Frontend Design

Frontend endpoints are invoked depending on the URL requested by the client as mapped to in cdedb/frontend/ Each endpoint is a python function responsible for aggregating the requested information from the backend and returning a rendered template or redirect.


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A rough overview about the general control flow upon a request can be found in the development chapter at A typical request.

Input handling

For retrieving user input from POST-requests, there are the REQUEST* decorators in cdedb.frontend.common, furthermore the request_extractor functions for some rare use cases where it is not known at the beginning which data is needed. In general, you should always provide feedback on user input, which basically means every POST action should cause a meaningful notification. The notification mostly tells about success or failure of input validation. Remember to check successful validation before doing any processing, since the backend raises errors on invalid data.

Cron jobs

All tasks which are designed to be executed regularly in an automated way, like syncing with the mailinglist software or cleaning up the database, are represented by a frontend function with the @periodic decorator. This decorator sets an additional cron attribute on the function, that is a dict containing an identifier and the interval (measured in executions of the cron frontend, see below) in which to run that job.

Every periodic function is given the RequestState and a dict conventionally named store as parameters. This store is to be saved in the database between the single runs, thus the function should return an updated version of it. The function should also take care of proper initialisation of the store if it is empty, as that is the case if there was no execution of the task before.

To take care of the stores and actually run the tasks, we have the CronFrontend found in cdedb.frontend.cron, whose execute function sets up a basic RequestState, searches for periodic functions and executes them. This should be done every 15 minutes (commonly via system cron) and can be run using the script for convenience.