How can I process lists in Foswiki, or what is the modern replacement for ForEachPlugin?

TIP Some examples of the FORMAT macro where you might have used ForEachPlugin can also be found at Faq40

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Examples

There are two types of lists that you may want to process

1. Lists of topics

In Foswiki 1.1, you would use FORMAT macro:

%FORMAT{
  "Faq1, Faq2, Faq3"
  format="   * [[$web.$topic]] was modified $date by [[$wikiusername][$wikiname]] and is titled <em>$formfield(TopicTitle)</em>"
}%

Result:
  • Support.Faq1 was modified 27 Dec 2011 - 16:14 by ArthurClemens and is titled How do you handle errors resulting from calls to CGI executables or REST handlers?
  • Support.Faq2 was modified 27 Dec 2011 - 19:17 by ArthurClemens and is titled Does Foswiki have encrypted groups or any other technique to restrict access all the way?
  • Support.Faq3 was modified 27 Dec 2011 - 19:22 by ArthurClemens and is titled How should I set filesystem access modes?

In Foswiki 1.0, you may use the FilterPlugin

2. Lists of arbitrary strings

In Foswiki 1.1, you would use FORMAT macro with the type="string" parameter. This avoids some processing overhead when treating each member of the list as a topic.

%FORMAT{
  "green, eggs, ham"
  type="string"
  header="The ingredients are:$n"
  format="   * $index: $item"
}%

Result: The ingredients are:
  • 1: green
  • 2: eggs
  • 3: ham

In Foswiki 1.0, you may use the FilterPlugin

2. List of arbitrary strings: section names

You can use FORMAT to display topic sections. To do this you write a INCLUDE maco in the format string (escaped to delay processing):

%FORMAT{
   "intro,notes"
   separator=""
   type="string"
   format="$percntINCLUDE{$quot%TOPIC%$quot section=$quot$item$quot}$percnt"
}%

%STARTSECTION{"intro"}% This is the introduction. %ENDSECTION{"intro"}%

%STARTSECTION{"notes"}% These are the notes. %ENDSECTION{"notes"}%

Result: This is the introduction. These are the notes.

Converting ForEachPlugin usage

Before:

%FOREACH{"web" in="Main, Sandbox, System"}%
   * [[$web.WebHome]]
%NEXT{"web"}%

After: (Foswiki 1.1)
%FORMAT{
  "Main, Sandbox, System"
  type="string"
  format="   * [[$item.WebHome]]"
}%

After: (Foswiki 1.0 using FilterPlugin)
%FORMATLIST{
  "Main, Sandbox, System"
  format="   * [[$1.WebHome]]"
}%

Converting more complex usage

ForEachPlugin allows more complex multi-line sections to be processed in the list, as follows:

Before:
%FOREACH{"topic" in="Faq1, Faq2, Faq3"}%
---+++ [[%WEB%.$topic]]
   * one
   * two

And some other stuff
%NEXT{"topic"}%

After, format string with newlines: This is the simplest conversion
%FORMAT{
  "Faq1, Faq2, Faq3"
  format="---+++ [[$web.$topic]]
   * one
   * two

And some other stuff: modified on $date by $wikiusername"
}%

However, special care must be taken to avoid unwanted effects of inside-out, left-to-right macro expansion, such as:
  • Remembering to escape " quotes as \" so that the format string ends where you want it
  • Remembering to delay any macros contained within the string, if necessary
Below is an example which addresses these two problems more easily

After, delayed sectional includes: Use delayed sectional INCLUDEs in the FORMAT macro's format parameter:

%FORMAT{
  "Faq1, Faq2, Faq3"
  format="$percentINCLUDE{
    \"%TOPIC%\"       section=\"topicthing\"
    web=\"$web\"        topic=\"$topic\"
    modified=\"$date\" modifiedby=\"$wikiusername\"
  }$percent\""
}%

<verbatim class="foswikiHidden">
%STARTSECTION{"topicthing"}%
---+++ [[%web%.%topic%]]
   * one
   * two

And some other stuff: modified on %modified% by %modifiedby%
%ENDSECTION{"topicthing"}%
</verbatim>

This approach looks more cumbersome than ForEachPlugin, but allows us to use a standard "registerTagHandler" type macro (VarFORMAT or FilterPlugin) rather than the old, less reliable "commonTagsHandler" type macros which ForEachPlugin provides.

-- PaulHarvey - 22 Dec 2010

Support.FAQForm edit

TopicClassification FrequentlyAskedQuestion
Subject Extension, Usage
Topic Summary How to process lists in Foswiki, and convert usage of ForEachPlugin
Extension ForEachPlugin
Interested Parties
Related Topics Faq40
Topic revision: r6 - 27 Dec 2011, ArthurClemens - This page was cached on 24 Sep 2017 - 18:15.

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