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plone.behavior 1.1

Infrastructure for maintaining a registry of available behaviors


This package provides support for behaviors. A behavior is a re-usable aspect of an object that can be enabled or disabled without changing the component registry.

A behavior is described by an interface, and has metadata such as a title and a description. The dotted name of the interface is the unique name for the behavior, from which the metadata can be looked up. When the behavior is enabled for an object, you will be able to adapt the object to the interface. In some cases, the interface can be used as a marker interface as well.

As an example, let’s say that your application needs to support object-level locking. This can be modeled via an adapter, but you want to leave it until runtime to determine whether locking is enabled for a particular object. You could then register locking as a behavior.


This package comes with support for registering behaviors and factories. It does not, however, implement the policy for determining what behaviors are enabled on a particular object at a particular time. That decision is deferred to an IBehaviorAssignable adapter, which must be implemented (plone.dexterity implements this).

This package also does not directly support the adding of marker interfaces to instances. To do that, you can either use an event handler to mark an object when it is created, or a dynamic __providedBy__ descriptor that does the lookup on the fly (but you probably want some caching).

The intention is that behavior assignment is generic across an application, used for multiple, optional behaviors. It probably doesn’t make much sense to use plone.behavior for a single type of object. The means to keep track of which behaviors are enabled for what types of objects will be application specific.


A behavior is written much like an adapter, except that you don’t specify the type of context being adapted directly. For example:

from zope.interface import Interface
from zope.interface import implementer

class ILockingSupport(Interface):
   """Support locking

   def lock():
       """Lock an object

   def unlock():
       """Unlock an object

class LockingSupport(object):

    def __init__(self, context):
        self.context = context

    def lock(self):
        # do something

    def unlock(self):
        # do something

This interface (which describes the type of behavior) and class (which describes the implementation of the behavior) then needs to be registered.

The simplest way to do that is to load the meta.zcml file from this package and use ZCML:


  <include package="plone.behavior" file="meta.zcml" />

      title="Locking support"
      description="Optional object-level locking"


After this is done you can adapt a context to ILockingSupport as normal:

locking = ILockingSupport(context, None)

if locking is not None:

The name can be used for lookup instead of the full dotted name of the interface:

from plone.behavior.interfaces import IBehavior
from zope.component import getUtility

registration = getUtility(IBehavior, name='locking_support')

We also have a helper function to achieve this:

from registration import lookup_behavior_registration

registration = lookup_behavior_registration(name='locking_support')

You’ll get an instance of LockingSupport if context can be adapted to IBehaviorAssignable (which, recall, is application specific), and if the implementation of IBehaviorAssignable says that this context supports this particular behavior.

It is also possible to let the provided interface act as a marker interface that is to be provided directly by the instance. To achieve this, omit the factory argument. This is useful if you need to register other adapters (including views and viewlets) for instances providing a particular behavior.

Like the IBehaviorAssignable plumbing, marker interface support needs to be enabled on a per-application basis. It can be done with a custom __providedBy__ decorator or an IObjectCreatedEvent handler for applying the marker. A sample event handler is provided with this package, but is not registered by default

ZCML Reference

The plone:behavior directive uses the namespace xmlns:plone="". In order to enable it loading of its meta.zcml is needed, use:

<include package="plone.behavior" file="meta.zcml" />

The directive supports the attributes:

A user friendly title for this behavior (required).
A longer description for this behavior (optional).
An interface to which the behavior can be adapted. This is what the conditional adapter factory will be registered as providing (required).
Convenience lookup name for this behavior (optional). The behavior will be always registered under the dotted name of provides attribute. This are usally long names. name is a short name for this. If name is given the behavior is registered additional under it. Anyway using short namespaces in name is recommended.
A marker interface to be applied by the behavior. If factory is not given, then this is optional and defaults to the value of provides. If factory is given marker is required and should be different from provides - even if its not enforced.

The factory for this behavior (optional). If no factory is given, the behavior context is assumed to provide the interface given by provides itself.

If factory provides plone.behavior.interfaces.ISchemaAwareFactory the factory is assumed to be a callable. ISchemaAwareFactory is an interface for factories that should be initialised with a schema. It is called with the value given in provides as the only argument. The value returned is then used as the factory, another callable that can create appropriate behavior factories on demand.


The type of object to register the conditional adapter factory for (optional). Must be omitted is no factory is given.

The default is either to auto-detect what the factory adapts (i.e. using the @adapter decorator) or to fall back to zope.interface.Interface (also written as * in ZCML).

Must be one element (no multiadapters, applies also for auto-detection).

Example usage, given

  • some context (some arbitary object) which is IBehaviorAssignable,
  • an IMyBehavior interface intented to be used as provides,
  • an IMyMarker interface intented to be used as marker,
  • a MyFactory class implementing IMyBehavior ,
  • a MySchemaAwareFactory class implementing IMyBehavior and plone.behavior.interfaces.ISchemaAwareFactory,
  • an IMyType intented to be used as for.
  • some typed_context (some arbitary object) which is IBehaviorAssignable and provides IMyType,
  • an MyTypedFactory class implementing IMyBehavior and adapting IMyType,

title and description is trivial, so we dont cover it here in the explanantion. We dont cover name too, because it’s not having any effect in this usage. To simplify it, we assume context IBehaviorAssignable always supports the behavior. Also for simplifications sake we assume some magic applies the marker interface to context I.e. both is done by plone.dexterity.

Example 1 - only provides given:

    title="Example 1"
  • marker defaults to provides,
  • with behavior = IMyBehavior(context) the context itself is returned,
  • context provides IBehavior,

Example 2 - also factory is given, so marker is required:

    title="Example 1"
  • marker is the same as provides,
  • with behavior = IMyBehavior(context) a MyFactory instance is returned,
  • context provides IMyBehavior,
  • MyFactory instance provides IMyBehavior,
  • having context and MyFactory providing both the same interface is ugly and not recommended!

Example 3 - in example 2 both, factory and context are providing the IMyBehavior. This may lead to confusion, so now better with a marker:

    title="Example 1"
  • with behavior = IMyBehavior(context) a MyFactory instance is returned,
  • context provides IMyMarker,
  • MyFactory instance provides IMyBehavior,

Example 4 - like example 3 but with an MySchemaAwareFactory:

    title="Example 1"
  • with behavior = IMyBehavior(context) some factory instance is returned as a result from calling a MySchemaAwareFactory instance with IMyBehavior as argument,
  • context provides IMyMarker,
  • MyFactory instance provides IMyBehavior,

Example 5 - the behavior should be restricted to the typed_context:

    title="Example 1"
  • with behavior = IMyBehavior(context, None) it could not adapt and behavior is None,
  • with behavior = IMyBehavior(typed_context) a MyFactory instance is returned,
  • context provides IMyMarker,
  • MyFactory provides IMyBehavior,

Example 6 - the behavior should be restricted to the typed_context by auto-detection. The MyTypedFactory class adapts IMyType using a class decorator @adapter(IMyType):

    title="Example 1"
  • with behavior = IMyBehavior(context, None) it could not adapt and behavior is None,
  • with behavior = IMyBehavior(typed_context) a MyFactory instance is returned,
  • context provides IMyMarker,
  • MyFactory instance provides IMyBehavior,

Further Reading

For more details please read the doctests in the source code: behavior.rst, directives.rst and annotation.rst.


1.1 (2015-07-18)

  • Corrected typo in warning. [jensens]
  • Add name to behavior directive. This name can be used to lookup behavior registrations by new plone.behaviors.registration. lookup_behavior_registration function. [rnixx]
  • Added more documentation, simplified code in directive, added a warning if for is given w/o factory. [jensens]

1.0.3 (2015-04-29)

  • Code modernization: utf-header, pep8, rst-files, adapter/implementer decorators, … [jensens]

1.0.2 (2013-01-17)

  • Remove dependence of tests on [davisagli]

1.0 - 2011-04-30

  • Use stdlib doctest instead of the deprecated one in zope.testing. [davisagli]
  • ‘plone:behavior’ zcml directive use now MessageID for title and description. [sylvainb]

1.0b6 - 2009-11-17

  • Fix tests for Zope 2.12 [optilude]

1.0b5 - 2009-07-12

  • Changed API methods and arguments to mixedCase to be more consistent with the rest of Zope. This is a non-backwards-compatible change. Our profuse apologies, but it’s now or never. :-/

    If you find that you get import errors or unknown keyword arguments in your code, please change names from foo_bar too fooBar, e.g. enumerate_behaviors() becomes enumerateBehaviors(). [optilude]

1.0b4 - 2009-06-07

  • Allow a marker-interface-only behavior to be set by using the ‘provides’ attribute (previously ‘interface’) in the <plone:behavior /> directive without a ‘factory’ attribute. The ‘marker’ attribute (previously known as ‘subtype’) is now only required if there is a marker used in addition to a behavior adapter with a separate interface (‘provides’) and factory. [optilude]
  • Rename the ‘interface’ attribute of <plone:behavior /> to ‘provides’ to be more consistent with the <adapter /> directive. This is a backwards incompatible change! [optilude]
  • Rename the ‘subtype’ attribute of <plone:behavior /> to ‘marker’ to be more explicit about its purpose. This is a backwards incompatible change! [optilude]

1.0b3 - 2009-04-17

  • Allow behaviors with no factory. [alecm]
  • Provide a vocabulary of available behaviors. [davisagli]

1.0b1 - 2008-04-27

  • Initial release
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