you explicitly ask for it with :meth:`.FlatPages.reload`, or on new requests depending on the configuration. (See FLATPAGES_AUTO_RELOAD.)

This design was decided with Frozen-Flask in mind but should work even if you don’t use it: you already restart your production server on code changes, you just have to do it on page content change too. This can make sense if the pages are deployed alongside the code in version control.

If you have many pages and loading takes a long time, you can force it at initialization time so that it’s done by the time the first request is served:

pages = FlatPages(app)
pages.get('foo') # Force loading now. foo.html may not even exist.

Loading everything every time may seem wasteful, but the impact is mitigated by caching: if a file’s modification time hasn’t changed, it is not read again and the previous :class:`.Page` object is re-used.

Likewise, the YAML and Markdown parsing is both lazy and cached: not done until needed, and not done again if the file did not change.



Version 0.4

Not released yet.

  • Fix a bug with non-ASCII filenames.

Version 0.3

Released on 2012-07-03

  • Add :meth:`.FlatPages.init_app`
  • Do not use namespace packages anymore: rename the package from flaskext.flatpages to flask_flatpages
  • Add configuration files for testing with tox and Travis.

Version 0.2

Released on 2011-06-02

Bugfix and cosmetic release. Tests are now installed alongside the code.

Version 0.1

Released on 2011-02-06.

First public release.

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