/Flask 1.1

Message Flashing

Good applications and user interfaces are all about feedback. If the user does not get enough feedback they will probably end up hating the application. Flask provides a really simple way to give feedback to a user with the flashing system. The flashing system basically makes it possible to record a message at the end of a request and access it next request and only next request. This is usually combined with a layout template that does this. Note that browsers and sometimes web servers enforce a limit on cookie sizes. This means that flashing messages that are too large for session cookies causes message flashing to fail silently.

Simple Flashing

So here is a full example:

from flask import Flask, flash, redirect, render_template, \
     request, url_for

app = Flask(__name__)
app.secret_key = b'_5#y2L"F4Q8z\n\xec]/'

def index():
    return render_template('index.html')

@app.route('/login', methods=['GET', 'POST'])
def login():
    error = None
    if request.method == 'POST':
        if request.form['username'] != 'admin' or \
                request.form['password'] != 'secret':
            error = 'Invalid credentials'
            flash('You were successfully logged in')
            return redirect(url_for('index'))
    return render_template('login.html', error=error)

And here is the layout.html template which does the magic:

<!doctype html>
<title>My Application</title>
{% with messages = get_flashed_messages() %}
  {% if messages %}
    <ul class=flashes>
    {% for message in messages %}
      <li>{{ message }}</li>
    {% endfor %}
  {% endif %}
{% endwith %}
{% block body %}{% endblock %}

Here is the index.html template which inherits from layout.html:

{% extends "layout.html" %}
{% block body %}
  <p>Do you want to <a href="{{ url_for('login') }}">log in?</a>
{% endblock %}

And here is the login.html template which also inherits from layout.html:

{% extends "layout.html" %}
{% block body %}
  {% if error %}
    <p class=error><strong>Error:</strong> {{ error }}
  {% endif %}
  <form method=post>
      <dd><input type=text name=username value="{{
          request.form.username }}">
      <dd><input type=password name=password>
    <p><input type=submit value=Login>
{% endblock %}

Flashing With Categories


New in version 0.3.

It is also possible to provide categories when flashing a message. The default category if nothing is provided is 'message'. Alternative categories can be used to give the user better feedback. For example error messages could be displayed with a red background.

To flash a message with a different category, just use the second argument to the flash() function:

flash(u'Invalid password provided', 'error')

Inside the template you then have to tell the get_flashed_messages() function to also return the categories. The loop looks slightly different in that situation then:

{% with messages = get_flashed_messages(with_categories=true) %}
  {% if messages %}
    <ul class=flashes>
    {% for category, message in messages %}
      <li class="{{ category }}">{{ message }}</li>
    {% endfor %}
  {% endif %}
{% endwith %}

This is just one example of how to render these flashed messages. One might also use the category to add a prefix such as <strong>Error:</strong> to the message.

Filtering Flash Messages


New in version 0.9.

Optionally you can pass a list of categories which filters the results of get_flashed_messages(). This is useful if you wish to render each category in a separate block.

{% with errors = get_flashed_messages(category_filter=["error"]) %}
{% if errors %}
<div class="alert-message block-message error">
  <a class="close" href="#">×</a>
    {%- for msg in errors %}
    <li>{{ msg }}</li>
    {% endfor -%}
{% endif %}
{% endwith %}

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Licensed under the BSD 3-clause License.