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Zen Templates use natural document semantics to process an HTML template into output ready for advanced styles and complex behaviors. It is suitable for simple sites using features like those of server side includes, up to complex dynamic applications using systems like JSP, ASP, and GWT.
See the Zen Template Philosophy for an overview of what we're trying to achieve. See Features for what functionality is planned. Documentation is in progress, beginning with Writing Zen Templates: The Basics.
Zen Templates is currently in a proof-of-concept stage, using Java for the initial prototype implementation. It is usable in its current state, though the feature set and API are not yet complete, stable, or well-documented. It can be used live in a Servlets environment, or it can be used offline to pre-generate static pages.
The prototype has so far gone through two rounds of development: first with a very simple template as a Servlet, and then again with a more complex site consisting of around a dozen pages as an offline renderer. It will undergo one more round of development, as a Servlet-based renderer for a moderately complex, database-backed application. Once this final prototyping round is completed, development will be halted while an API is finalized based on lessons learned from the prototyping stages.
At that point, a stable beta API will be defined and documented, and a Java reference implementation will be developed. Once the reference implementation is complete, development will proceed on additional platform implementations.