Written by The Jahia Team
 
Developers
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Content items are typically used in two contexts:

This tutorial focuses on rendering the Content entries in a website, with the concept of views.

Before you begin

Jahia modules rely on Java and Maven. The key requirements are as follows:

What you will learn

By following the steps in this tuturial, you will learn about using views to render custom content types in Jahia.

  1. Create a view and define its structure
  2.  Display dynamic content in multiple ways
  3. Manage your content rendering files

About Views

A view determines how a content item will be displayed.  A view is:

  • defined in a JSP file,
  • embedded in a Jahia module
  • bound to a content type.

Several views can be attached to the same content type, and made available to content authors. Views are dynamic and can display content from various sources, and include other views to optimize code reusability. Views are cached by default. 

For this tutorial, we are going to rely on the following content type definition and the module defined in the module management tutorial:

[jnt:introBlock] > jnt:content, jmix:structuredContent
 - title (string) i18n
 - description (string) i18n
 - creationDate (date)

Create a view

Views can be created in two ways:

  • Use the Jahia Studio
  • Use your favourite IDE and create the file manually
This tutorial will focus on the manual file creation method, since it is more tool-agnostic and lets you use your IDE of choice

Views are stored in Jahia modules, under the path src/main/resources. An example of a view path would be src/main/resources/jnt_introBlock/html/introBlock.jsp

Where:

  • jnt_introBlock is the aggregation of <nodetypePrefix>_<nodetypeName>
  • introBlock (filename) is the <nodetypeName>

Create this directory structure and an empty View file for your content definition.  

View structure

The base content of a view is as follows, and can be copied and pasted to the view file you created.

<%@ page language="java" contentType="text/html;charset=UTF-8" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="template" uri="http://www.jahia.org/tags/templateLib" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="c" uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/core" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="fn" uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/functions" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="fmt" uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/fmt" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="jcr" uri="http://www.jahia.org/tags/jcr" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="ui" uri="http://www.jahia.org/tags/uiComponentsLib" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="functions" uri="http://www.jahia.org/tags/functions" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="query" uri="http://www.jahia.org/tags/queryLib" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="utility" uri="http://www.jahia.org/tags/utilityLib" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="s" uri="http://www.jahia.org/tags/search" %>
<%--@elvariable id="currentNode" type="org.jahia.services.content.JCRNodeWrapper"--%>
<%--@elvariable id="out" type="java.io.PrintWriter"--%>
<%--@elvariable id="script" type="org.jahia.services.render.scripting.Script"--%>
<%--@elvariable id="scriptInfo" type="java.lang.String"--%>
<%--@elvariable id="workspace" type="java.lang.String"--%>
<%--@elvariable id="renderContext" type="org.jahia.services.render.RenderContext"--%>
<%--@elvariable id="currentResource" type="org.jahia.services.render.Resource"--%>
<%--@elvariable id="url" type="org.jahia.services.render.URLGenerator"--%>

Understanding the elements:

  • The <%@ taglib is a list of available taglibs (functions) available to the view builders
  • The <%--@elvariable are comments used by some IDEs (Intellij…) for automatic resolution of variables implicitly declared in the JSP. They will enable auto completion within the IDE for any variables declared like this.
  • The rest of the file is used for the rendering of the content type.

Hardcode Hello world! into your view.


<%@ page language="java" contentType="text/html;charset=UTF-8" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="template" uri="http://www.jahia.org/tags/templateLib" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="c" uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/core" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="fn" uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/functions" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="fmt" uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/fmt" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="jcr" uri="http://www.jahia.org/tags/jcr" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="ui" uri="http://www.jahia.org/tags/uiComponentsLib" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="functions" uri="http://www.jahia.org/tags/functions" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="query" uri="http://www.jahia.org/tags/queryLib" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="utility" uri="http://www.jahia.org/tags/utilityLib" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="s" uri="http://www.jahia.org/tags/search" %>
<%--@elvariable id="currentNode" type="org.jahia.services.content.JCRNodeWrapper"--%>
<%--@elvariable id="out" type="java.io.PrintWriter"--%>
<%--@elvariable id="script" type="org.jahia.services.render.scripting.Script"--%>
<%--@elvariable id="scriptInfo" type="java.lang.String"--%>
<%--@elvariable id="workspace" type="java.lang.String"--%>
<%--@elvariable id="renderContext" type="org.jahia.services.render.RenderContext"--%>
<%--@elvariable id="currentResource" type="org.jahia.services.render.Resource"--%>
<%--@elvariable id="url" type="org.jahia.services.render.URLGenerator"--%>

Hello world!

Display a view

From the Jahia UI, deploy your module and activate it on your test site. To refer to instructions check the  module management tutorial.

In the Jahia contributor interface, from page composer, click +Add Conent.  Select your content type and preview. It should display Hello world! For detailed instructions visit the Adding a page tutorial or Test your content type in the Content Definition tutorial

Display dynamic content

Dynamic content is aggregated along with the HTML on the server-side, and fetches data from the database. Jahia uses the Apache Jackrabbit framework to structure the data. The hierarchy and properties of the data structure are important to understand before displaying dynamic content. Please refer to the content type definition tutorial.

Content can be displayed in a View by using the Java Expression Language (EL). EL is simple. In order to display the property title of the current node, you would add the following to your view HTML:

${currentNode.properties['title'].string}

Note the .string at the end of the EL code. It indicates the format in which you want to render the content. Other formats exist, such as long, date, time.

Now, as an exercise, using the above notation, edit your view such that it displays all the properties of your custom nodetype definition.

Use JSTL and functions

JSTL, or Java Standard Tag Library is used to call functions of any sort, including conditional structures, String and Date manipulation. They can also be used to call one of the many APIs exposed by Jahia, such as the query API or the search API.

This tutorial will focus on the conditional structures and date rendering for the sake of demonstration.

JSTL tags are imported at the beginning of a JSP file, assigned to a prefix, and can then be used anywhere in the rest of the file.

<%@ page language="java" contentType="text/html;charset=UTF-8" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="c" uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/core" %>

<c:if test="${currentNode.properties['title'] != null}">
   <h2>${currentNode.properties['title'].string}</h2>
</c:if>

In the previous example, the taglib http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/core is associated with the prefix c, and the function if is used.

Another common use case of JSTLs is for date formatting using the formatDate function:

<%@ page language="java" contentType="text/html;charset=UTF-8" %>
<%@ taglib prefix="fmt" uri="http://java.sun.com/jsp/jstl/fmt" %>

<fmt:formatDate value="${creationDate.time}" pattern="MMMM" var="startDateMonth"/>
<fmt:formatDate value="${creationDate.time}" pattern="d" var="startDateDay"/>
<fmt:formatDate value="${creationDate.time}" pattern="yyyy" var="startDateYear"/>

<div class="date">Publication date: ${startDateYearyyyy}-${startDateMonthMMMM}-${startDateDayd}</div>

With conditional and formatting JSTL functions, you should be able to render any piece of content in a better way:

  • Only display fields that are not null or not empty
  • Format dates appropriately

Going further with JSTL

There is much more to JSTL than what is shown in this tutorial. Please refer to the appropriate documentation of JSTL library descriptions (.tld files) to learn more about the various available libraries.

Code factorization and keeping things simple

It is possible to split a content type rendering into multiple files in order to keep things simple, and optimize re-usability of the code.

Additional views for the same content type can be created by following this convention: src/main/resources/jnt_introBlock/html/introBlock.viewName.jsp

For instance, if we created the view:src/main/resources/jnt_introBlock/html/introBlock.title.jsp. This could display the title of your view, as well as its HTML rendering. You could then include it from the main view of the content type with the following JSTL syntax:

<template:includes node="${currentNode}" view="title" />

There are multiple ways to include code in a JSP,  some have caching implications. Caching is essential to making sure Jahia can handle thousands of concurrent visitors. Views are cached by default, and it is essential to understand the various features associated with caching in Jahia. Please read the Caching tutorial for more information.

Congratulations!  You configured rendering for your content type!  The next step is to learn about View caching