A simple start to a port of the Mustache Template Library
Dart
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tests
views
.children
.project
Lib.dart
README.md
block.dart
include.dart
pubspec.yaml
tag.dart
template.dart
template_factory.dart
template_parser.dart

README.md

template.dart

template.dart is a derivative of mustache.

This project is a result of a few things. I am building a web site in Dart, and required a template library to allow me to re-use some parts of the site. There is a client side template language, but I decided that I could benefit not only from the library, but also from the experience of implementing this library. A server side templating language is better suited for my website as well.

I have been using templating technologies in Java for many years starting with Tiles, and briefly used Velocity and Freemarker on a few projects. In the past year I have been trying to learn NodeJS, as well as Dart, so I have come across some other template solutions in many of the resources I have been looking at lately. I came across Mustache, and was thinking that there are so many language implementations of Mustache, it made sense to start one for Dart.

The project is very young and rough around the edges. There are features that are still not implemented, but there are enough features implemented to get started and accomplish a fair bit. There is also many more tests that need to be written.

Thanks to Seth Ladd for his blog;

Futures

It was a terrific help in finding my way around Futures in the Dart language.

Request for contributions:

  • Documentation
  • Bug reports / fixes
  • API feedback
  • Optimizations
  • Better name for the library
  • More tests

Features:

  • Data is provided by objects or Maps and are accessed via non-private fields or maps
  • Futures are used where potentially expensive tasks are performed
  • Include directive is supported for importing templates from other files
  • Nested blocks are supported

Templates

A template is a string that contains any number of blocks, includes and tags. Tags are indicated by the double braces that surround them. {{person}} is a tag, and a block looks like {{#contacts}}. An include directive looks like {{>footer}}

There are several types of tags available in template.dart.

Variables

The most basic tag type is a simple variable. A {{name}} tag renders the value of the name key in the current context. If there is no such key, nothing is rendered.

Sections

Sections render blocks of text one or more times, depending on the value of the key in the current context.

A section begins with a pound and ends with a slash. That is, {{#person}} begins a person section, while {{/person}} ends it. The text between the two tags is referred to as that section's "block".

The behavior of the section is determined by the value of the key.

Non-Empty Lists

If the person key exists and is not null, undefined, or false, and is not an empty list the block will be rendered one or more times.

When the value is a list, the block is rendered once for each item in the list. The context of the block is set to the current item in the list for each iteration. In this way we can loop over collections.

Example template file:

<html>
{{>header}}
<br></br>
{{#stooges}}
<b>Goes by the name {{name}}.</b>
{{#addresses}}
<b>Lives in {{city}}.</b>
{{/addresses}}
{{/stooges}}
<b>{{contact}}</b>
<br></br>
{{#episodes}}
<b>{{year}}</b>
{{/episodes}}
{{>footer}}

with included templates from separate files:

<head>
  <title>{{title}}</title>
</head>

and

<b>{{copyright}}</b>

Might be populated by the following:

Map data = new Map();
data['header'] = {'title':'Sample Template'};
data['footer'] = {'copyright':'&copy;'};
data['stooges'] = [ { "name": "Moe", 'addresses':[ { "city": "Sydney" }, { "city": "Glace Bay" } ] },
                  { "name": "Larry", 'addresses':[ { "city": "Halifax" } ] },
                  { "name": "Curly", 'addresses':[ { "city": "Truro" } ] } ];
data['episodes'] = [ { "year": "1967" },{ "year": "1955" },{ "year": "1949" } ];
data['contact'] = 'John Doe';

And would result in:

<html>
<head>
<title>Sample Template</title>
</head>
<br></br>
<b>Goes by the name Moe.</b>
<b>Lives in Sydney.</b>
<b>Lives in Glace Bay.</b>
<b>Goes by the name Larry.</b>
<b>Lives in Halifax.</b>
<b>Goes by the name Curly.</b>
<b>Lives in Truro.</b>
<b>John Doe</b>
<br></br>
<b>1967</b>
<b>1955</b>
<b>1949</b>
<b>&copy;</b>

Usage, as shown in one of the tests:

TemplateFactory tf = new TemplateFactory();
Future<Template> futureTemplate = tf.compile('views/index.template');
futureTemplate.handleException(onException(exception){
print('error occurred while processing!');
});
futureTemplate.chain((Template template) => template.render(data))
.then((String returnedString){
  //process returned string
});

Things to do:

  • Lots of refactoring to do
  • Performance testing
  • Implement other features from Mustache, as well as some other relevant template languages today
  • More complete documentation
  • Better and more complete examples
  • Add support for Log4Dart
  • Add more documentation on using JsonObject