Creating a tree from self referential tables in SQLalchemy


Question

I'm building a basic CMS in flask for an iPhone oriented site and I'm having a little trouble with something. I have a very small database with just 1 table (pages). Here's the model:

class Page(db.Model):
    __tablename__ = 'pages'
    id = db.Column(db.Integer, primary_key=True)
    title = db.Column(db.String(100), nullable=False)
    content = db.Column(db.Text, nullable=False)
    parent_id = db.Column(db.Integer, db.ForeignKey("pages.id"), nullable=True)

As you can see, for sub pages, they just reference another page object in the parent_id field. What I'm trying to do in the admin panel is have a nested unordered list with all the pages nested in their parent pages. I have very little idea on how to do this. All i can think of is the following (which will only work (maybe—I haven't tested it) 2 levels down):

pages = Page.query.filter_by(parent_id=None)
for page in pages:
    if Page.query.filter_by(parent_id=page.id):
        page.sub_pages = Page.query.filter_by(parent_id=page.id)

I would then just format it into a list in the template. How would I make this work with potentially over 10 nested pages?

Thanks heaps in advance!


EDIT: I've looked around a bit and found http://www.sqlalchemy.org/docs/orm/relationships.html#adjacency-list-relationships, so I added

children = db.relationship("Page", backref=db.backref("parent", remote_side=id))

to the bottom of my Page model. and I'm looking at recursively going through everything and adding it to a tree of objects. I've probably made no sense, but that's the best way I can describe it


EDIT 2: I had a go at making a recursive function to run through all the pages and generate a big nested dictionary with all the pages and their children, but it keeps crashing python so i think it's just an infinite loop... here's the function

def get_tree(base_page, dest_dict):
    dest_dict = { 'title': base_page.title, 'content': base_page.content }
    children = base_page.children
    if children:
        dest_dict['children'] = {}
        for child in children:
            get_tree(base_page, dest_dict)
    else:
        return

and the page i'm testing it with:

@app.route('/test/')
def test():
    pages = Page.query.filter_by(parent_id=None)
    pages_dict = {}
    for page in pages:
        get_tree(page, pages_dict)
    return str(pages_dict)

anyone got any ideas?

1
11
2/5/2011 1:41:00 AM

Accepted Answer

Look at http://sqlamp.angri.ru/index.html

or http://www.sqlalchemy.org/trac/browser/examples/adjacency_list/adjacency_list.py

UPD: For adjacency_list.py declarative example

from sqlalchemy.ext.declarative import declarative_base
Base = declarative_base(metadata=metadata)

class TreeNode(Base):

    __tablename__ = 'tree'

    id = Column(Integer, primary_key=True)
    parent_id = Column(Integer, ForeignKey('tree.id'))
    name = Column(String(50), nullable=False)

    children = relationship('TreeNode',

                        # cascade deletions
                        cascade="all",

                        # many to one + adjacency list - remote_side
                        # is required to reference the 'remote' 
                        # column in the join condition.
                        backref=backref("parent", remote_side='TreeNode.id'),

                        # children will be represented as a dictionary
                        # on the "name" attribute.
                        collection_class=attribute_mapped_collection('name'),
                    ) 

    def __init__(self, name, parent=None):
        self.name = name
        self.parent = parent

    def append(self, nodename):
        self.children[nodename] = TreeNode(nodename, parent=self)

    def __repr__(self):
        return "TreeNode(name=%r, id=%r, parent_id=%r)" % (
                    self.name,
                    self.id,
                    self.parent_id
                )    

Fix recursion

def get_tree(base_page, dest_dict):
    dest_dict = { 'title': base_page.title, 'content': base_page.content }
    children = base_page.children
    if children:
        dest_dict['children'] = {}
        for child in children:
            get_tree(child, dest_dict)
    else:
        return

Use query in example for recursive fetch data from db:

 # 4 level deep
 node = session.query(TreeNode).\
                        options(joinedload_all("children", "children", 
                                                "children", "children")).\
                        filter(TreeNode.name=="rootnode").\
                        first()
15
2/7/2011 3:03:48 PM

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