Stream Filters

Markup Streams showed how to write filters and how they are applied to markup streams. This page describes the features of the various filters that come with Genshi itself.


1   HTML Form Filler

The filter genshi.filters.html.HTMLFormFiller can automatically populate an HTML form from values provided as a simple dictionary. When using this filter, you can basically omit any value, selected, or checked attributes from form controls in your templates, and let the filter do all that work for you.

HTMLFormFiller takes a dictionary of data to populate the form with, where the keys should match the names of form elements, and the values determine the values of those controls. For example:

>>> from genshi.filters import HTMLFormFiller
>>> from genshi.template import MarkupTemplate

>>> template = MarkupTemplate("""<form>
...   <p>
...     <label>User name:
...       <input type="text" name="username" />
...     </label><br />
...     <label>Password:
...       <input type="password" name="password" />
...     </label><br />
...     <label>
...       <input type="checkbox" name="remember" /> Remember me
...     </label>
...   </p>
... </form>""")
>>> filler = HTMLFormFiller(data=dict(username='john', remember=True))
>>> print(template.generate() | filler)
    <label>User name:
      <input type="text" name="username" value="john"/>
      <input type="password" name="password"/>
      <input type="checkbox" name="remember" checked="checked"/> Remember me


This processing is done without in any way reparsing the template output. As any stream filter it operates after the template output is generated but before that output is actually serialized.

The filter will of course also handle radio buttons as well as <select> and <textarea> elements. For radio buttons to be marked as checked, the value in the data dictionary needs to match the value attribute of the <input> element, or evaluate to a truth value if the element has no such attribute. For options in a <select> box to be marked as selected, the value in the data dictionary needs to match the value attribute of the <option> element, or the text content of the option if it has no value attribute. Password and file input fields are not populated, as most browsers would ignore that anyway for security reasons.

You'll want to make sure that the values in the data dictionary have already been converted to strings. While the filter may be able to deal with non-string data in some cases (such as check boxes), in most cases it will either not attempt any conversion or not produce the desired results.

You can restrict the form filler to operate only on a specific <form> by passing either the id or the name keyword argument to the initializer. If either of those is specified, the filter will only apply to form tags with an attribute matching the specified value.

2   HTML Sanitizer

The filter genshi.filters.html.HTMLSanitizer filter can be used to clean up user-submitted HTML markup, removing potentially dangerous constructs that could be used for various kinds of abuse, such as cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks:

>>> from genshi.filters import HTMLSanitizer
>>> from genshi.input import HTML

>>> html = HTML("""<div>
...   <p>Innocent looking text.</p>
...   <script>alert("Danger: " + document.cookie)</script>
... </div>""")
>>> sanitize = HTMLSanitizer()
>>> print(html | sanitize)
  <p>Innocent looking text.</p>

In this example, the <script> tag was removed from the output.

You can determine which tags and attributes should be allowed by initializing the filter with corresponding sets. See the API documentation for more information.

Inline style attributes are forbidden by default. If you allow them, the filter will still perform sanitization on the contents any encountered inline styles: the proprietary expression() function (supported only by Internet Explorer) is removed, and any property using an url() which a potentially dangerous URL scheme (such as javascript:) are also stripped out:

>>> from genshi.filters import HTMLSanitizer
>>> from genshi.input import HTML

>>> html = HTML("""<div>
...   <br style="background: url(javascript:alert(document.cookie); color: #000" />
... </div>""")
>>> sanitize = HTMLSanitizer(safe_attrs=HTMLSanitizer.SAFE_ATTRS | set(['style']))
>>> print(html | sanitize)
  <br style="color: #000"/>


You should probably not rely on the style filtering, as sanitizing mixed HTML, CSS, and Javascript is very complicated and suspect to various browser bugs. If you can somehow get away with not allowing inline styles in user-submitted content, that would definitely be the safer route to follow.

3   Transformer

The filter genshi.filters.transform.Transformer provides a convenient way to transform or otherwise work with markup event streams. It allows you to specify which parts of the stream you're interested in with XPath expressions, and then attach a variety of transformations to the parts that match:

>>> from genshi.builder import tag
>>> from genshi.core import TEXT
>>> from genshi.filters import Transformer
>>> from genshi.input import HTML

>>> html = HTML('''<html>
...   <head><title>Some Title</title></head>
...   <body>
...     Some <em>body</em> text.
...   </body>
... </html>''')

>>> print(html | Transformer('body/em').map(unicode.upper, TEXT)
...                                    .unwrap().wrap(tag.u).end()
...                                    .select('body/u')
...                                    .prepend('underlined '))
  <head><title>Some Title</title></head>
    Some <u>underlined BODY</u> text.

This example sets up a transformation that:

  1. matches any <em> element anywhere in the body,
  2. uppercases any text nodes in the element,
  3. strips off the <em> start and close tags,
  4. wraps the content in a <u> tag, and
  5. inserts the text underlined inside the <u> tag.

A number of commonly useful transformations are available for this filter. Please consult the API documentation a complete list.

In addition, you can also perform custom transformations. For example, the following defines a transformation that changes the name of a tag:

>>> from genshi import QName
>>> from genshi.filters.transform import ENTER, EXIT

>>> class RenameTransformation(object):
...    def __init__(self, name):
... = QName(name)
...    def __call__(self, stream):
...        for mark, (kind, data, pos) in stream:
...            if mark is ENTER:
...                data =, data[1]
...            elif mark is EXIT:
...                data =
...            yield mark, (kind, data, pos)

A transformation can be any callable object that accepts an augmented event stream. In this case we define a class, so that we can initialize it with the tag name.

Custom transformations can be applied using the apply() method of a transformer instance:

>>> xform = Transformer('body//em').map(unicode.upper, TEXT) \
>>> xform = xform.apply(RenameTransformation('u'))
>>> print(html | xform)
  <head><title>Some Title</title></head>
    Some <u>BODY</u> text.


The transformation filter was added in Genshi 0.5.

4   Translator

The genshi.filters.i18n.Translator filter implements basic support for internationalizing and localizing templates. When used as a filter, it translates a configurable set of text nodes and attribute values using a gettext-style translation function.

The Translator class also defines the extract class method, which can be used to extract localizable messages from a template.

Please refer to the API documentation for more information on this filter.


The translation filter was added in Genshi 0.4.