Creating and Debugging Validation Skillets

Panhandler allows you to edit and debug validation skillets using the Skillet Editor. See Creating and Editing Skillets.

From the repository details page, click the ‘edit’ control for the Skillet you want to edit.


At the bottom of the Skillet Editor, click the ‘Debug’ button to enter the Skillet Debugger.


Skillet Debugger

The Skillet Debugger allows you to step through each snippet and see the context between steps. This is especially useful to understand the various captures and filters available.


To use the debugger, manually enter Device connection information into the Context input. You may also edit any defined variables here that may impact the skillet logic.


Ensure the context input is valid JSON.

Click the ‘play’ button to execute the next snippet. The ‘Outputs’ will show the returned value from the snippet. The ‘Context’ will also contain all captured values as well. This allows you to quickly experiment with various capture_pattern, capture_list, capture_value, and filter_items options.

You may also use the ‘Skip Ahead to Snippet’ in order to test a specific snippet execution.


Be sure you understand what variables a snippet requires in the context when skipping ahead. In some cases, you’ll need play the snippets in order to get the proper context values in place.

Manual Debugging with Python

In some cases, it may be desirable to use Python or a debugger like PyCharm or pdb for building your validation skillet. Here is an example python script that will load a config file from the local filesystem and run a skillet. You may use the ‘filter_snippets’ option to only run specified snippets as desired.

import json

import click

from skilletlib.skilletLoader import SkilletLoader

@click.option("-c", "--config_file", help="Local Config File", type=str, default="config.xml")
@click.option("-d", "--skillet_dir", help="Skillet Directory", type=str, default=".")
@click.option("-f", "--snippet_filter", help="Snippet Filter Type", type=str, default="")
@click.option("-s", "--snippet_filter_value", help="Snippet Filter Value", type=str, default="")
def cli(config_file, skillet_dir, snippet_filter, snippet_filter_value):
    sl = SkilletLoader()
    skillets = sl.load_all_skillets_from_dir(skillet_dir)
    d = skillets[0]

    context = dict()
    with open(config_file, 'r') as config:
        context['config'] =

    if snippet_filter != "":
        context['__filter_snippets'] = {
            snippet_filter: snippet_filter_value

    out = d.execute(context)

    print('=' * 80)
    print(json.dumps(out, indent=4))
    print('=' * 80)

if __name__ == '__main__':

The above requires ‘click’ and ‘skilletlib’ to be installed. The output will contain all captured values and filtered items in the ‘outputs’ key.

pip install click
pip install git+

For more information, see the Skillet Builder documentation.