memo : The memo parser

The lino.modlib.memo plugin adds application-specific markup to text fields .

One facet of this plugin is a simple built-in markup language called "memo". A memo markup command is a fragment of text between square brackets (of the form [foo bar baz])

Another facet are suggesters. A suggester is when you define that a "trigger text" will pop up a list of suggestions for auto-completion. For example # commonly refers to a topic or a ticket, or @ refers to another user or person.

that will be "rendered" (converted into another fragment) when your description text is being displayed at certain places.

A concrete real-world specification is in Memo commands in Lino Noi.

This is a tested document. The following instructions are used for initialization:

>>> from lino import startup
>>> startup('lino_book.projects.noi1e.settings.demo')
>>> from lino.api.doctest import *

Basic usage

The lino.modlib.memo.parser.Parser is a simple markup parser that expands "commands" found in an input string to produce a resulting output string. Commands are in the form [KEYWORD ARGS]. The caller defines itself all commands, there are no predefined commands.

Instantiate a parser:

>>> from lino.modlib.memo.parser import Parser
>>> p = Parser()

We declare a "command handler" function url2html and register it:

>>> def url2html(parser, s, cmdname, usages):
...     print("[DEBUG] url2html() got %r" % s)
...     if not s: return "XXX"
...     url, text = s.split(None,1)
...     return '<a href="%s">%s</a>' % (url,text)
>>> p.register_command('url', url2html)

The intended usage of our example handler is [url URL TEXT], where URL is the URL to link to, and TEXT is the label of the link:

>>> print(p.parse('This is a [url test].'))
[DEBUG] url2html() got ' test'
This is a <a href="">test</a>.

A command handler will be called with one parameter: the portion of text between the KEYWORD and the closing square bracket. Not including the whitespace after the keyword. It must return the text which is to replace the [KEYWORD ARGS] fragment. It is responsible for parsing the text that it receives as parameter.

If an exception occurs during the command handler, the final exception message is inserted into the result.

To demonstrate this, our example implementation has a bug, it doesn't support the case of having only an URL without TEXT (we use an ellipsis because the error message varies with Python versions):

>>> print(p.parse('This is a [url].'))  
[DEBUG] url2html() got ''
This is a [ERROR ... in ...'[url]' at position 10-30].

Newlines preceded by a backslash will be removed before the command handler is called:

>>> print(p.parse('''This is [url http://xy\
... another test].'''))
[DEBUG] url2html() got ' another test'
This is <a href="">another test</a>.

The whitespace between the KEYWORD and ARGS can be any whitespace, including newlines:

>>> print(p.parse('''This is a [url
... test].'''))
[DEBUG] url2html() got ' test'
This is a <a href="">test</a>.

The ARGS part is optional (it's up to the command handler to react accordingly, our handler function returns XXX in that case):

>>> print(p.parse('''This is a [url] test.'''))
[DEBUG] url2html() got ''
This is a XXX test.

The ARGS part may contain pairs of square brackets:

>>> print(p.parse('''This is a [url
... test with [more] brackets].'''))
[DEBUG] url2html() got ' test with [more] brackets'
This is a <a href="">test with [more] brackets</a>.

Fragments of text between brackets that do not match any registered command will be left unchanged:

>>> print(p.parse('''This is a [1] test.'''))
This is a [1] test.
>>> print(p.parse('''This is a [foo bar] test.'''))
This is a [foo bar] test.
>>> print(p.parse('''Text with only [opening square bracket.'''))
Text with only [opening square bracket.

Special handling

Leading and trailing spaces are always removed from command text:

>>> print(p.parse("[url Trailing space  ]."))
[DEBUG] url2html() got ' Trailing space'
<a href="">Trailing space</a>.
>>> print(p.parse("[url   Leading space]."))
[DEBUG] url2html() got '   Leading space'
<a href="">Leading space</a>.

Non-breaking and zero-width spaces are treated like normal spaces:

>>> print(p.parse(u"[url\u00A0]."))
[DEBUG] url2html() got ''
<a href=""></a>.
>>> print(p.parse(u"[url \u200b]."))
[DEBUG] url2html() got ''
<a href=""></a>.
>>> print(p.parse(u"[url&nbsp;]."))
[DEBUG] url2html() got ''
<a href=""></a>.


A single closing square bracket as part of ARGS will not produce the desired result:

>>> print(p.parse('''This is a [url
... The character "\]"].'''))
[DEBUG] url2html() got ' The character "\\'
This is a <a href="">The character "\</a>"].

Execution flow statements like [if ...] and [endif ...] or [for ...] and [endfor ...] would be nice.

The [=expression] form

>>> print(p.parse('''<ul>[="".join(['<li>%s</li>' % (i+1) for i in range(5)])]</ul>'''))

You can specify a run-time context:

>>> ctx = { 'a': 3 }
>>> print(p.parse('''\
... The answer is [=a*a*5-a].''', context=ctx))
The answer is 42.

The Previewable mixin

Adds three datbase fields body, body_short_preview and body. The two preview fields contain the parsed version of the body, they are read-only and get updated automatically when the body is updated. body_short_preview contains only the first paragraph and a "more" indication if the full preview has more. See also truncate_comment().

>>> from lino.modlib.memo.mixins import parse_previews
>>> def test(body):
...     short, full = parse_previews(body)
...     print(short)
...     print("------")
...     print(full)
>>> test("Foo bar baz")
Foo bar baz
Foo bar baz
>>> test("<p>Foo</p><p>bar baz</p>")

bar baz

<p>Foo</p><p>bar baz</p>
>>> test("Foo\n\nbar baz")

bar baz

bar baz

Technical reference

lino.modlib.memo.parse_previews(src, ar)
lino.modlib.memo.truncate_comment(html_str, max_p_len=None)

Return the first paragraph of a string that can be either HTML or plain text, containing at most one paragraph with at most max_p_len characters.


the raw string of html


max number of characters in the paragraph.

See usage examples in comments : The comments framework.

lino.modlib.memo.rich_text_to_elems(ar, description)

A RichTextField can contain either HTML markup or plain text.

lino.modlib.memo.body_subject_to_elems(ar, title, description)

Convert the given title and description to a list of HTML elements.

Used by lino.modlib.notify and by lino_xl.lib.sales

class lino.modlib.memo.Previewable

Adds three rich text fields (lino.core.fields.RichTextField):


An editable text body.

This is a lino.core.fields.PreviewTextField.


A read-only preview of the first paragraph of body.


A read-only full preview of body.

class lino.modlib.memo.BabelPreviewable

A Previewable where the body field is a babel field.

class lino.modlib.memo.PreviewableChecker

Check for previewables needing update.