Chapter 6: Creating a view from scratch

Warning

It is highly recommended that you complete Chapter 3: Fields and Views before starting this chapter. The concepts introduced in Chapter 3, including views and examples, will be essential for understanding the material covered in this chapter.

Let us see how one can create a new view, completely from scratch. In a way, it is not very difficult to do, but there are no really good resources on how to do it. Note that most situations should be solved by either customizing an existing view, or with a client action.

For this exercise, let’s assume that we want to create a gallery view, which is a view that lets us represent a set of records with an image field. In our Awesome Tshirt scenario, we would like to be able to see a set of t-shirts images.

The problem could certainly be solved with a kanban view, but this means that it is not possible to have our normal kanban view and the gallery view in the same action.

Let us make a gallery view. Each gallery view will be defined by an image_field attribute in its arch:

<gallery image_field="some_field"/>

To complete the tasks in this chapter, you will need to install the awesome_gallery addon. This addon includes the necessary server files to add a new view.

Goal

../../../_images/overview2.png

The solutions for each exercise of the chapter are hosted on the official Odoo tutorials repository.

1. Make a hello world view

First step is to create a JavaScript implementation with a simple component.

Exercise

  1. Create the gallery_view.js , gallery_controller.js and gallery_controller.xml files in static/src.

  2. Implement a simple hello world component in gallery_controller.js.

  3. In gallery_view.js, import the controller, create a view object, and register it in the view registry under the name gallery.

  4. Add gallery as one of the view type in the orders action.

  5. Make sure that you can see your hello world component when switching to the gallery view.

../../../_images/view_button.png ../../../_images/new_view.png

2. Use the Layout component

So far, our gallery view does not look like a standard view. Let’s use the Layout component to have the standard features like other views.

Exercise

  1. Import the Layout component and add it to the components of GalleryController.

  2. Update the template to use Layout. It needs a display prop, which can be found in props.display.

../../../_images/layout.png

3. Parse the arch

For now, our gallery view does not do much. Let’s start by reading the information contained in the arch of the view.

The process of parsing an arch is usually done with a ArchParser, specific to each view. It inherits from a generic XMLParser class.

Example

Here is an example of what an ArchParser might look like:

import { XMLParser } from "@web/core/utils/xml";

export class GraphArchParser extends XMLParser {
    parse(arch, fields) {
       const result = {};
       this.visitXML(arch, (node) => {
           ...
        });
       return result;
    }
}

Exercise

  1. Create the ArchParser class in its own file. It can inherit from XMLParser in @web/core/utils/xml.

  2. Use it to read the image_field information.

  3. Update the gallery view code to add it to the props received by the controller.

Note

It is probably a little overkill to do it like that, since we basically only need to read one attribute from the arch, but it is a design that is used by every other odoo views, since it lets us extract some upfront processing out of the controller.

4. Load some data

Let us now get some real data.

Exercise

  1. Add a loadImages(domain) {...} method to the GalleryController. It should perform a webSearchRead call from the orm service to fetch records corresponding to the domain, and use imageField received in props.

  2. Modify the setup code to call that method in the onWillStart and onWillUpdateProps hooks.

  3. Modify the template to display the data inside the default slot of the Layout component.

Note

The loading data code will be moved into a proper model in the next exercise.

../../../_images/gallery_data.png

5. Reorganize code

Real views are a little bit more organized. This may be overkill in this example, but it is intended to learn how to structure code in Odoo. Also, this will scale better with changing requirements.

Exercise

  1. Move all the model code in its own GalleryModel class.

  2. Move all the rendering code in a GalleryRenderer component.

  3. Adapt the GalleryController and gallery_view to make it work.

6. Display images

Exercise

Update the renderer to display images in a nice way, if the field is set. If image_field is empty, display an empty box instead.

../../../_images/tshirt_images.png

7. Switch to form view on click

Exercise

Update the renderer to react to a click on an image and switch to a form view. You can use the switchView function from the action service.

8. Add an optional tooltip

It is useful to have some additional information on mouse hover.

Exercise

  1. Update the code to allow an optional additional attribute on the arch:

    <gallery image_field="some_field" tooltip_field="some_other_field"/>
    
  2. On mouse hover, display the content of the tooltip field. It should work if the field is a char field, a number field or a many2one field.

  3. Update the orders gallery view to add the customer as tooltip field.

../../../_images/image_tooltip.png

9. Add pagination

Exercise

Let’s add a pager on the control panel and manage all the pagination like in a normal Odoo view. Note that it is surprisingly difficult.

../../../_images/pagination.png

10. Validating views

We have a nice and useful view so far. But in real life, we may have issue with users incorrectly encoding the arch of their Gallery view: it is currently only an unstructured piece of XML.

Let us add some validation! In Odoo, XML documents can be described with an RN file (Relax NG file), and then validated.

Exercise

  1. Add an RNG file that describes the current grammar:

    • A mandatory attribute image_field.

    • An optional attribute: tooltip_field.

  2. Add some code to make sure all views are validated against this RNG file.

  3. While we are at it, let us make sure that image_field and tooltip_field are fields from the current model.

Since validating an RNG file is not trivial, here is a snippet to help:

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
import logging
import os

from lxml import etree

from odoo.loglevels import ustr
from odoo.tools import misc, view_validation

_logger = logging.getLogger(__name__)

_viewname_validator = None

@view_validation.validate('viewname')
def schema_viewname(arch, **kwargs):
    """ Check the gallery view against its schema

    :type arch: etree._Element
    """
    global _viewname_validator

    if _viewname_validator is None:
        with misc.file_open(os.path.join('modulename', 'rng', 'viewname.rng')) as f:
            _viewname_validator = etree.RelaxNG(etree.parse(f))

    if _viewname_validator.validate(arch):
        return True

    for error in _viewname_validator.error_log:
        _logger.error(ustr(error))
    return False