Colin's Journal

Colin's Journal: A place for thoughts about politics, software, and daily life.

January 26th, 2003

A new version of SimpleTAL released

I received an email this morning from Thomas Weholt which detailed an interesting problem he encountered when using SimpleTAL. The source of the problem turned out to be that the path resolution rules being used would match an attribute before looking at the mapping an object provides (more details here). I spent some time looking at what might be a good fix for this, and then found that Zope behaves the same way, so for now I’ve left the implementation as is.

The research however got me looking at another potential problem: when content is included using the “structure” keyword any TAL attributes included will be expanded. This allows for some very cool and interesting things, but it does present a problem when you need to display user input strings using structure. The problem is that the user’s input has access to all of the attributes of all objects that are included in the context, which is a potential security problem. I was in two minds as to whether or not I should provide a way of disabling this, so I again checked on how Zope handled this situation, and I found that it would not expand TAL included in this fashion. So that both behaviours are available I’ve now added a “allowTALInStructure” parameter which will control whether any TAL found in “structure” content will be expanded. I also found, during the creation of some unit test cases for XML templates, that SimpleTAL 1.0 could not handle content included using “structure”, thankfully that turned out to be a one line fix.

The end result is that I’ve just uploaded version 1.1 of SimpleTAL. I’ve run through all of the unit test cases I have, and compared the results of my weblog program using the new version to the old, and everything seems to still work.

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