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Template Functions

Template functions are the core of Namerer's string generation capabilities. A template function is a special token delimited by square brakets (for example [vowel()]) which when processed is replaced by a random string, the nature of which varies depending on which function you used.

Namerer has a bunch of different template functions from basic random character selection to syllable generation and synonym discovery. The following sections explain each of the template functions.

Usage of template functions is simple. The function, enclosed in its square brackets is placed in the template string passed into the generate function. The following invocation is an example:

$ namerer generate -c 5 "[syllable()]"
jwa
piv
wigh
wef
un

The [syllable()] function takes an optional boolean argument which specifies whether phonetic vowels can be used. Here is an example of the same invocation with the first argument (usePhoneticVowels) set to false. See how it affects the nature of the output:

$ namerer generate -c 5 "[syllable(false)]"
hu
wiw
ut
on
he

You can read up on the :ref:`syllable-template-function` in more detail in the following sections. You can combine template functions in a single template easily, for example:

$ namerer generate -c 5 "[syllable(false)][syllable()] [synonym('store')]"
qiug outlet
rodkah storage
yisil outlet
esro depositary
qawlug depositary

It's really through combining multiple template functions together and adding in character sequences that you really want in the name that you find the usefulness of the Namerer tool.

[alpha(count?)]

The [alpha(count?)] template function outputs a random character constrained by the --alphabet option which can optionally be passed into the generate command. The function supports an optional count parameter which allows you to specify how many random alpha characters to output. The following table maps example templates to possible outputs.

Template Output
[alpha()] a
[alpha(1)] w
[alpha(5)] esome

[numeric(count?)]

The [numeric(count?)] template function is similar to the :ref:`alpha-template-function` in that it generates a random character, but it is instead constained by the --numbers option which can optionally be passed into the generate command. This function also supports an optional count parameter which allows you to specifiy how many random numeric characters to output. The following table maps example templates to possible outputs.

Template Output
[numeric()] 3
[numeric(1)] 9
[numeric(5)] 31337

[vowel(count?)]

The [alpha(count?)] template function is similar to the :ref:`alpha-template-function` in that it generates a random character, however it will only generate a simple vowel, such as a, e, i, o, or u. This function also supports an optional count parameter which allows you to specify how many vowels to output. The following table maps templates to possible outputs.

Template Output
[vowel()] a
[vowel(1)] e
[vowel(5)] iouee

[phoneticVowel()]

The [phoneticVowel()] template function outputs a single string and takes no arguments. It outputs a vowels similar to the :ref:`vowel-template-function` template function, but also adds additional phonetic vowels. The following table shows basic vowels and their related phonetic vowels that might also be output when using the [phoneticVowel()] function.

Basic Vowel Phonetic Vowels
a ai ay au aw augh wa all ald alk alm alt
e ee ea eu ei ey ew eigh
i ie ye igh ign ind
o oo oa oe oi oy old olk olt oll ost ou ow
u ue ui

[consonant(count?)]

The [consonant(count?)] template function is similar to the :ref:`vowel-template-function` in that it generates a random character, however it will only generate a consonant such as b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, or z. This function also supports an optional count parameter which allows you to specify how many consonants to output. The following table maps templates to possible outputs.

Template Output
[consonant()] z
[consonant(1)] b
[consonant(5)] phjkl

[syllable(usePhoneticVowels?)]

The [syllable(usePhoneticVowels?)] template function is very useful for generating names which are easier to pronounce than random strings that might be generated by the :ref:`alpha-template-function` template function (for example). The [syllable(usePhoneticVowels)] function reuses the logic from the :ref:`vowel-template-function`, :ref:`phonetic-vowel-template-function` and :ref:`consonant-template-function` template functions. It randomly selects from the following four possible equivalent templates.

  1. [consonant()][vowel()]
  2. [consonant()][vowel()][consonant()]
  3. [vowel()][consonant()]
  4. [consonant()][phoneticVowel()]

The fourth option is included by default, however, it can be disabled when the usePhoneticVowels optional parameter is set to false. The following is an example of its usage:

$ namerer generate -c 5 "[syllable(false)][syllable()]"
xucpa
inkwa
kucta
etheigh
varom

[synonym(word)]

The [synonym(word)] template function can be used to find words which have a similar or related meaning to the value of the word parameter. The [synonym(word)] template function calls an external web service at Big Huge Labs. At this point in time the [synonym(word)] template function should be considered experimental and may fail if it is used heavily across all Namerer users (because of API call limitations). The following is an example of its usage:

$ namerer generate -c 5 "[synonym('port')]###"
turn351
opening171
side462
porthole843
turn118
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