Project boilerplate engine
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Project boilerplate engine


Projectmpl is a boilerplate engine. It allows you to quickly use boilerplate templates and avoid copy-pasting chunks of code and snippets when you start a new project.


  • No external dependencies
    Projectmpl is written in Go and thus is compiled to a static binary. Download or build it and you're good to go.
  • Local or distant templates
    Either your template is a git repository, an archive stored on a distant server or a local directory, projectmpl knows how to handle these.
  • Sweet output and prompts
    Thanks to the wonderful survey library, the prompts are unified, can display an help text and support validation.
  • Clean configuration files
    Projectmpl uses YAML for its configuration file formats, making them clean and easy to read.
  • Powerful templating system
    Projectmpl uses Go's template system to render the boilerplate.
  • Configuration override
    Need a different behavior or additional variables in a specific directory? Just add another .projectmpl.yml file in there. You can even overwrite variables.
  • Conditional prompts (sub-variables)
    Each variable can have its own subset of variables which will only be prompted to the user if the parent variable is filled or set to true.
  • Customizable templates
    Projectmpl allows fine-grained control over what needs to be done when rendering the template. Just copy the file, ignore it, add conditionals based on what the user answered, change the template delimiters…
  • After render commands
    Projectmpl allows you to define commands to be run once the boilerplate has been rendered. For security reasons, an explicit flag must be provided by the user for the commands to be executed



You can grab the latest release from the release page.

Build from source

$ go get -u
$ cd $GOPATH/src/
$ dep ensure
$ make

Or directly install:

$ go get -u
$ cd $GOPATH/src/
$ dep ensure
$ make install


Projectmpl supports various provider to download the templates. It supports git, downloading an archive (.zip/.tar.gz/.tar.xz/...) from internet, or using a local directory.

projectmpl is a boilerplate engine

  projectmpl [renderer] <options> [flags]
  projectmpl [command]

Available Commands:
  help        Help about any command
  version     Show build and version

  -c, --commands                 execute the after commands (make sure you know what it does)
      --git.depth int            depth of git clone in case of git provider (default 1)
  -h, --help                     help for projectmpl
  -k, --keep                     do not delete the template when operation is complete
  -o, --output string            output directory (default "output")
  -p, --path string              specify if the template is actually stored in a sub-directory of the downloaded file
      --template.output string   specify output directory for the template

Use "projectmpl [command] --help" for more information about a command.


Some templates may define additional commands that will run once the template has been rendered. If you wish to activate this behavior, you can pass the -c or --commands flag. These commands can be anything, and may harm your system so make sure you are ok with that.

Keeping the template

When downloading or cloning a template, projectmpl will create a temporary directory and delete it once the operation completes. If you want to keep the template (to play with it, or simply to keep a copy), make sure you pass the --keep option. This option pairs well with --template.output which defines where the template should be downloaded/cloned.


$ # Clone the repository and execute the template that is located in _example/license
$ projectmpl --path _example/license
$ # Clone the template in a specific directory, render it in a specific directory and keep the template
$ projectmpl --path _example/cleanarch --keep --template.output "template" -o myamazingproject
$ # Reuse the downloaded template and allow final commands
$ projectmpl template/ -c -o myotherproject

Template Creation

The root .projectmpl.yml file

To configure your template, place a .projectmpl.yml at the root of your template. This is called the root configuration, and should contain some information about your template such as its name, its version and a description.

It can also contain overrides for delimiters in the templates (defaults being the go-style {{ .var }}) and variables.

name: "Example Projectmpl"
version: "0.1.0"
description: "An example template to show how projectmpl works"

Variable declaration

You can add a variables section to your root configuration (or to any .projectmpl.yml file, or directly inline in your template files, see below) to define the variables you want your user to define. There are three types of input you can use:

Simple Input

If you just specify the name of your variable, it will result in a simple input.



    values: ["MIT", "Apache License 2.0", "BSD 3", "FreeBSD", "GPL", "LGPL", "WTFPL", "None"]

This will result in a selection input where the user can choose one of the provided choices.


    confirm: true

If you're using the confirm keyword, it will generate a simple yes/no input. The value you give that confirm key becomes the default value.

Other options and help

You can also help your users by changing the prompt, adding a help text or providing a default value:

    values: ["MIT", "Apache License 2.0", "BSD 3", "FreeBSD", "GPL", "LGPL", "WTFPL", "None"]
    prompt: Which license do you want for your project?"
    help: "License file that will be added to your project"
    default: "MIT"
    default: amazingproject
    prompt: "What's the name of your project?"
    help: "Used to render the README file and various configuration files"


You can mark any variable as required using the required keyword:

    default: amazingproject
    prompt: "What's the name of your project?"
    help: "Used to render the README file and various configuration files"
    required: true

This will prevent the user from rendering your template with missing variables. Note that if you specified a default value for an input, it becomes impossible to not fill in that value. So the validator becomes obsolete.

Sub Variables

It's not uncommon to ask for additional information when the user answered yes or filled in a variable. Thus, each variable can have its own variables:

    confirm: true
    prompt: "Add Slack integration?"
        required: true
        prompt: "In which Slack channel should the result be posted?"
        required: true
        help: "See for more information"
        prompt: "Provide the Slack webhook URL:"

In the example above we ask the user if he wants a Slack integration. If he answers yes to that, then we'll ask him about the Slack channel and the webhook URL. Otherwise we won't bother him with these details since they won't be used in our template rendering.

The sub variables can be accessed in your templates with the form .parent_sub. In this case, .slack_channel and .slack_webhook.

Standard .projectmpl.yml files

If you place a .projectmpl.yml file in a sub-directory of your template, this file will apply recursively to all the elements inside that directory and its own sub-directories, meaning that you can override some variables, add new ones, modify the delimiters, or completely ignore an entire directory.

For example you can completely ignore a director:

└──── change
    ├── override.go
    └── .projectmpl.yml
copy: true

In this case, the file override.go won't be rendered (but will simply be copied to the output directory). This would apply for every sub-directory, except if a directory contains a .projectmpl.yml telling otherwise, or a file with an inline configuration. The ignore option can also be used to completely ignore a file or a directory.

ignore: true

Per-file configuration

You can also configure individual files by adding a front matter at the top of the file (that will obviously be removed when rendered).

Let's say I have a file that I don't want to render but simply copy to the output directory:

copy: true
# This shouldn't be rendered at all !

You can even add per-file variables, or modify the delimiters. In fact, it's like an inline .projectmpl.yml that applies to a single file.

Conditional Rendering/Copy

You may want some files to not be copied or rendered according to what the user answers to your prompt. You can use the if key (in a .projectmpl.yml or inline in a file), with the name of one of your variables. For example if you have a variable defined like this in your root config:

    prompt: "Do you want to add a Drone config file?"
    confirm: true

You can then add this at the top of the file:

if: drone
  base: /go

This file will be rendered if, and only if, the user answered yes to that question. Note that if and copy can work together if you just want to copy the file and not render it.

After render commands

You can define some actions to be run once your template has been rendered. You can only define those in the root configuration (not in sub-directory configuration files). These actions can be configured to be run only when a variable has been entered, just like the conditional rendering. Here is an example of initializing the git repository when the template has been rendered:

  - cmd: "git init"
    echo: "Intialized git repo"
    if: git
  - cmd: "git config core.hooksPath .githooks"
    echo: "Configured git hooks"
    if: git
    confirm: true
    prompt: "Initialize git repo and git hooks ?"

If the user answers yes to the question about git, then the repo will be initialized. You can also specify that you want the output of the command to be displayed to the user using the output: true. echo is used to display a nice message (instead of the command output).

Note: Due to the potential misbehavior of template creators, the user needs to pass the -c or --commands to execute those commands. Otherwise the commands will be completely ignored.