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More about layouts

The detail_layout attribute

The detail_layout is normally an instance of DetailLayout or a subclass thereof. For example:

class FooDetail(dd.DetailLayout):

class Foos(dd.Table):
    detail_layout = FooDetail()

It is possible and recommended to specify detail_layout as a string, in which case it will be resolved at startup as follows:

If the string contains at least one newline (or no newline and also no dot) then it is taken as the main of a DetailLayout. For example:

class Foos(dd.Table):
    detail_layout = """
    id name

If the string contains a dot (‘.’) and does not contain any newlines, then Lino takes this as the name of the class to be instantiated and used.

For example:

class Courses(dd.Table):
    detail_layout = 'courses.CourseDetail'

This feature makes it possible to override the detail layout in an extended plugin. Before this you had to define a new class and to assign an instance of that class to every actor which uses it. But e.g. in lino_xl.lib.courses we have a lot of subclasses of the Courses actor.

Class-based detail layouts

Code examples in this document are taken from The LETS tutorial unless otherwise specified.

You can define a detail window by setting the detail_layout attribute directly as a multi-line text containing the names of data elements, as in the following example:

class Members(dd.Table):
    detail_layout = """
    id name place email
    OffersByMember DemandsByMember



But you can get the same result by saying:

class MemberDetail(dd.DetailLayout):
    main = """
    id name place email
    OffersByMember DemandsByMember

class Members(dd.Table):
    detail_layout = "lets.Members"

This syntax is slightly more verbose but has several advantages:

  • It lets you define “panels” in order to group the fields on your window.

  • It lets you define tabbed detail layouts.

  • It makes it more easy to override the layout by plugins that inherit from your plugin.

A detail layout becomes tabbed when its main attribute has only one row of layout elements.

tabbed detail layout

A detail layout that has a series of tabs.

The elements mentioned in the main attribute of a tabbed detail layout must have labels, which become the label of their tab. They don’t need to be panels: they can be a slave table or a text field.

For example, the detail layout of a site user in step 4 is a tabbed detail layout with two tabs, labelled “General” and “Preferences”:

../../_images/lets4.users.UserDetail.general.png ../../_images/lets4.users.UserDetail.contact.png

Here is the source code used to define this:

from lino.modlib.users.ui import *

class UserDetail(UserDetail):

    main = "general contact"

    general = dd.Panel("""
    first_name last_name initials
    market.DemandsByCustomer market.OffersByProvider
    """, label=_("General"))

    contact = dd.Panel("""
    remarks:40 users.AuthoritiesGiven:20
    """, label=_("Preferences"))

    box1 = """
    username user_type:20
    language time_zone
    id created modified

Note that the general and contacts are tab panels defined by instantiating the dd.Panel class while box1 is a simple panel that needs no label.

Another example is the detail layout of a lino_xl.lib.trading.VatProductInvoice:


Here is the source code used to define this layout:

class InvoiceDetail(dd.DetailLayout):
    main = "general more accounting"

    general = dd.Panel("""
    panel1:30 panel3:30 panel2 totals:20
    """, label=_("General"))

    more = dd.Panel("""
    id user language #project #item_vat
    """, label=_("More"))

    accounting = dd.Panel("""
    journal accounting_period number #narration
    """, label=_("Ledger"))

    totals = dd.Panel("""

    panel1 = dd.Panel("""
    #order subject

    panel2 = dd.Panel("""
    your_ref match

    panel3 = dd.Panel("""

Combined list and detail view

When you add a navigator_panel to a detail layout, it can make sense to “skip the list window” by setting the default action of a table view to detail. Examples:

Or the detail layout of lino_xl.lib.contacts.Person in Lino Amici:

class PersonDetail(PersonDetail):

    main = "general #contact family more"

    general = dd.Panel("navigation_panel:20 general_box:60", label=_("General"))

    general_box = """
    overview contact_box #phones.ContactDetailsByPartner
    contacts.RolesByPerson:30 lists.MembersByPartner:30 cal.EntriesByGuest:30

    contact_box = dd.Panel("""
    last_name first_name:15
    gender #title:10 language:10
    birth_date age:10 id:6
    """)  #, label=_("Contact"))

    family = dd.Panel("""
    humanlinks.LinksByHuman:50 households.MembersByPerson:30
    """, label=_("Family"))

    more = dd.Panel("""
    ... comments.CommentsByRFC:30
    """, label=_("More"))

The tree navigator

The lino.mixins.sequenced.Hierarchical.treeview_panel is used to add a tree navigation view.