Resources are a central concept in clld. While we may use the term resource also for single instances, more generally a resource is a type of data implementing an interface to which behaviour can be attached.

The default resources known in a clld app are listed in clld.RESOURCES, but it is possible to extend this list when configuring a custom app (see Adding a resource).

Resources have the following attributes:


a string naming the resource.


class specifying the interface the resource implements.


core model class for the resource.

Behaviour may be tied to a resource either via the name (as is the case for Routes) or via the interface (as is the case for Adapters).


Each resource is associated with a db model class and optionally with a custom db model derived from the default one using joined table inheritance.


Adapters are basically used to provide representations of a resource. Thus, if we want to provide the classification tree of a Glottolog languoid in newick format, we have to write and register an adapter. This kind of adapter is generally implemented as subclass of clld.web.adapters.base.Representation or clld.web.adapters.base.Index.

For the builtin resources a couple of adapters are registered by default:

  • a template-based adapter to render the details page,

  • a JSON representation of the resource (based on clld.web.adapters.base.JSON).

  • a CSV representation of a resource index (clld.web.adapters.csv.CsvAdapter).


The clld framework uses URL dispatch to map default views to URLs for resources.

For each resource the following routes and views (and URLs) are registered by default:

  • an index view for the route <name>s and the URL /<name>s,

  • an alternative index view for the route <name>s_alt and the URL pattern /<name>s.{ext},

  • a details view for the route <name> and the URL pattern /<name>s/{id},

  • an alternative details view for the route <name>_alt and the URL /<name>s/{id}.{ext}.


We distinguish two classes of views for resources:

  • index views, implemented in clld.web.views.index_view(), serve rendered adapters registered for the interface IIndex and a particular resource. They typically require a corresponding DataTable subclass to be instantiated as context object when the view is executed.

  • detail views, implemented in clld.web.views.detail_view(), serve rendered adapters registered for the interface IRepresentation and a particular resource. The resource instance with the id passed in the request will be fetched from the database as context object of the view.


The adapters associated with resources may use templates to render the response. In particular this is the case for the HTML index and detail view.

Providing custom data for a resources details template

Since the view rendering a resources details representations is implemented in clld core code, clld applications may need a way to provide additional context for the templates. This can be done by implementing an appropriately named function in the app.util which will be looked up and called in a BeforeRender event subscriber.

Requesting a resource

The flow of events when a resource is requested from a clld app is as follows (we don’t give a complete rundown but only highlight the deviations from the general pyramid request processing flow):

  1. When a route for a resource matches, the corresponding factory function is called to obtain the context of the request. For index routes this context object is an instance of a DataTable, for a details route this is an instance of the resource’s model class (or a custom specialization of this model).

  2. For index routes clld.web.views.index_view() is called, for details routes clld.web.views.resource_view().

  3. Both of these look up the appropriate adapter registered for the context, instantiate it and call its render_to_response method. The result of this call is returned as Response.

  4. If this method uses a standard template renderer the listener for the BeforeRender event will look for a function in myapp.util with a name of <resource_name>_<template_basename>, e.g. dataset_detail_html for the template templates/dataset/detail_html.mako. If such a function exists, it will be called with the current template variables as keyword parameters. The return value of the function is expected to be a dictionary which will be used to update the template variables.