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Scala Handlebars implementation
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Scalabars is a Scala implementation of the Handlebars templating engine. It is mostly compatible with 4.x series Handlebars, with some exceptions that just don't make sense in the Scala world.

Helpers can be written in Scala, or in JavaScript. JavaScript helpers should be compatible with Handlebars as long as authors don't do anything too crazy in their scripts (e.g. call external JavaScript libraries, for example).

The advantage of writing helpers in pure Scala and not using any JavaScript helpers is that the engine should then be entirely thread-safe, which of course JavaScript-native Handlebars is not.


To install and use Scalabars include it in your projects by adding the following to your build.sbt:

libraryDependencies ++= Seq("co.blocke" %% "scalabars" % "0.1.3")  

Use like this in your code:

val sb = Scalabars()

val data = val json = org.json4s.native.JsonMethods.parse("""
  "data": "Your json data here..."

val template = """This is a {{data}} test"""

sb.compile(template)(json)  // Returns rendered string

You also have the option of using a case class instead of JSON data if that's more useful:

case class Person(name:String, age:Int)

val person = Person("Mike",32)
sb.compile("Hello, {{name}}")(person)

Handlebars Compile Options

Several stock Handlebars compile options work in Scalabars. Those not supported didn't make sense in Scala, and were ignored.

  • noEscape: Set to true to not HTML escape any content.
  • strict: Run in strict mode. In this mode, templates will throw rather than silently ignore missing fields. This has the side effect of disabling inverse operations such as {{^foo}}{{/foo}} unless fields are explicitly included in the source object.
  • preventIndent: By default, an indented partial-call causes the output of the whole partial being indented by the same amount. This can lead to unexpected behavior when the partial writes pre-tags. Setting this option to true will disable the auto-indent feature.
  • explicitPartialContext: Disables implicit context for partials. When enabled, partials that are not passed a context value will execute against an empty object.
  • ignoreStandalone: Disables standalone tag removal when set to true. When set, blocks and partials that are on their own line will not remove the whitespace on that line.
  • knownHelpersOnly: Set to true to allow further optimzations based on the known helpers list.

Use options like this:

sb.compile("{{foo}}", Map("preventIndent"->true, "strict"->true"))(json)


Rather than marry Scalabars with a particular logging library, we took the direction of providing a trivial trait, SBLogger, that supports just enough to support Handlebars compatibility. Out of the box the default implementation is Java's built-in Logger machinery, but adding support for your favorite logging facility will be as trivial as implementing the SBLogger class.

Developing Your Own Helpers

Included Helpers (thread-safe)

Stock Handlebars Built-In Helpers

  • each
  • if
  • lookup
  • until
  • with

Extra Helpers We Included

Most of these (and the examples/documentation) can be found at

  • and
  • any
  • contains
  • default
  • empty
  • eq
  • first
  • join
  • last
  • length
  • lengthEquals
  • include
  • markdown
  • ne
  • raw
  • sortEach
  • or
  • url
  • withDrop
  • withFirst
  • withLast
  • withLookup
  • withTake

Enjoy! Blöcke

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