Skip or Render Specific Blocks from Jinja2 Templates

Posted by Alexander Todorov on Fri 21 February 2014

I wasn't able to find detailed information on how to skip rendering or only render specific blocks from Jinja2 templates so here's my solution. Hopefully you find it useful too.

With below template I want to be able to render only kernel_options block as a single line and then render the rest of the template excluding kernel_options.

{% block kernel_options %}
    {% block debug %}
    {% endblock %}
{% endblock kernel_options %}

{% if OS_MAJOR == 5 %}
key --skip
{% endif %}

{% if OS_MAJOR > 5 %}
{% endif %}

To render a particular block you have to use the low level Jinja API template.blocks. This will return a dict of block rendering functions which need a Context to work with.

The second part is trickier. To remove a block we have to create an extension which will filter it out. The provided SkipBlockExtension class does exactly this.

Last but not least - if you'd like to use both together you have to disable caching in the Environment (so you get a fresh template every time), render your blocks first, configure env.skip_blocks and render the entire template without the specified blocks.

#!/usr/bin/env python

import os
import sys
from jinja2.ext import Extension
from jinja2 import Environment, FileSystemLoader

class SkipBlockExtension(Extension):
    def __init__(self, environment):
        super(SkipBlockExtension, self).__init__(environment)

    def filter_stream(self, stream):
        block_level = 0
        skip_level = 0
        in_endblock = False

        for token in stream:
            if (token.type == 'block_begin'):
                if (stream.current.value == 'block'):
                    block_level += 1
                    if (stream.look().value in self.environment.skip_blocks):
                        skip_level = block_level

            if (token.value == 'endblock' ):
                in_endblock = True

            if skip_level == 0:
                yield token

            if (token.type == 'block_end'):
                if in_endblock:
                    in_endblock = False
                    block_level -= 1

                    if skip_level == block_level+1:
                        skip_level = 0

if __name__ == "__main__":
    context = {'OS_MAJOR' : 5, 'ARCH' : 'x86_64'}

    abs_path  = os.path.abspath(sys.argv[1])
    dir_name  = os.path.dirname(abs_path)
    base_name = os.path.basename(abs_path)

    env = Environment(
                loader = FileSystemLoader(dir_name),
                extensions = [SkipBlockExtension],
                cache_size = 0, # disable cache b/c we do 2 get_template()

    # first render only the block we want
    template = env.get_template(base_name)
    lines = []
    for line in template.blocks['kernel_options'](template.new_context(context)):
    print "Boot Args:", " ".join(lines)
    print "---------------------------"

    # now instruct SkipBlockExtension which blocks we don't want
    # and get a new instance of the template with these blocks removed
    template = env.get_template(base_name)
    print template.render(context)
    print "---------------------------"

The above code results in the following output:

$ ./jinja2-render ./base.j2 
Boot Args: console=tty0 debug=1 

key --skip


Teaser: this is part of my effort to replace SNAKE with a client side kickstart template engine for Beaker so stay tuned!

tags: Python, Django, Fedora

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