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Bleaching means to remove all unknown tags when saving the content of a RichHtmlField.

This page is a tested document and the following instructions are used for initialization:

>>> import os
>>> from lino import startup
>>> startup('lino_book.projects.min2.settings.doctests')
>>> from lino.api.doctest import *

The problem

When copying rich text from other applications into Lino, the text can contain styles and other things which can cause side effects when displaying or printing them.

A possible strategy for avoiding such problems is to bleach any content, i.e. allow only simple plain HTML formatting.

To activate bleaching of all rich text fields, you basically simply set textfield_bleached to True in your settings.py file:

textfield_bleached = True

And then you must manually install the bleach Python module into your site's environment (unless the application has added it to its install_requires):

$ pip install bleach

To disable bleaching, you should uninstall the bleach package.

You might also set textfield_bleached to False, but keep in mind that this is only the default value.

The application developer can force bleaching to be activated or not for a specific field by explicitly saying a bleached argument when declaring the field.


Note that bleach until 20170225 required html5lib` version 0.9999999 (7*"9") while the current version is 0.999999999 (9*"9"). Which means that you might inadvertently break bleach when you ask to update html5lib:

$ pip install -U html5lib
Successfully installed html5lib-0.999999999
$ python -m bleach
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/runpy.py", line 163, in _run_module_as_main
    mod_name, _Error)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/runpy.py", line 111, in _get_module_details
    __import__(mod_name)  # Do not catch exceptions initializing package
  File "/site-packages/bleach/__init__.py", line 14, in <module>
    from html5lib.sanitizer import HTMLSanitizer
ImportError: No module named sanitizer


You can configure locally which HTML tags are allowed by changing the bleach_allowed_tags site attribute.

>>> settings.SITE.bleach_allowed_tags
['a', 'b', 'i', 'em', 'ul', 'ol', 'li', 'strong', 'p', 'br', 'span', 'pre', 'def', 'div', 'img', 'table', 'th', 'tr', 'td', 'thead', 'tfoot', 'tbody']

How to bleach existing unbleached data

The lino.modlib.system.BleachChecker data checker reports fields whose content would change by bleach. This is useful when you activate Bleaching on a site with existing data. After activating bleach, you can check for unbleached content by saying:

$ django-admin checkdata system.BleachChecker

After this you can use the web interface to inspect the data problems. To manually bleach a single database object, simply save it using the web interface. You should make sure that bleach does not remove any content which is actually needed. If this happens, you must manually restore the content of the tested database objects, or restore a full backup and then set your bleach_allowed_tags setting.

To bleach all existing data, you can say:

$ django-admin checkdata system.BleachChecker --fix


Here are some tests to verify whether bleaching does what we want.

Which models have bleachable fields?

>>> checker = checkdata.Checkers.get_by_value('system.BleachChecker')
>>> lst = [str(m) for m in checker.get_checkable_models()]
>>> print('\n'.join(sorted(lst)))
<class 'lino_xl.lib.cal.models.Calendar'>
<class 'lino_xl.lib.cal.models.Event'>
<class 'lino_xl.lib.cal.models.EventType'>
<class 'lino_xl.lib.cal.models.RecurrentEvent'>
<class 'lino_xl.lib.cal.models.Room'>
<class 'lino_xl.lib.cal.models.Task'>
>>> def test(desc):
...     obj = cal.Room(description=desc)
...     print(list(obj.fields_to_bleach()))
>>> test("")

Lino bleaches only content that starts with a "<", not e.g. reSTructuredText:

>>> test("A *greatly* **formatted** text: \n\n- one \n\n -two")

Bleaching will "normalize" the html content:

>>> test("<p>One<br>two")
[(<lino.core.fields.RichTextField: description>, '<p>One<br>two', '<p>One<br>two</p>')]
>>> test("<pre>")
[(<lino.core.fields.RichTextField: description>, '<pre>', '<pre></pre>')]
>>> test("<pre>\n</pre>")
[(<lino.core.fields.RichTextField: description>, '<pre>\n</pre>', '<pre></pre>')]

This is valid HTML for Lino:

>>> test("<pre></pre>")
>>> test("<p>Foo</p>")

Some edge cases that Lino won't touch because it doesn't recognize them as HTML and therefore doesn't bleach them:

>>> test("One<br>two")
>>> test("One<br>two</p>")