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CoffeeKup 0.3.1 Reference

The CoffeeKup object

Both the returned value from require 'coffeekup' and the global CoffeeKup created by <script src="coffeekup.js"> will have the following attributes:


CoffeeKup.compile(template, options)

Compiles the template to a standalone function and returns it.

The input template can be provided as either a function or a string. In the latter case, the CoffeeScript compiler must be available.


  • locals: if set to any "truthy" value, will compile the template with the main statements wrapped around a with block. The template will then support the locals option (see below). This is the "runtime" method of putting external variables in the local scope of the template.

  • hardcode: an object containing values to be added to the template's local scope at "compile time". For each attribute in this object a var [name] = [stringified value] will be added to the template body.

Compiled template

The compiled template returned will be a function accepting a single object parameter:


All attributes in data will be available to the template at @ (this). Some attribute names are special and will trigger additional features:

  • locals: if the template was compiled with the locals option, it will pass this variable to the with statement, putting all its attributes to the local scope.

  • format: false by default. Whether to generate formatted HTML with indentation and line breaks, or just the natural "faux-minified" output.

  • autoescape: false by default. Whether to autoescape all content or let you handle it on a case by case basis with the h function.


CoffeeKup.render(template, data, options)

Compiles the template provided, runs it, and returns the resulting HTML string.


  • cache: false by default. Whether to reuse compiled templates, or re-compile them every time.


Version of CoffeeKup running.


List of doctypes available to the doctype function in templates. Object with doctype names as keys and their string contents as values. Can be customized at will.

The doctype named "default" will be used when none is specified (doctype()).


List of HTML elements available as functions. Array of strings, can be customized.


List of self-closing tags. Array of strings, can be customized.

The template scope

CoffeeKup templates are CoffeeScript/JavaScript functions with certain special variables put in their local scope. These are usually functions, which will write their equivalent HTML to a buffer. The contents of this buffer will be the final return value of the template.

Tag functions

By far the most important of these functions are those equivalent to each HTML element. They'll write the tags and attributes necessary to render the element.

They're designed to look very similar to their HTML output when written in CoffeeScript.

Empty tags:


<img />


div str: 'str', num: 42, bool: yes, arr: [1, 2, 3], obj: {foo: 'bar', ping: 'pong'}
<div str="str" num="42" bool="bool" arr="1,2,3" obj-foo="bar" obj-ping="pong"><div>

div onclick: -> alert 'hi'
<div onclick="(function(){return alert('hi');}).call(this);"></div>

Contents (string):

h1 'foo'

h1 attr: 'value', 'foo'
<h1 attr="value">Foo</h1>

script '''

Contents (function):

div -> 'Foo'

# equivalent to js: div(function(){'Foo'; return 'Bar';});
div ->

# equivalent to js: div(function(){'Foo'; div('Ping'); return 'Bar';});
div ->
  div 'Ping'

# equivalent to js: div(function(){text('Foo'); div('Ping'); return 'Bar';});
div ->
  text 'Foo'
  div 'Ping'

ID/class shortcut

div '#id.class.anotherclass', 'string contents'
<div id="id" class="class anotherclass">string contents</div>

div '#id.class.anotherclass', -> h1 'Hullo'
<div id="id" class="class anotherclass"><h1>Hullo</h1></div>

div '#id.class.anotherclass', style: 'position: fixed', 'string contents'
<div id="id" class="class anotherclass" style="position: fixed">string contents</div>

Other locals


Writes the doctype. Usage: doctype() (picks the default), doctype 'xml' (specifying). You can see and modify the list of doctypes at CoffeeKup.doctypes.


Writes an HTML comment.


Writes an IE conditional comment. Ex.:

ie 'gte IE8', ->
  link href: 'ie.css', rel: 'stylesheet'

<!--[if gte IE8]>
  <link href="ie.css" rel="stylesheet" />


Writes arbitrary text to the buffer.


Used for arbitrary tags. Works like the builtin tags, but the first string parameter is the name of the tag.


CoffeeScript-friendly shortcut to script:

coffeescript -> alert 'hi'
  (function(){return alert('hi');}).call(this);

coffeescript "alert 'hi'"
<script type="text/coffeescript">alert 'hi'</script>

coffeescript src: ''
<script type="text/coffeescript" src=""></script>


Returns the output of a template chunk as a string instead of writing it to the buffer. Useful for string interpolations. Ex.:

p "This text could use #{yield -> a href: '/', 'a link'}."
<p>This text could use <a href="/">a link</a>.</p>

Without it, the a function runs first, writes to the buffer and returns null, resulting in a useless output:

p "This text could use #{a href: '/', 'a link'}."
<a href="/">a link</a><p>This text could use null.</p>


CoffeeScript shortcut to this. This is where all the input data can be accessed.

Extending CoffeeKup

template = ->
  h1 @title
  form method: 'post', action: 'login', ->
    textbox id: 'username'
    textbox id: 'password'
    button @title

helpers =
  textbox: (attrs) ->
    attrs.type = 'text' =
    input attrs

console.log CoffeeKup.render template, title: 'Log In', hardcode: helpers

The coffeekup command

When installing CoffeeKup with npm install coffeekup -g, you get a coffeekup command that allows you to generate HTML from CoffeeKup templates:

$ coffeekup -h

  coffeekup [options] path/to/

      --js           compile template to js function
  -n, --namespace    global object holding the templates (default: "templates")
  -w, --watch        watch templates for changes, and recompile
  -o, --output       set the directory for compiled html
  -p, --print        print the compiled html to stdout
  -f, --format       apply line breaks and indentation to html output
  -u, --utils        add helper locals (currently only "render")
  -v, --version      display CoffeeKup version
  -h, --help         display this help message