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User Interface

Alot sets up a widget tree and a :class:`mainloop <urwid.main_loop.TwistedEventLoop>` in the constructor of :class:`alot.ui.UI`. The visible area is a :class:`urwid.Frame`, where the footer is used as a status line and the body part displays the currently active :class:`alot.buffers.Buffer`.

To be able to bind keystrokes and translate them to :class:`Commands <alot.commands.Command>`, keypresses are not propagated down the widget tree as is customary in urwid. Instead, the root widget given to urwids mainloop is a custom wrapper (:class:`alot.ui.Inputwrap`) that interprets key presses. A dedicated :class:`~alot.commands.globals.SendKeypressCommand` can be used to trigger key presses to the wrapped root widget and thereby accessing standard urwid behaviour.

In order to keep the interface non-blocking and react to events like terminal size changes, alot makes use of asyncio - which allows asynchronous calls without the use of callbacks. Alot makes use of the python 3.5 async/await syntax

async def greet(ui):  # ui is instance of alot.ui.UI
    name = await ui.prompt('pls enter your name')
    ui.notify('your name is: ' + name)

:class:`UI` - the main component

.. module:: alot.ui
.. autoclass:: UI


A buffer defines a view to your data. It knows how to render itself, to interpret keypresses and is visible in the "body" part of the widget frame. Different modes are defined by subclasses of the following base class.

.. autoclass:: alot.buffers.Buffer

Available modes are:

Mode Buffer Subclass
search :class:`~alot.buffers.SearchBuffer`
thread :class:`~alot.buffers.ThreadBuffer`
bufferlist :class:`~alot.buffers.BufferlistBuffer`
taglist :class:`~alot.buffers.TagListBuffer`
namedqueries :class:`~alot.buffers.NamedQueriesBuffer`
envelope :class:`~alot.buffers.EnvelopeBuffer`
.. automodule:: alot.buffers
    :members: BufferlistBuffer, EnvelopeBuffer, NamedQueriesBuffer, SearchBuffer, ThreadBuffer, TagListBuffer


What follows is a list of the non-standard urwid widgets used in alot. Some of them respect :doc:`user settings <settings>`, themes in particular.


.. automodule:: alot.widgets.utils


.. automodule:: alot.widgets.globals


.. automodule:: alot.widgets.bufferlist


.. automodule::


.. automodule:: alot.widgets.thread


:meth:`alot.ui.UI.prompt` allows tab completion using a :class:`~alot.completion.Completer` object handed as 'completer' parameter. :mod:`alot.completion` defines several subclasses for different occasions like completing email addresses from an :class:`~alot.account.AddressBook`, notmuch tagstrings. Some of these actually build on top of each other; the :class:`~alot.completion.QueryCompleter` for example uses a :class:`~alot.completion.TagsCompleter` internally to allow tagstring completion after "is:" or "tag:" keywords when typing a notmuch querystring.

All these classes overide the method :meth:`~alot.completion.Completer.complete`, which for a given string and cursor position in that string returns a list of tuples (completed_string, new_cursor_position) that are taken to be the completed values. Note that completed_string does not need to have the original string as prefix. :meth:`~alot.completion.Completer.complete` may rise :class:`alot.errors.CompletionError` exceptions.

.. automodule:: alot.completion