A pure stateless web framework written in Scala
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Shift is a pure stateless and asynchronous web toolkit written in Scala, being inspired by LiftWeb.


  • Uses state monads to process requests, specify routes etc.
  • Uses state monads to propagate state between snippets in html templates.
  • Lightweight template engine that supports merging templates leading to vast reuse of common templates
  • Responses are async by design

Shift Templates


A snippet is a function that process a page fragment. Thus it is mostly used to create server side dynamic content.

Snippet definition inside the HTML page

For exemplification let's say that we want to render a set of images. Obviously from the HTML page level we don't know what those images are as their URL will have to be computed by the server. But we do know the layout on how we want to render an image. For this we can have the following code:

   <span>Content before</span>
   <!-- snip:mysnippet -->
     <li class="product">
       <img src=""/>
   <!-- end -->
   <span>Content after</span>

The page fragment between the two comments is the page fragment that will be passed to the Scala snippet as a NodeSeq. Thus it has to be XML well formed.

Scala snippet definition

The Scala snippets for a page are specified as part of the net.shift.template.DynamicContent trait.

  import net.shift.common.XmlImplicits._
  import net.shift.common.XmlUtils._
  import net.shift.common.Xml
  import Binds._
  import Template._

  val snippets = new DynamicContent[String] {

    def snippets = List(
      snip("mysnippet") {
        s =>
          val imageURLs = getImageURLsFromSomewhere()
          imageURLs map { url => 
            bind (s.node) {
              case Xml("img", attrs, childs) => Xml("img") % (attrs + ("src", url))
          Success(("form", <div id="processed">{ s.node }</div>))

Note that mysnippet used in snip("mysnippet") is the same name used in the html page: . This is the name by which we link the two constructs.

Here we used the bind API in order to manipulate the HTML fragment (s.node). Here we are just looking for the img node and append the src attribute. You can manipulate s.node in any other way of course.

Manually running this template can be done with :

  val r:  Try[(PageState[String], String)] = Template().run(page, snippets, PageState("", Language("en"), None))


  • page is the Html page as a String
  • snippets is the DynamicContent instance
  • PageState is the initial state provided to the template engine. Internally snippets are really state monads and the state is propagated from one snippet to the next one.
  • the result is a pair of output state and rendered content.


Inlines are very much like snippets but they do not require a page fragment to be provided. The way to use it is:

<!--inline:userInfo(firstName) -->

On the Scala size we need to have:

new DynamicContent[String] {
override def inlines = List(
      inline("userInfo") {
        _.params match {
          case "firstName" :: _ => Success(("repl", "Marius"))
          case "lastName" :: _  => Success(("repl", "Danciu"))
          case _                => Success(("repl", "?"))
      inline("address") {
          case _                => Success(("some state", "21 Jump Street"))

Inlines and snippets can be parameterized from the html page. In the above exmple we provide firstName as the parameter to userInfo inline. To supply multip[le parameters, just use comma separator like:

You can also use inlines to provide dynamic values for attributes. For example:

 <input type="text" name="address" value="<!--inline:userAddress -->" />

... and this would provide the default value for this input text element as being the user address in a pre-filled form. This would render to something like:

 <input type="text" name="address" value="21 Jump Street" />

if the userAddress Inline Scala implementation would return "21 Jump Street" value.

Templates reference

<!--template:head -->

Here we invoke the head template. This is where the TemplateFinder object is used. This is actually a function that maps a name to a page content.

net.shift.template.Template object provides an implicit TemplateFinder that that load the template from file system using the path s"web/templates/$name.html".


<!--loc:name -->

where name is the property name provided in the localization json file located on the path "localization/{lang}.json" file. The localization file structure is:

   "code" : "M101",
   "name" : "first",
   "text" : "This %s is it"
   "code" : "M102",
   "name" : "second",
   "text" : "Second"

See the snippets in action here: https://github.com/mariusdanciu/shift/blob/master/shift-template/src/test/scala/net/shift/template/test/TemplateTest.scala