Sometimes you'd like a field property to be dynamic instead of
just a value filled in in the
Edit tab of the field. To
make your fields more dynamic, you can enter TALES expressions
in the TALES tab. Whenever you (or some code) asks for the value of
that field property next with
get_value(), the TALES expression
will be evaluated and the result will be the value of that
Properties which are overridden with a TALES expression are shown between square brackets ([ and ]) in the main Edit tab, and the value of the property in the edit tab will be ignored. To stop using a TALES expression for a particular property, remove the expression in the TALES tab.
A TALES expression should return an object of the same type as the property field would return after validation. For instance, a TALES expression for a StringField would return a simple string, for an IntegerField it would return an integer, and for a CheckBoxField it would return true or false (or something that Python accepts as such).
Two predefined variables are in the expression namespace,
field. You can use them to call their methods (though one
should be careful with some, to avoid infinite recursion), and
also methods and scripts that are the form's (or field's)
acquisition context. You can also pass them to the methods you
The TALES tab is meant to eventually obsolute the Override tab; the use of the Override tab can therefore be considered deprecated. Once Zope Page Templates (and thus TALES) become part of the Zope core distribution, I plan to phase out the Override tab altogether.
where foo is a Python Script that is acquired by the form, for instance, you can now do:
This is longer, but the advantage is that you can now pass parameters, for instance:
A good example of the use of the TALES tab is the
of a ListField; frequently you may want to get these items from
elsewhere, for instance from a database. In this case you would
fill in the name of the override method for
items that retrieves
the right data.
right data in this case is that which validation of the
builtin field ListTextArea would return. This is a list of tuples,
one tuple for each element. Each tuple consists of two strings;
the name that should be displayed to the user for that item, and
the actual value that will be submitted.
This for instance is a Python script
random_numbers that will
n random numbers as the elements, where
n is the (single)
parameter to the Python script:
# random_numbers import random result =  for i in range(n): number = random.randint(0, 100) tuple = str(number), str(number) result.append(tuple) return result
You can call this script with the following expression for items, which will give 10 random numbers.
Caveat: in the current Formulator implementation it is very hard
to actually go through validation successfully, as exactly the
same random numbers need to be generated twice; once for the
display phase, and once during the validation phase. The
implementation currently assumes the list won't change through
multiple calls to calculate the