CS50‘s Web Programming with Python and JavaScript學習筆記:Flask



  • In this class, Python 3.6 will be used. For those unfamiliar, Python is an interpreted language that will be used in the context of this class to generate dynamic websites and web applications.
  • Some basic Python syntax:
  • Print a string to the screen:
  • print("Hello, world!")
  • Print a format string (variable names enclosed with {} will be replaced by variable values)
  • print(f"Hello, {name}!")
  • Set variable name to the user input returned by input()
  • name = input()
  • Conditional statement:
  • if x > 0: print("x is positive") elif x < 0: print("x is negative") else: print("x is zero")
  • elif and else blocks are optional.
  • Note that indentation in Python is not stylistic, but rather is used to demarcate blocks of code. In this example, the Python interpreter knows where the conditional if block ends and the elif block begins because of the changes in indentation.

Data Types

  • int : integer value
  • float : floating point value
  • str : text string
  • bool : boolean value (True or False)
  • None : empty value
  • Note that Python is a weakly typed language.


  • Strings:
  • name = "Alice" print(name[0])
  • Strings are justs sequence of characters, and can be indexed as such.
  • Tuples:
  • coordinates = (10.0, 20.0) print(coordinates[1])
  • Tuples are immutable collections of values under a single name, which can be indexed positionally.
  • Lists:
  • names = ["Alice", "Bob", "Charlie"] print(names[2])
  • Lists are mutable collections of values under a single name, which can be indexed positionally.
  • Indexing out of range raises a Python ‘exception’. In this case, an IndexError, because there is no fourth value in names for Python to return.
  • Note that any sequence in Python can contain any number of data types.
  • Sets:
  • s = set() s.add(1) s.add(3) s.add(5)
  • Sets are unordered collection of unique items. Because they are unordered, they cannot be indexed.
  • s is a set, an unordered collection of unique items
  • Dictionaries:
  • ages = {"Alice": 22, "Bob": 27} print(ages["Alice"]) ages["Alice"] += 1
  • Dictionaries (or dicts) are like lists, except that they are unordered and their values are indexed by keys.
  • The += operator increments the left-hand side by the right-hand side.


for i in range(5):
  • For-loops iterate over their bodies a limited number of times. In this case, the number of iterations is set by range(5).
  • range(5) returns the sequence of numbers starting at 0 through 4. Each value is passed to i once, resulting in the loop running a total of 5 times. i is normally referred to as an iterator variable.
for name in names:
  • This for-loop iterates over names, which is a list. Every value in the list is assigned, in order, to the iterator name once.


  • Python has built-in functions, such as print() and input(), but Python also allows for the creation of user-defined functions
  • def square(x): return x * x
  • This is a function called square, which takes a single argument x, and returns the value x * x.
  • Like loops, the body of a function must be indented.
  • for i in range(10):
    print("{} squared is {}".format(i, square(i)))
  • This loop, which prints out the results of square with a range of arguments, using an older method for format strings.
  • Trying to call a function that hasn’t been defined will raise a NameError exception.


  • Modules are separate .py files of code, often written by others, used in a new file without rewriting all the old code again. Using modules allows, for example, the use of functions across a program larger than a single file.
  • Assuming the square function in the earlier example was saved in functions.py, adding this line atop a new module will allow for the use of square there as well.
  • from functions import square
  • If, for example, functions.py also included the example loop demonstration of the square function, that loop would be executed every time square was imported from functions, because the Python interpreter reads through the entire functions.py file. To remedy this, code that should only run when their containing file is run directly should be encapsulated in a function, called, for example, main. After, the following should be appended:
  • if __name__ == "__main__": main()
  • This should be interpreted as saying ‘if this file is currently being run’, execute main.


  • A Python class can be thought of as a way to define a new, custom Python data type, somewhat analagous to defining a custom function.
  • This creates a new class called Point:
  • class Point: def __init__(self, x, y): self.x = x self.y = y
  • The __init__ function is a special function that defines the information needed when a new Point is created. self is always required, which refers to the Point being created, while x and y are its coordinates.
  • self.x and self.y actually do the work of creating x and y attributes for the Point and assigning the m the values passed to __init__.
  • By convention, class names tend to start with a capital letter.
  • This instantiates a new Point with x = 3 and y = 5:
  • p = Point(3, 5)
  • When this line is run, the __init__ function of the Point class is automatically run.
  • To access the x attribute of p, use dot notation:
  • print(p.x)


  • HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the system the internet uses to interact and communicate between computers and servers. When a URL is entered into a browser, an HTTP request is sent to a server, which interprets the request and sends appropriate HTTP response, which, if all goes as expected, contains the requested information to be displayed by the web browser.
  • Having already begun to design websites, the next step is to write the code that takes care of the server-side processing: receiving and interpreting requests, and generating a response for the user.
  • Flask a microframework written in Python that makes it easy to get a simple web application up and running with some features that can be useful in the development process.

A Simple App

  • Flask code is generally stored inside application.py, and might look like so:
from flask import Flask # Import the class `Flask` from the `flask` module, written by someone else.   
app = Flask(__name__)
# Instantiate a new web application called `app`, with `__name__` representing the current file
@app.route("/") # A decorator; when the user goes to the route `/`, exceute the function immediately below def index():
return "Hello, world!"
  • Flask is designed in terms of routes. A route is the part of the URL that determines which page is being requested. The route for the default page is simply /.
  • To start up a flask application, run flask run in the directory where application.py is located, with flask being the web server. Flask will print out the URL the server is running on and where the website can be accessed at.
  • flask run produces an error, try running export FLASK_APP=application.py to make sure it knows to look for application.py as the web server.

Fancier Flask and Jinja2

def hello(name):
return f"Hello, {name}!"
  • When any string is entered as a route, that will be stored as name, which is can then be used inside the decorated function.
  • Since Python code is rendering the website, anything Python is capable of can be used. For example, name can be capitalized before it’s displayed:
name = name.capitalize()
  • HTML can also be used inside the return value:
return f"<h1>Hello, {name}!</h1>".
  • Inline HTML isn’t that useful, though. Separate HTML files can be used like so:
from flask import Flaskapp = Flask(__name__)@app.route("/")
def index():
return render_template("index.html")
  • index.html and any other template files should be stored in a directory named templates.
  • Variables can be defined as Python variables in application.py and used in HTML templates by passing them in as arguments to render_template. These templates are rendered using a separate templating language called Jinja2:
  • In application.py:
headline = "Hello, world!"
return render_template("index.html", headline=headline)
  • In index.html:
<h1>{{ headline }}</h1>
  • Jinja2 also allows for conditional statements:
{% if new_year %}
<h1>Yes! Happy New Year!</h1>
{% else %}
{% endif %}
  • Loops:
{% for name in names %}
<li>{{ name }}</li>
{$ endfor %}
  • names should be something that can be looped over, like a Python list, for example.
  • If there are multiple routes on the Flask server, then one route can link to another as so:
<a href="{{ url_for('more') }}">See more...</a>
  • more is the name of a function associated with a route.

Template Inheritance

  • In order to cut down on repetitive HTML amongst many different pages, Jinja2 has a feature called ‘template inheritance’ that uses the idea of blocks to organize content. For examples, have a look at layout.html and index.html in the inheritance/ directory of the same source code.
  • Everything in the heading block is placed where indicated in layout.html, and same for body.


  • With Flask and Jinja2, the results from HTML forms can now be actually stored and used.
  • An HTML form might look like this:
  • <form action="" method="post"> <input type="text" name="name" placeholder="Enter Your Name"> <button>Submit</button> <form>
  • The action attribute lists the route that should be ‘notified’ when the form is submitted. In this case, it’s the URL for a function called hello.
  • The method attribute is how the HTTP request to submit the form should be made. The default method is get, which is what browsers make when a URL is entered. When data is being submitted, however, post should be used.
  • The name attribute of the input, while not new, is now relevant because it can be referenced when the form is submitted.
  • The Python code to process this form might look like this:
from flask import Flask, render_template, request# some lines omitted here@app.route("/hello", methods=["POST"])
def hello():
name = request.form.get("name") # take the request the user made, access the form,
# and store the field called `name` in a Python variable also called `name`
return render_template("hello.html", name=name)
  • The route /hello is the same hello listed in the Jinja2 code. This route can also accept the POST method, which is how the form’s data is being submitted. If any other method is used to access this route, a Method Not Allowed error will be raised.
  • If there are multiple request methods that should be allowed, which method is being used can be checked with request.method, which will be equal to, for example, "GET" or "POST".


  • Sessions are how Flask can keep track of data that pertains to a particular user. Let’s take a note-taking app, for example. Users should only be able to see their own notes.
  • To use sessions, they must be imported and set up:
from flask import Flask, render_template, request, session # gives access to a variable called `session`
# which can be used to keep vaules that are specific to a particular user
from flask_session import Session # an additional extension to sessions which allows them
# to be stored server-side
app.config["SESSION_PERMANENT"] = False
app.config["SESSION_TYPE"] = "filesystem"
  • Then, assuming there is some HTML form that can submit a note, the note can be stored in a place specific to the user using their session:
@app.route("/", methods=["GET", "POST"])
def index():
if session.get("notes") is None:
session["notes"] = []
if request.method == "POST":
note = request.form.get("note")
return render_template("index.html", notes=session["notes"])
  • notes is the list where the notes will be stored. If the user doesn’t have a notes list already (checked with if session.get("notes") is None), then they are given an empty one.
  • If a request is submitted via "POST" (that is, through the form), then the note is processed from the form in the same way as before.
  • The processed note, now in a Python variable called note, is appended to the notes list. This list is itself inside a dict called session. Every user has a unique session dict, and therefore a unique notes list.
  • Finally, the notelist is rendered by passing session["notes"] to render_template.



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