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This Wiki page explains, what are placeholders, how are they specified and how can they be added...


Placeholders are places on Redmine pages, where you can put your HTML code. You can ask “Why these places?” or “How do you choose them?”... Well, Redmine has hooks (check this page for the list of Redmine hooks). A hook is like a function call but instead of calling just a function it allows plugins to define their functions, which will be called, when a hook is “triggered” (see callback). This plugin utilizes hooks – it uses them as “places” for your HTML code.

Usage of hooks allows the plugin to easily support many placeholders. Support for new hooks can be added very easy (check this page). This way the plugin does not require patching Redmine and keeps to be very separate from the Redmine core (e.g. can be removed without any issues).


As it was explained above the base of a placeholder is a Redmine hook. But the plugin needs to know some information about the hook to be able to use it. This information is specified in the config/placeholders.yml file.

Check this sample placeholder definition:

  url: /...
  outline: default
  page: :all
  location: :sidebar
  basic: true


  • view_layouts_base_sidebar is the hook name.
    This name is chosen by the developer. See this page for currently available Redmine hooks.
  • url is used to show users a sample URL of pages, on which the hook is triggered.
    The url should be relative (i.e., start with "/"). Hostname etc is prepended to the URL before showing it to a user. For example, "/..." will be translated to "http://projects.andriylesyuk.com/..." (for this site).
  • outline contains the name of the ERuby file defining the HTML code, which shows, how the page looks and where the placeholder is located on it.
    Here default is translated into #{PLUGIN_ROOT}/app/views/placeholders/_default.rhtml. Outline is desribed in details in the following section.
  • page contains the page identifier, which is used to display the name of the page, on which the placeholder is located.
    To fetch the translated display name of the page the plugin forms the language identifier for the page by prepending hook_page_ to the page identifier. For example, for all the language identifier is hook_page_all.
  • location contains the location identifier, which is used to describe, where the placeholder is located on the page.
    Currently supported location identifiers are: head_tag, sidebar, contextual, content and footer. Similar to the page identifier the plugin forms the language identifier for the location by prepending hook_location_. Thus, the language identifier for sidebar is hook_location_sidebar.
  • basic, when it is set to true, indicates, that the placeholder is to be shown by default, i.e., even when the "Show all hooks" is not checked.


Outline (can also be treated as a page thumbnail) is used to show, where the placeholder is located. The outline looks similar to the page containing the placeholder.

Check these samples of outlines:

Default Redmine page outline Start page outline Project page outline Issues listing Issue page outline

Orange areas show positions of placeholders.

One outline file can be used by different placeholder difinitions. Here is the code of the "default" outline:

<div class="hooks-top-menu"></div>
<div class="hooks-header"></div>
<div class="hooks-main">
  <div class="hooks-sidebar">
    <div class="hooks-box"></div>
    <% if hook == :view_layouts_base_sidebar %>
      <div id="hook-content"></div>
    <% end %>
  <div class="hooks-content">
    <div class="hooks-contextual">
      <% if hook == :view_versions_show_contextual %>
        <div id="hook-content"></div>
      <% end %>
    <div class="hooks-data"></div>
    <% if hook == :view_versions_show_bottom || hook == :view_layouts_base_content %>
      <div id="hook-content"></div>
    <% end %>
<div class="hooks-footer"></div>
<% if hook == :view_layouts_base_body_bottom %>
  <div id="hook-content"></div>
<% end %>

As you can see this is ERuby code.

The code shows the placeholder position (id = "hook-content") depending on the hook value. This way one outline file can be used for many hooks/placeholders.

Theming outlines

Some Redmine themes are very different from the default one. Some of them can completely change the layout making it impossible to understand the position of placeholders using outlines styled accordingly to the default theme. That's why the support for theming was added.

Currently the plugin supports only the Red-Andy1. Here is a sample:

Sample outline using Red-Andy theme

The plugin tries to use the same theme, that the Redmine does. If such theme is not available the plugin uses the default one.

It's very easy to add custom themes. For instructions and samples check this page.

If you created a theme for this plugin please share it using the Theme tracker. I will be happy to include it into the next release.

Adding placeholder

New hooks (and, therefore, new placeholders) can be added easy. Check this page for tutorial on how to do this.

1 the one used on this site

placeholder_default.png View - Default Redmine page outline (667 Bytes) Andriy Lesyuk, 18 Jun 2011 12:35

placeholder_welcome.png View - Start page outline (579 Bytes) Andriy Lesyuk, 18 Jun 2011 12:35

placeholder_project.png View - Project page outline (775 Bytes) Andriy Lesyuk, 18 Jun 2011 12:35

placeholder_issues.png View - Issues listing (766 Bytes) Andriy Lesyuk, 18 Jun 2011 12:35

placeholder_issue.png View - Issue page outline (908 Bytes) Andriy Lesyuk, 18 Jun 2011 12:35

placeholder_red-andy.png View - Sample outline using Red-Andy theme (1.47 KB) Andriy Lesyuk, 18 Jun 2011 20:42

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