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Edit Contrib Package

Provides subroutines useful in writing plugins that edit and save parts of topics.

Summary of Contents

This contrib provides subroutines that come in handy when editing and saving parts of topics (refered to as sections).

  • init_edit initializes editing of a topic
  • edit sets up the section for editing
  • finalize_edit completes the generation of the edit topic
  • bin/savesection is an adaption of bin/save
  • templates/editsection.pattern.tmpl and templates/editsection.tmpl are templates supporting editing of sections.

This contrib is used by TWiki:Plugins/SectionalEditPlugin, TWiki:Plugins/MultiEditPlugin, and TWiki:Plugins/ThreadedDiscussionPlugin. Examining these plugins will provide guidance of how to use these subroutines in implementing your own plugin.

This contrib supports TWiki4 and onward. For a version of this contrib that works with the Cairo release, please download the appropriate version from

Detailed Documentation

The use of this contrib follows closely the pattern used in TWiki core when editing a topic. A plugin implementing editing of a section of a topic has to

  • Implement code called during view which would provide appropriate controls for edting a section, and identify the section to be edited by differentiating
    • the part of the topic before the section to be edited,
    • the section to be edited, and
    • the part of the topic following that section.
  • Pass this information into the edit script in URL variables (see below) upon invocation of the edit script
  • Implement the edit script to obtain that information from the URL variables and render the edit topic. Implementing the edit script is straightforward:
    • Obtain the topic text, template text, etc., by invoking edit().
    • Determine the text before the section to be edited, the section to be edited, and the text after that section, as well as the rendered versions (if desired) of the pre- and post-sections.
    • Pass these to finalize_edit() to generate the edit topic.
The contrib provides the rest of the plumbing (save script, edit templates).

edit ( $session ) -> ( $session, $text, $template )

Sets up a section of the topic for editing. This code is derived from lib/TWiki/UI/, but omits code related to topic creation (as the topic must exist for this function to be called).

Returns the current session object, the topic text passed into the script, as well as the appropriate template rendered with the exception of application specific text (these template variables must be substituted for by the client function):

Template variable Purpose
%TEXT% Text to be edited; shown in textarea
%PRETEXT% Text preceding the edited section. Special characters be protected to avoid mangling by browsers (use TWiki::Render::encodeSpecialChars)
%POSTEXT% Text following the edited section. Special characters be protected to avoid mangling by browsers (use TWiki::Render::encodeSpecialChars)
%PRETEXTFIELD% Rendered text preceding the edited section, shown above the textarea
%POSTEXTFIELD% Rendered text following the edited section, shown below the textarea
%EDIT% URL to be invoked to edit the section (used when "Checkpoint" is selected)
%EDITPARAMS% URL parameters to be passed when the section is edited

finalize_edit ( $session, $pretxt, $sectxt, $postxt, $pretxtRender, $postxtRender, $tmpl )

Sets up the final edit topic.

$pretxt, $sectxt, $postxt, are the text preceding the edited section, the section to be edited, and the text following that section, respectively. $sectxt will be shown in the textarea for editing, and upon save the obtained edited text will be combined with $pretxt and $postxt. These will be encoded to prevent mangling by browsers and substituted for %PRETEXT%, %TEXT%, and %POSTEXT%.

$postxtRender and $pretxtRender will be rendered for edit and displayed above and below the text area, respectively. Pass an empty string if no such text should be displayed. These will be encoded for display and substituted for %PRETEXTFIELD% and %POSTEXTFIELD%, respectively.


Works identical to bin/save except

  • invokes TWiki::Contrib::savemulti
  • constructs the edit link (see above) from the URL parameters edit and editparams. The former has to be the edit script to be invoked when "Checkpoint" is selected, the latter determines any additional URL parameters to be passed to the edit script (must include the leading &).

templates/editsection.tmpl, templates/editsection.pattern.tmpl

Templates supporting the editing of a section. The pretxt and postxt URL parameters (see savemulti) are generated by the two variables %PRETEXTFIELD% and %POSTEXTFIELD%. The size of the edit window is controlled by preference variables (see below).


Settings are stored as preferences variables. To reference a setting write %<plugin>_<setting>%, e.g. %JSCALENDARCONTRIB_STUB%

  • Name of the perl package
    • Set STUB = TWiki::Contrib::EditContrib

Set the variables conrolling the size and style of the textara for editing in the desired preference topic, for example:

  • Edit Box Width, Height, Style (set to width: 99% for full width, auto to disable).
    • Set SECTIONEDITBOXSTYLE = width: 99%;

  • One line description:
    • Set SHORTDESCRIPTION = Provides subroutines useful in writing plugins that edit and save parts of topics.

  • Name of the perl package
    • Set STUB = TWiki::Contrib::EditContrib

Installation Instructions

Note: You do not need to install anything on the browser to use this contrib package. The following instructions are for the administrator who installs the package on the server where TWiki is running.

  • Download the ZIP file from the Plugin web (see below)
  • Unzip in your twiki installation directory. Content:
    File: Description:
    data/TWiki/EditContrib.txt Contrib topic
    data/TWiki/EditContrib.txt,v Contrib topic repository
    lib/TWiki/Contrib/ Contrib Perl module
    bin/savesection save script
  • Verify access and ownership settings for the new scripts.
  • Edit your .htaccess file to require a valid user for the savesection script (if needed).

Contrib Info

Author: TWiki:Main/ThomasWeigert
Copyright ©:  
License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
Dependencies: none
Version: 04 Aug 2006
Change History:  
04 Aug 2006: Protect pre and post text passed from being corrupted by Firefox 1.5
12 Jun 2006: Removed some usage of "illegal" code
10 Jun 2006: Rewrite to support Dakar release
04 Aug 2005: Deal with certain browsers eating the leading newline in text areas
07 Apr 2005: Fix rendering of bullets etc. in pre and post text
21 Mar 2005: Provide finalize_edit function to further simplify developing client plugins
20 Mar 2005: Resolved problems arising from inconsistencies how various browsers treat URL parameters
12 Mar 2005: Added subroutine setting up section for editing.
11 Mar 2005: Added templates for editing sections.
08 Mar 2005: Initial version

Related Topics: TWiki:Plugins/SectionalEditPlugin, TWiki:Plugins/MultiEditPlugin, TWiki:Plugins/ThreadedDiscussionPlugin, TWiki:Plugins/EditTablerowPlugin

-- TWiki:Main/ThomasWeigert 04 Aug 2006

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