Getting Started

Create a site

Warp comes with a tool to set up a skeleton site structure. To use it, create an empty directory anywhere, and then run twistd warp skeleton inside it:

mkdir mysite
cd mysite
twistd warp skeleton

Then run:

twistd -n warp

You should now have a simple working warp site at http://localhost:8080.

If you want to know more about what just happened, see Some Details.

Change the homepage

The Welcome to Warp.. text you see on the homepage comes from a Mako template at:


Open it up. The first line, <%inherit file="/site.mak"/>, tells Mako to include the site template (see below). The rest is plain old HTML. Let’s make it a little more interesting:

<%inherit file="/site.mak"/>

<h2>This is my site!</h2>

<p>The current node is: ${node | h}</p>

%if request.avatar:
  <p>You are logged in as: ${}</p>
  <p>You are not logged in.<p>

<p>Your IP address is: ${repr(}</p>

Save the file and refresh the page, and you should get something like this:

The current node is: <module 'nodes.home.home' from '/home/brendonh/temp/mysite/nodes/home/home.pyc'>
You are not logged in.
Your IP address is: ''

Let’s add an avatar to the database so we can log in.

Create a login avatar

An avatar is an object representing a user. Any page can access the user’s avatar, if they have one, as ${request.avatar}. The Warp skeleton doesn’t create any intially, so hit ctrl-c to stop your server, and let’s make one.

For now, that means some simple SQL:

$ sqlite3 warp.sqlite
sqlite> INSERT INTO warp_avatar (email, password) VALUES ('', 'sekrit');
sqlite> .q

Now start your server again (twistd -n warp), and log in with those details. Now your home page should show:

You are logged in as:

Warp keeps its sessions in the DB automatically – you can restart the server, and you will still be logged in.

Add another Mako page

Warp will serve up any .mak file in a node directory as a page. So far we’ve been working with nodes/home/index.mak, but let’s create another page inside the home node:

$ cat > nodes/home/about.mak
<%inherit file="/site.mak"/>

<h2>About This Site</h2>

<p>This site is being created to showcase Warp.</p>

You can now access this page at http://localhost:8080/home/about. Let’s add a link to it from the homepage, nodes/home/index.mak:

<%! from warp.helpers import link %>
<p>${link("About this site", node, "about")}</p>

Of course, we could have just written <a href="about">About this site</a>, but Warp’s helpers module will be useful later.

Edit the site template

We should probably have a link to the About page in the navigation bar. Let’s add one.

When you write <%inherit file="/site.mak"/> at the top of a page template, Warp looks it up in your templates directory. So, edit templates/site.mak, find the section that looks like this:

<span class="links">
  <a href="/">Home</a>

And change it to look like this:

<%! from warp.helpers import link, getNode %>
<span class="links">
  ${link("Home", getNode("home"))}
  ${link("About", getNode("home"), "about")}

This time we couldn’t just use node in the link, because this code will be used from other nodes too. So we use the getNode helper to find the home node, instead.

Let’s make it a little more fancy, highlighting the current page:

<%! from warp.helpers import link, getNode %>

<%def name="navEntry(label, linkNode, linkFacet)">
  % if (linkNode, linkFacet) == (node, facet):
    <strong style="color: white;">${label}</strong> |
  % else:
    ${link(label, linkNode, linkFacet)} |
  % endif

<span class="links">
for (label, nodeName, linkFacet) in (
   ("Home", "home", "index"),
   ("About", "home", "about")):
      navEntry(label, getNode(nodeName), linkFacet)

Here we’re using some more Mako features – function definitions, and for loops. We also have a new Warp word, facet. Just as a node is a directory in your URLs, a facet is a page. So far, our two home facets (index and about) have been mako templates, but in the next section we’ll write one which is pure Python.

A Pure-Python Facet

Sometimes you want a facet that doesn’t make sense as a Mako template. Perhaps it handles a POST, or uses Twisted’s asynchronous magic (as we will here). Here’s how.

Open nodes/home/, and add the following:

from twisted.internet import reactor
from twisted.web.server import NOT_DONE_YET

def render_delayed(request):

    def completeRequest():
        request.write("All done!")

    reactor.callLater(5, completeRequest)

    return NOT_DONE_YET

Since this code is Python, rather than Mako, you’ll need to restart your server (see Caching).

Now load http://localhost:8080/home/delayed. The server will wait for five seconds before loading the page. During those five seconds, it can still process other requests.

A New Node

In the next chapter we’re going to start playing with the database, using a people table. First, let’s create a new node for our various people-related pages:

$ twistd warp node people
Node 'people' created

The node command creates a directory and a few files (,, and index.mak) in the site’s nodes package. You should now be able to load http://localhost:8080/people, and see the index page.

We’ll add it to the site navigation (in templates/site.mak), too:

<span class="links">
for (label, nodeName, linkFacet) in (
   ("Home", "home", "index"),
   ("People", "people", "index"),
   ("About", "home", "about")):
      navEntry(label, getNode(nodeName), linkFacet)

Next: Using The Database.

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