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Minimal templating with {{mustache}} in XQuery
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Inspired by ctemplate and et, Mustache is a framework-agnostic way to render logic-free views.

As ctemplates says, "It emphasizes separating logic from presentation: it is impossible to embed application logic in this template language."

For a list of implementations (other than XQuery) and tips, see

For a language-agnostic overview of Mustache’s template syntax, see the mustache(5) manpage or


Mustache.xq is designed to help you when:

  1. You want to avoid fn:concat to generate strings to keep your code more readable
  2. Want to render json as a string
  3. Internationalization

Mustache.xq was designed using MarkLogic Server but can be used in any XQuery processor


A quick example how to use mustache.xq:

    import module namespace mustache = "mustache.xq"
     at "mustache.xqy";
    mustache:render( 'Hello {{text}}!', '{ "text": "world"}' )


    <div>Hello world!</div>

A slightly more complicated example

      '<h1>{{header}}</h1> {{#bug}} {{/bug}}
          <li><a href="{{url}}">{{name}}</a></li>
        <p>The list is empty.</p>
      '{ "header": "Colors",
          "items": [
              {"name": "red", "first": true, "url": "#Red"},
              {"name": "green", "link": true, "url": "#Green"},
              {"name": "blue", "link": true, "url": "#Blue"}
          "empty": false }')


        <a href="#Green">green</a>
        <a href="#Blue">blue</a>

For more (fun) examples refer to test/tests.xml. If you are new to mustache you can use it to learn more about it.


Everyone is welcome to contribute.

  1. Fork mustache.xq in github
  2. Create a new branch - git checkout -b my_branch
  3. Test your changes
  4. Commit your changes
  5. Push to your branch - git push origin my_branch
  6. Create an pull request

The documentation is severely lacking. Feel free to contribute to the wiki if you think something could be improved.

Running the tests

To run the tests simply point an MarkLogic HTTP AppServer to the root of mustache.xqy

You can run the tests by accessing: (assuming is the host and 8090 is the port)

Make sure all the tests pass before sending in your pull request!

Report a bug

If you want to contribute with a test case please file a issue and attach the following information:

  • Name
  • Template
  • Hash
  • Output

This will help us be faster fixing the problem.

An example for a Hello World test would be:

     <test name="Hello World">
       <template>{'Hello {{word}}!'}</template>
       <hash>{'{"word": "world"}'}</hash>
       <output><div>Hello world !</div></output>

This is not the actual test that we run (you can see a list of those in test/index.xqy) but it's all the information we need for a bug report.

Supported Functionality

✔ Variables

 Template : {{car}}
 Hash     : { "car": "bmw"}
 Output   : <div>bmw</div>

✔ Unescaped Variables

 Template : {{company}} {{{company}}}
 Hash     : { "company": "<b>MarkLogic</b>" }
 Output   : <div>&lt;b&gt;MarkLogic&lt;/b&gt; <b>MarkLogic</b></div>

✔ Comments

 Template : <h1>Today{{! ignore me }}.</h1>
 Hash     : {}
 Output   : <div><h1>Today.</h1></div>

✔ Sections

 Template : Shown. {{#nothin}} Never shown! {{/nothin}}
 Hash     : { "person": true }
 Output   : <div>Shown.</div>

✔ Nested Sections

 Template : {{#foo}}{{#a}}{{b}}{{/a}}{{/foo}}
 Hash     : { foo: [ {a: {b: 1}}, {a: {b: 2}}, {a: {b: 3}} ] }
 Output   : <div>1 2 3</div>

✔ Conditional Sections

 Template : {{#repo}} <b>{{name}}</b> {{/repo}} {{^repo}} No repos :( {{/repo}}
 Hash     :   { "repo": [] }
 Output   : <div>No Repos :(</div>

✕ Partials

✕ Lambdas

✕ Set Delimiter


✔ Variables with embedded XQuery

 Template : {{x}}
 Hash     : { "x": ( xs:integer(4) + 5 ) * 2 }
 Output   : <div>18</div>

✔ Dot Notation

 Template :{{}}
 Hash     :{ "person": { "name": { "first": "Eric" } } }
 Output   :<div>Eric</div>

✔ Descendant Variable

 Template : * {{*name}}
 Hash     : { "people": { "person": { "name": "Chris" }, "name": "Jan" } }
 Output   : <div>* Chris Jan</div>


If you are interested in any of these (or other) feature and don't want to wait just read the instructions on "Contribute" and send in your code

  • Support XML as well as JSON
  • Clean up whitespace with " "
  • XQuery Lambdas (still haven't thought about how this magic would look like)
  • Partials
  • Rewrite the compiler for XQuery 1.0 without MarkLogic Extensions

Known Limitations

In this section we have the know limitations excluding the features that are not supported. To better understand what is supported refer to the Supported Features section

  • Test cases can only be run in MarkLogic.
  • Bundled generator is MarkLogic Specific "1.0-ml".
  • Output is returned inside a
    tag. This is to support escaping.
  • Key names must be valid QNames (limitation of json.xqy and generator.xqy)


(oO)--',- in caos

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