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HTML::Template::Compiled - Template System Compiles HTML::Template files
to Perl code
$VERSION = "0.99_001"
use HTML::Template::Compiled;
# recommended options:
# case_sensitive => 1
# search_path_on_include => 1
# use_query => 0
# default_escape => 'HTML' # <-- HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
# note that the following
# use HTML::Template::Compiled speed => 1
# is deprecated (can be problematic under persistent environments)
# or for the biggest compatibility with HTML::Template
# case_sensitive => 0
# search_path_on_include => 0
# use_query => 1
# note that the following
# use HTML::Template::Compiled compatible => 1;
# is deprecated (can be problematic under persistent environments)
# or use HTML::Template::Compiled::Classic
my $htc = HTML::Template::Compiled->new(
filename => 'test.tmpl',
case_sensitive => 1,
default_escape => 'HTML',
BAND => $name,
{ TITLE => $t1, YEAR => $y1 },
{ TITLE => $t2, YEAR => $y2 },
print $htc->output;
Or use different tag styles:
Band: <%= BAND %>
<%loop ALBUMS %>
Title: <%= TITLE %> (<%= YEAR %>)
<%/loop %>
Band: [%= BAND %]
[%loop ALBUMS %]
Title: [%= TITLE %] ([%= YEAR %])
[%/loop %]
HTML::Template::Compiled is a template system which can be used for
HTML::Template templates with almost the same API. It offers more
flexible template delimiters, additional tags and features, and by
compiling the template into perl code it can run significantly faster in
persistent environments such as FastCGI or mod_perl.
For a quick reference, see HTML::Template::Compiled::Reference.
As the basic features work like in HTML::Template, please get familiar
with its documentation before.
HTML::Template::Compiled (HTC) does not implement all features of
HTML::Template (see "COMPATIBILITY"), and it has got some additional
features which are explained below: "ADDITIONAL FEATURES"
See "BENCHMARKS" for some examples on the performance. Since it depends
highly on the options used and on the template size there can be no
general statement on its performance.
You might want to use HTML::Template::Compiled::Lazy for CGI
environments as it doesn't parse the template before calling output. But
note that HTC::Lazy isn't much tested, and I don't use it myself, so
there's a lack of experience. If you use it and have problems, please
HTC will use a lot of memory because it keeps all template objects in
memory. If you are on mod_perl, and have a lot of templates, you should
preload them at server startup to be sure that it is in shared memory.
At the moment HTC is not fully tested for keeping all data in shared
memory (e.g. when a copy-on-write occurs), but it seems like it's
behaving well. For preloading you can use
Generating code, writing it on disk and later eval() it can open
security holes, for example if you have more users on the same machine
that can access the same files (usually an http server running as 'www'
or 'nobody'). See "SECURITY" for details what you can do to safe
NOTE: If you don't need any of the additional features listed below and
if you don't need the speed (in many cases it's probably not worth
trading speed for memory), then you might be better off with just using
NOTE2: If you have any questions, bug reports, send them to me and not
to Sam Tregar. This module is developed by me at the moment,
independently from HTML::Template, although I try to get most of the
tests from it passing for HTC. See "RESOURCES" for current information.
"__first__", "__last__", "__inner__", "__outer__", "__odd__",
"__counter__", "__even__"
case insensitive var names
use option case_sensitive => 0 to use this feature (slow down)
vars that are subrefs - not implemented, only in
scalarref, arrayref, filehandle
Has a bug (doesn't return parameters in included files of included
files). I'm working on that.
What can HTC do for you additionally to HTML::Template?
No need to have cascading "if-else-if-else"s
Iterate over a hash. See "TMPL_EACH"
see "SET_VAR"
see "USE_VARS"
Additional loop variable ("__counter__ -1")
Additional loop variable (see "TMPL_LOOP")
"__filename__", "__filenameshort__" (since 0.91_001)
Insert the template filename for debugging:
<%= __filename__ %>
<%= __filenameshort__ %>
will turn out as: templates/path/file.html path/file.html
See also option debug_file in "OPTIONS" for adding the filename
Include perl code in your template. See "RUNNING PERL WITH
New in version 0.96_001, please report any bugs and send me
You can set global chomp options in the constructor. These work like
in Template-Toolkit:
my $htc = HTML::Template::Compiled->new(
pre_chomp => 0, # 0, 1, 2, 3, default 0
post_chomp => 1, # 0, 1, 2, 3, default 0
Meaning of the values: 0: Don't chomp 1: remove only spaces in the
line before or after the tag 2: remove all whitespaces before or
after the tag, and replace with one space 3: remove all whitespaces
before or after the tag
In the template you can change that feature by using PRE_CHOMP and
POST_CHOMP attributes:
<%= foo PRE_CHOMP=3 POST_CHOMP=1 %>
The experimental tags +..._chomp have been removed.
Generating perl code
better variable access
dot-notation for accessing hash values. See "EXTENDED VARIABLE
rendering objcets
dot-notation for accessing object methods. See "RENDERING OBJECTS"
output to filehandle
Dynamic includes
Check for definedness instead of truth: <TMPL_IF_DEFINED NAME="var">
Set an alias for a loop variable. You can use the alias then with
$alias. The syntax without the "$" is also possible but not
recommended any more.
For example, these two loops are functionally equivalent:
<tmpl_loop foo>
<tmpl_var _>
</tmpl_loop foo>
<tmpl_loop foo alias=current>
<tmpl_var $current>
</tmpl_loop foo>
This works with "TMPL_LOOP" and "TMPL_WHILE" at the moment.
You can also set aliases with the "SET_VAR" tag. See "SET_VAR"
To use template parameters with a "$" at the beginning (which is not
officially suppported, but some are abviously using it), you can
local $HTML::Template::Compiled::Compiler::DISABLE_NEW_ALIAS = 1;
This is only a temporary workaround and will be removed some day!
Note that you are also able to access variables with dollar signs
like this:
<tmpl_var _.$foo >
since underscore means current position in the parameter stash, and
aliases are only recognized at the beginning of a template var. But
note that dollar signs are still not officially supported.
Chained escaping
For those who like it (i like it because it is shorter than TMPL_),
you can use <% %> tags and the <%= tag instead of <%VAR (which will
work, too):
<%IF blah%> <%= VARIABLE%> <%/IF%>
Define your own tagstyles and/or deactivate predefined ones. See
"OPTIONS" tagstyle.
pre_chomp, post_chomp
There are some features of H::T that are missing or behaving different.
I'll try to list them here.
I don't think I'll implement that.
Not planned at the moment
Not planned.
shared_cache, double_cache
Not planned at the moment
Not sure if I should implement. In HTC you have the possibility to
set the expire time of the templates (after that time in memory the
template file is rechecked if it has changed), so setting a very
high value for expire_time would have the same effect as
blind_cache. See "CACHING" "expire_time"
If I understand correctly, in HT, this enables memory and file cache
at the same time. In HTC, this is not needed. If you use file_cache
and cache, both are used.
Not planned. The cache dir must exist, and subdirectories are not
created at the moment.
cache_lazy_vars, cache_lazy_loops
Not planned at the moment (This would be for
HTML::Template::Compiled::Classic, since it implements code refs).
Might be added in the future, HTC already has "open_mode"
various debug options
Might be implemented in the future
Not planned.
Not planned
default is 1 (on).
Deactivate by passing option expire_time 0.
Note (again): this will slow down templating a lot (50%).
Explanation: This has nothing to do with "TMPL_IF" or "tmpl_if".
It's about the variable names. With case_sensitive set to 1, the
following tags are different:
<tmpl_var Foo> prints the value of hash key 'Foo'
<tmpl_var fOO> prints the value of hash key 'fOO'
With case_sensitive set to 0, all your parameters passed to
"param()" are converted to lowercase, and the following tags are the
<tmpl_var Foo> prints the value of hash key 'foo'
<tmpl_var fOO> prints the value of hash key 'foo'
subref variables
As of version 0.69, subref variables are not supported any more with
HTML::Template::Compiled. Use HTML::Template::Compiled::Classic
(contained in this distribution) instead. It provides most features
of HTC.
Default: 0
In the HTML::Template documentation it says, if
search_path_on_include is set to 1, the paths of the path option are
searched, while the default behaviour is to look "only" in the
current template directory.
It's not clear if it still searches in the current directory if set
to 1. I found out that it is not, so you cannot have both.
In HTML::Template::Compiled, search_path_on_include can have three
values: 0: search current template directory 1: search paths
specified 2: search paths and current template directory.
In HTC you should leave out the "<" at the beginning.
If you want to have your templates read in utf-8, use
open_mode => ':encoding(utf-8)',
as an option.
default is 0 (off). Set it via the option "use_query"
At the moment this snippet
<tmpl_if arrayref>true<tmpl_else>false</tmpl_if arrayref>
with this code:
$htc->param(arrayref => []);
will print true in HTC and false in HTML::Template. In
HTML::Template an array is true if it has content, in HTC it's true
if it (the reference) is defined. I'll try to find a way to change
that behaviour, though that might be for the cost of speed.
As of HTML::Template::Compiled 0.85 you can use this syntax:
<tmpl_if arrayref# >true<tmpl_else>false</tmpl_if >
In HTML::Template::Compiled::Classic 0.04 it works as in
Additional to 0 or 1 it can take an array ref for debugging only
specific cache operations.
Note: the following is deprecated:
To be compatible in all of the above options all use:
use HTML::Template::Compiled compatible => 1;
If you don't care about these options you should use
use HTML::Template::Compiled speed => 1;
which is the default but depending on user wishes that might change.
class methods ExpireTime, EnableSub, CaseSensitive, SearchPathOnInclude,
option formatter_path
tag USE_VARS, not needed anymore
option cache_dir (replaced by file_cache_dir)
options method_call, deref, default_path, dumper
import tags short, compatible, speed
Like in HTML::Template, you have "ESCAPE=HTML", "ESCAPE=URL" and
"ESCAPE_JS". "ESCAPE=HTML" will only escape '"&<>. If you want to escape
more, use "ESCAPE=HTML_ALL". Additionally you have "ESCAPE=DUMP", which
by default will generate a Data::Dumper output.
You can also chain different escapings, like "ESCAPE=DUMP|HTML".
Additionally to ESCAPE=JS you have ESCAPE=IJSON which does not escape
the single quote.
Additionally to
you can do an include of a template variable:
<TMPL_INCLUDE_VAR NAME="file_include_var">
$htc->param(file_include_var => "");
Using "INCLUDE VAR="..."" is deprecated.
You can also include strings:
inc: <%include_string foo %>
foo => 'included=<%= bar%>',
bar => 'real',
inc: included=real
Note that included strings are not cached and cannot include files or
strings themselves.
With HTC, you have more control over how you access your template
parameters. An example:
my %hash = (
SELF => '/path/to/',
LANGUAGE => 'de',
BAND => 'Bauhaus',
NAME => 'Mask',
SONGS => [ { NAME => 'Hair of the Dog' }, ... ],
INFO => {
BIOGRAPHY => '...',
LINK => '...'
NAME => "Cool script",
Now in the TMPL_LOOP "ALBUMS" you would like to access the path to your
script, stored in $hash{SELF}. in HTML::Template you have to set the
option "global_vars", so you can access $hash{SELF} from everywhere.
Unfortunately, now "NAME" is also global, which might not a problem in
this simple example, but in a more complicated template this is
impossible. With HTC, you wouldn't use "global_vars" here, but you can
to access the root element, and you could even say ".INFO.BIOGRAPHY" or
"ALBUMS[0].SONGS[0].NAME" (the latter has changed since version 0.79)
This is still in development, so I might change the API here.
Additionally to feeding a simple hash to HTC, you can feed it objects.
To do method calls you can also use '.' in the template.
my $htc = HTML::Template::Compiled->new(
VAR => "blah",
OBJECT => bless({...}, "Your::Class"),
Name: <TMPL_VAR fullname>
"fullname" will call the fullname method of your Your::Class object.
It's recommended to just use the default . value for methods and
I might stop supporting that you can set the values for method calls by
setting an option. Ideally I would like to have that behaviour changed
only by inheriting.
Yes, templating systems are for separating code and templates. But as it
turned out to be implemented much easier than expressions i decided to
implement it. But expressions are also available with the option
Note: If you have templates that can be edited by untrustworthy persons
then you don't want them to include perl code.
So, how do you use the perl-tag? First, you have to set the option
"use_perl" to 1 when creating a template object.
Important note: don't use "print" in the included code. Usually the
template code is concatenated and returned to your perl script. To
'print' something out use
__OUT__ 2**3;
This will be turned into something like
$OUT .= 2**3;
# or
print $fh 2**3;
Important note 2: HTC does not parse Perl. if you use the classic
tag-delimiters like this:
<tmpl_perl if (__CURRENT__->count > 42) { >
this will not work as it might seem. Use other delimiters instead:
<%perl if (__CURRENT__->count > 42) { %>
<tmpl_loop list>
<tmpl_perl unless (__INDEX__ % 3) { >
<tmpl_perl } >
</tmpl_loop list>
# takes the current position of the parameter
# hash, key 'foo' and multiplies it with 3
<%perl __OUT__ __CURRENT__->{foo} * 3; %>
List of special keywords inside a perl-tag:
Is turned into "$OUT .=" or "print $fh"
Is turned into the variable containing the current template object.
Turned into the variable containing the current position in the
parameter hash.
Turned into the variable containig the parameter hash.
Turned into the current index of a loop (starting with 0).
It's possible since version 0.69 to inherit from
HTML::Template::Compiled. It's just not documented, and internal method
names might change in the near future. I'll try to fix the API and
document which methods you can inherit.
Default is "sub method_call { '.' }"
Default is "sub deref { '.' }"
Deprecated, see HTML::Template::Compiled::Formatter please.
Define if every included file should be checked and parsed at
compile time of the including template or later when it is really
Default is "sub compile_early { 1 }"
Default is "sub parser_class { 'HTML::Template::Compiled::Parser' }"
You can write your own parser class (which must inherit from
HTML::Template::Compiled::Parser) and use this.
HTML::Template::Compiled::Lazy uses this.
For printing out the contents of all the parameters you can do:
The special name "_" gives you the current parameter and "ESCAPE=DUMP"
will by default generate a Data::Dumper output of the current variable,
in this case it will dump out the contents of every album in a loop. To
correctly display that in html "|HTML" will escape html entities.
If you have a deep leveled hash you might not want to always write
THE.FULL.PATH.TO.YOUR.VAR. Jump to your desired level once and then you
need only one level. Compare:
Inside TMPL_WITH you can't reference parent nodes unless you're using
The special name "_" gives you the current parameter. In loops you can
use it like this:
<tmpl_loop foo>
Current item: <tmpl_var _ >
Also you can give the current item an alias. See "ALIAS".
The LOOP tag allows you to define a JOIN attribute:
<tmpl_loop favourite_colors join=", ">
<tmpl_var _ >
This will output something like "blue, pink, yellow". This is easier
than doing:
<tmpl_loop favourite_colors>
<tmpl_unless __first__>, </tmpl_unless>
<tmpl_var _ >
The "LOOP", "WHILE" and "EACH" tags allow you to define a BREAK
<tmpl_loop bingo break="3"> <tmpl_var _ ><if __break__>\n</if></tmpl_loop>
$htc->param(bingo => [qw(X 0 _ _ X 0 _ _ X)]);
X 0 _
_ X 0
_ _ X
So specifying BREAK=3 sets __break__ to 1 every 3rd loop iteration.
TMPL_LOOP expects an array reference, also if it is a method call. If
you want to iterate with TMPL_LOOP over a list from a method call, set
the attribute "context=list":
<tmpl_loop object.list_method context=list>
<tmpl_var _ >
Useful for iterating, for example over database resultsets. The
<tmpl_while resultset.fetchrow>
<tmpl_var _.0>
will work like: while (my $row = $resultset->fetchrow) { print
$row->[0]; }
So the special variable name _ is set to the current item returned by
the iterator.
You also can use "ALIAS" here.
Iterating over a hash. Internally it is not implemented as an each, so
you can also sort the output:
Sorted alphanumerically by default (since 0.93):
<tmpl_each letters >
<tmpl_var __key__ >:<tmpl_var __value__>
</tmpl_each letters >
Sorted numerically:
<tmpl_each numbers sort=num >
<tmpl_var __key__ >:<tmpl_var __value__>
</tmpl_each numbers >
Not sorted:
<tmpl_each numbers sort=0 >
<tmpl_var __key__ >:<tmpl_var __value__>
</tmpl_each numbers >
Sorted alphanumerically:
<tmpl_each letters sort=alpha >
<tmpl_var __key__ >:<tmpl_var __value__>
</tmpl_each letters >
You have to set the option "loop_context_vars" to true to use the
special vars "__key__" and "__value__".
If you want to iterate over a hash instead of a hashref (some methods
might return plain hashes instead of references and TMPL_EACH expects a
ref), then you can set "context=list":
<tmpl_each object.hash_method context=list>
<tmpl_var __key__ >
Since 0.96_002
Sets a local variable to the value given in "value" or "expr"
<tmpl_set foo expr=23>
<tmpl_set name=bar expr=23>
<tmpl_set boo>
<tmpl_set oof expr="21*2">
<tmpl_var $foo>
<tmpl_var $bar>
"value=.." behaves like a variable name from the parameter stash. The
variable name to set must match /[0-9a-z_]+/i
You can refer to an alias via $alias or simply "alias". Note that the
latter syntax is not recommeded any more since it can conflict with
parameters from the stash.
If you want to use aliases in includes, you need to use the $alias
deprecated. Was added in 0.96_004 to make it possible to use aliases set
with "alias=..." or "SET_VAR" in includes. Now you should rather use the
<$alias> syntax.
The following explanation is just there for history and will be removed
some time in the future. For now it still works.
Necessary if you want vars like SET_VAR and loop aliases from outside in
includes. Before the first use in the include, add:
<tmpl_use_vars foo,bar,boo >
so that the compiler recognizes them as user defined vars and not
parameters from the stash. This statement is valid until the end of the
template so you cannot "overwrite" parameters of the stash locally.
Since 0.97_005. Experimental. Please test.
Needs option "loop_context_vars".
Works similar to WRAPPER in Template-Toolkit.
Is similar to TMPL_INCLUDE, just that the included wrapper is wrapped
around the content. It can be used to avoid including head and foot
<tmpl_wrapper wrapper.html >
content: some var: <tmpl_var foo >
In wrapper.html the special loop context var "__wrapper__" is used for
the included content:
<tmpl_var __wrapped__ >
Important notes:
If you are using "out_fh" to print directly to a filehandle instead of
returning to a string, this feature might not be useful, since it is
appending the content inside of the wrapper to a string and prints it
when it comes to the end of the wrapper tag. So if you are using
"out_fh" to avoid generating long strings in memory, you should rather
use TMPL_INCLUDE instead.
Also you need perl 5.8 or higher to use it in combination with out_fh.
For debugging purposes you can temporarily comment out regions:
Wanted: <tmpl_var wanted>
<tmpl_comment outer>
this won't be printed
<tmpl_comment inner>
<tmpl_var unwanted>
</tmpl_comment inner>
<tmpl_var unwanted>
</tmpl_comment outer>
$htc->param(unwanted => "no thanks", wanted => "we want this");
The output is (whitespaces stripped):
Wanted: we want this
HTC will ignore anything between COMMENT directives. This is useful for
debugging, and also for documentation inside the template which should
not be outputted.
Anything between
will not be recognized as template directives. Same syntax as
TMPL_COMMENT. It will output the content, though.
Anything between
will not be recognized as template directives. Same syntax as
"TMPL_NOPARSE", but it will be HTML-Escaped. This can be useful for
The SWITCH directive has the same syntax as VAR, IF etc. The CASE
directive takes a simple string or a comma separated list of strings.
Yes, without quotes. This will probably change! I just don't know yet
how it should look like. Suggestions?
With that directive you can do simple string comparisons.
<tmpl_switch language>(or <tmpl_switch name=language>)
<tmpl_case de>echt cool
<tmpl_case en>very cool
<tmpl_case es>superculo
<tmpl_case fr,se>don't speak french or swedish
<tmpl_case default>sorry, no translation for cool in language <%=language%> available
<tmpl_case>(same as default)
It's also possible to specify the default with a list of other strings:
<tmpl_case fr,default>
Note that the default case should always be the last statement before
the closing switch.
As you can cache the generated perl code in files, some of the options
are fixed; that means for example if you set the option case_sensitive
to 0 and the next time you call the same template with case_sensitive 1
then this will be ignored. The options below will be marked as (fixed).
Path to template files
Search the list of paths specified with "path" when including a
template. Default is 0
See "DIFFERENT FEATURES" for the additional possible value 2.
Set to 1 if you want to use file caching and specify the path with
Path to caching directory (you have to create it before)
Replaced by file_cache_dir like in HTML::Template. Will be
deprecated in future versions.
Is 1 by default. If set to 0, no memory cacheing is done. Only
recommendable if you have a dynamic template content (with
scalarref, arrayre for example).
Recheck template files on disk after "expire_time" seconds. See
Template to parse
Reference to a scalar with your template content. It's possible to
cache scalarrefs, too, if you have Digest::MD5 installed. Note that
your cache directory might get filled with files from earlier
versions. Clean the cache regularly.
Don't cache scalarrefs if you have dynamic strings. Your memory
might get filled up fast! Use the option
cache => 0
to disable memory caching.
Reference to array containing lines of the template content
(newlines have to be included)
Filehandle which contains the template content. Note that HTC will
not cache templates created like this.
loop_context_vars (fixed)
Vars like "__first__", "__last__", "__inner__", "__odd__",
"__counter__", "__index__", "__outer__", "__even__"
The variable "__index__" works just like "__counter__", only that it
starts at 0 instead of 1.
global_vars (fixed)
If set to 1, every outer variable can be accessed from anywhere in
the enclosing scope.
Default is 0.
Note that I don't recommend using global_vars. For referring to
parameters up in the stash you can use aliases via "alias=..." or
"SET_VAR". See "ALIAS" and "SET_VAR".
If yoy still would like to be able to navigate up the parameter
stash, you have the following option:
If set to 2, you don't have global vars, but have the possibility to
go up the stack one level. Example:
<tmpl_var ...key>
This will get you up 2 levels (remember: one dot means root in HTC)
and access the 'key' element.
If set to 3 ("3 == 1|2") you have both, global vars and explicitly
going up the stack.
So setting global_vars to 2 can save you from global vars but still
allows you to browse through the stack.
my $htc = HTML::Template::Compiled->new(
default_escape => 'HTML', # or URL
Now everything will be escaped for HTML unless you explicitly
specify "ESCAPE=0" (no escaping) or "ESCAPE=URL".
Default: 1
If set to 0 unknown tags will be ignored and output verbatim:
<TMPL_FOOBAR anything ... <TMPL_VAR valid>
no_includes (since 0.92)
Default is 0. If set to 1, the tags INCLUDE, INCLUDE_VAR and
INCLUDE_STRING will cause a template syntax error when creating.
This can be useful when opening untrusted templates, otherwise any
file in the filesystem could be opened.
debug_file (fixed) (since 0.91_001)
Additionally to the context_vars __filename__ and __filenameshort__
you can enable filename debugging globally.
If the option is set to 'start', at the start of every template will
be added: <!-- start templates/path/filename.html -->
If set to 'end', at the end will be added: <!-- end
templates/path/filename.html -->
If set to 'start,end', both coments will be added.
If set to 'start,short', 'end,short' or 'start,end,short' the path
to the templates will be stripped: <!-- start path/filename.html -->
<!-- end path/filename.html -->
objects (fixed) (since 0.91_001)
if set to true, you can use method calls like <%= object.method %>
Default is 'strict' (true). If set to 'strict', the method will be
called if we have an object, otherwise it's treated as a hash
lookup. If the method doesn't exist, it dies. If set to 'nostrict',
the method will be called only if the object 'can' do the method,
otherwise it will return undef (this will need Scalar::Util). If set
to 0, no method calls are allowed.
deref (fixed)
Deprecated. Please inherit and overwrite method 'deref'. See
Define the string you want to use for dereferencing, default is "."
at the moment:
<TMPL_VAR hash.key>
method_call (fixed)
Deprecated. Please inherit and overwrite method 'method_call'. See
Define the string you want to use for method calls, default is . at
the moment:
<TMPL_VAR object.method>
Don't use ->, though, like you could in earlier version. Var names
can contain: Numbers, letters, '.', '/', '+', '-' and '_', just like
HTML::Template. Note that if your var names contain dots, though,
they will be treated as hash dereferences. If you want literal dots,
use HTML::Template::Compiled::Classic instead.
default_path (fixed)
Deprecated, see HTML::Template::Compiled::Formatter please.
my $htc = HTML::Template::Compiled->new(
# default is PATH_DEREF
=> HTML::Template::Compiled::Utils::PATH_FORMATTER,
Is needed if you have an unqualified tmpl_var that should be
resolved as a call to your formatter, for example. Otherwise you
have to call it fully qualified. If your formatter_path is '/',
you'd say tmpl_var "_/method". With the option default_path you can
make that the default, so you don't need the "_/": "tmpl_var
method". If you don't use formatters, don't care about this option.
NOTE: This option does not exist any more; line numbers will alway
be reported.
For debugging: prints the line number of the wrong tag, e.g. if you
have a /TMPL_IF that does not have an opening tag.
case_sensitive (fixed)
default is 1, set it to 0 to use this feature like in
HTML::Template. Note that this can slow down your program a lot
This option is deprecated as of version 0.76. You must now use a
plugin instead, like HTML::Template::Compiled::Plugin::DHTML, for
my $t = HTML::Template::Compiled->new(
dumper = sub { my_cool_dumper($_[0]) },
This will call "my_cool_dumper()" on "var".
Alternatively you can use the DHTML plugin which is using
"Data::TreeDumper" and "Data::TreeDumper::Renderer::DHTML". You'll
get a dumper like output which you can collapse and expand, for
example. See Data::TreeDumper and Data::TreeDumper::Renderer::DHTML
for more information. Example:
my $t = HTML::Template::Compiled->new(
dumper = 'DHTML',
For an example see "examples/dhtml.html".
out_fh (fixed)
my $t = HTML::Template::Compiled->new(
out_fh => 1,
$t->output($fh); # or output(\*STDOUT) or even output()
This option is fixed, so if you create a template with "out_fh",
every output of this template will print to a specified (or default
"STDOUT") filehandle.
Filter template code before parsing.
my $t = HTML::Template::Compiled->new(
filter => sub { myfilter( ${$_[0]} ) },
# or
filter => [ {
sub => sub { myfilter( ${$_[0]} ) },
format => 'scalar', # or array
tagstyle (fixed)
Specify which styles you want to use. This option takes an arrayref
with strings of named tagstyles or your own regexes.
At the moment there are the following named tagstyles builtin:
# classic (active by default)
<TMPL_IF foo><tmpl_var bar></TMPL_IF>
# comment (active by default)
<!-- TMPL_IF foo --><!-- TMPL_VAR bar --><!-- /TMPL_IF -->
# asp (active by default)
<%if foo%><%VAR bar%><%/if%>
# php (not active by default)
<?if foo?><?var bar?><?/if foo?>
# tt (not active by default)
[%if foo%][%var bar%][%/if foo%]
You deactive a style by saying -stylename. You activate by saying
Define your own tagstyle by specifying for regexes. For example you
want to use {"{if foo}}{{var bar}}{{/if foo}}", then your definition
should be:
qr({{), # start of opening tag
qr(}}), # end of opening tag
qr({{/), # start of closing tag
qr(}}), # end of closing tag
NOTE: do not specify capturing parentheses in you regexes. If you
need parentheses, use "(?:foo|bar)" instead of "(foo|bar)".
Say you want to deactivate asp-style, comment-style, activate php-
and tt-style and your own "{{}} " style, then say:
my $htc = HTML::Template::Compiled->new(
tagstyle => [
qw(-asp -comment +php +tt),
[ qr({{), qr(}}), qr({{/), qr(}})],
use_expressions (since 0.91_003)
Set to 1 if you want to use expressions. The basic expressions work
more or less like in HTML::Template::Expr - I took the parsing code
from it and used it with some minor changes - thanks to Sam Tregar.
<%if expr="some.var > 3" %>It's grater than 3<%/if %>
But with expressions you can also use more complex navigation
through the template stash:
You can use object methods with parameters. While a normal method
call can only be called without parameters, like
<%= %>
with expressions you can give it parameters:
<%= expr="object.create_link('navi')" %>
Inside function and method calls, hash keys you also can use
template vars (array indices and hash keys since 0.96_003).
<%= expr="{var}" %>
<%= expr="{.another.var[123]}{'literal key'}" %>
It is only minimally tested yet, so use with care and please report
any bugs you find.
A useful example: Output a number of items with their prices
my $nf = Number::Format->new(...);
my $htc = HTML::Template::Compiled->new(
filename => 'items.html',
use_expressions => 1,
items => [
{ size => 50 * 1024 * 1024 * 1024, price => 49.95 },
{ size => 250 * 1024 * 1024 * 1024, price => 110.99 },
nf => $nf,
<%loop .items %>
Size: <%= expr=".nf.format_bytes(size)" %>
Price: <%= expr=".nf.format_price(price)" %>
<%/loop %>
Output: Size: 50G Price: 49,95 EUR
Size: 250G
Price: 110,99 EUR
Deprecated, see HTML::Template::Compiled::Formatter please.
With formatter you can specify how an object should be rendered.
This is useful if you don't want object methods to be called, but
only a given subset of methods.
my $htc = HTML::Template::Compiled->new(
formatter => {
'Your::Class' => {
fullname => sub {
$_[0]->first . ' ' . $_[0]->last
first => Your::Class->can('first'),
last => Your::Class->can('last'),
# $obj is a Your::Class object
$htc->param(obj => $obj);
# Template:
# Fullname: <tmpl_var obj/fullname>
formatter_path (fixed)
Deprecated, see HTML::Template::Compiled::Formatter please.
If set to 1 you will get the generated perl code on standard error
Set it to 1 if you plan to use the query() method. Default is 0.
Explanation: If you want to use query() to collect information on
the template HTC has to do extra-work while compiling and uses
extra-memory, so you can choose to save HTC work by setting
use_query to 0 (default) or letting HTC do the extra work by setting
it to 1. If you would like 1 to be the default, write me. If enough
people write me, I'll think abou it =)
Set to 1 if you want to use the perl-tag. See "TMPL_PERL". Default
is 0.
Default: 0
You can debug hits and misses for file cache and memory cache:
# debug all cache
my $htc = HTML::Template::Compiled->new(
cache_debug => 1,
# only debug misses
my $htc = HTML::Template::Compiled->new(
cache_debug => [qw/ file_miss mem_miss /],
Possible values when passing an array ref: file_miss file_hit
mem_miss mem_hit
Output looks similar to HTML::Template cache_debug and will be
output to STDERR via warn().
clear_cache ([DIR])
Class method. It will clear the memory cache either of a specified
cache directory:
or all memory caches:
Class- or object-method. Removes all generated perl files from a
given directory.
# clear a directory
# clear this template's cache directory (and not one template file only!)
Works like in HTML::Template.
Works like in HTML::Template. But it is not activated by default. If
you want to use it, specify the use_query option.
Class method. Will preload all template files from a given cachedir
into memory. Should be done, for example in a mod_perl environment,
at server startup, so all templates go into "shared memory"
If you don't do preloading in mod_perl, memory usage might go up if
you have a lot of templates.
Note: the directory is *not* the template directory. It should be
the directory which you give as the file_cache_dir option.
Class method. It will precompile a list of template files into the
specified cache directory. See "PRECOMPILE".
Empty all parameters.
debug_code (since 0.91_003)
If you get an error from the generated template, you might want to
debug the executed code. You can now call "debug_code" to get the
compiled code and the line the error occurred. Note that the
reported line might not be the exact line where the error occurred,
also look around the line. The template filename reported does
currently only report the main template, not the name of an included
template. I'll try to fix that.
local $HTML::Template::Compiled::DEBUG = 1;
my $htc = HTML::Template::Compiled->new(
filename => 'some_file_with_runtime_error.html',
eval {
print $htc->output;
if ($@) {
# reports as text
my $msg = $htc->debug_code;
# reports as a html table
my $msg_html = $htc->debug_code('html');
my $plugin = $htc->get_plugin('Name::of::plugin');
Returns the plugin object of that classname. If the plugin is only a
string (the classname itself), it returns this string, so this
method is only useful for plugin objects.
Useful for plugins. Parses a template var ("name=""" and
returns the perl expression for the compiler.
You create a template almost like in HTML::Template:
my $t = HTML::Template::Compiled->new(
path => 'templates',
loop_context_vars => 1,
filename => 'test.html',
# for testing without cache comment out
file_cache => 1,
file_cache_dir => "cache",
The next time you start your application and create a new template, HTC
will read all generated perl files, and a call to the constructor like
above won't parse the template, but just use the loaded code. If your
template file has changed, though, then it will be parsed again.
You can set the expire time of a template by passing the option
expire_time => $seconds
Note that
are deprecated since they change a global variable which is then visible
in the whole process, so in persistent environments other apps might be
So an expire time of 600 seconds (default) will check after 10 minutes
if the tmpl file was modified. Set it to a very high value will then
ignore any changes, until you delete the generated code. For development
you should set it to 0, for a pre-production server you can set it to 60
seconds, for example. It can make quite a difference.
At the moment you can use and write plugins for the "ESCAPE" attribute.
See HTML::Template::Compiled::Plugin::XMLEscape for an example how to
use it; and have a look at the source code if you want to know how to
write a plugin yourself.
Using Plugins:
my $htc = HTML::Template::Compiled->new(
plugin => ['HTML::Template::Compiled::Foo::Bar'],
# oor shorter:
plugin => ['::Foo::Bar'],
Let's say you're in a CGI environment and have a lot of includes in your
template, but only few of them are actually used.
HTML::Template::Compiled will (as HTML::Template does) parse all of your
includes at once. Just like the "use" function does in perl. To get a
behaviour like require, use HTML::Template::Compiled::Lazy.
associate, methods with simple parameters, expressions, pluggable, ...
HTC generates a perl subroutine out of every template. Each included
template is a subroutine for itself. You can look at the generated code
by activating file caching and looking into the cache directory. When
you call "output()", the subroutine is called. The subroutine either
creates a string and adds each template text or the results of the tags
to the string, or it prints it directly to a filehandle. Because of the
implementation you have to know at creation time of the module if you
want to get a string back or if you want to print to a filehandle.
HTML::Template::Compiled uses basically the same file caching model as,
for example, Template- Toolkit does: The compiled Perl code is written
to disk and later reread via "do" or by reading the file and "eval" the
If you are sharing a read/write environment with untrusted users (for
example on a machine with a webserver, like many webhosters offer, and
all scripts are running as the same httpd user), realize that there is
possibility of modifying the Perl code that is cached and then executed.
The best solution is to not be in such an environment!
In this case it is the safest option to generate your compiled templates
on a local machine and just put the compiled templates onto the server,
with no write access for the http server. Set the "expire_time" option
to a high value so that HTC never attempts to check the template
timestamp to force a regenerating of the code.
If you are alone on the machine, but you are running under taint mode
(see perlsec) then you have to explicitly set the $UNTAINT variable to
1. HTC will then untaint the code for you and treat it as if it were
safe (it hopefully is =).
I think there is no way to provide an easy function for precompiling,
because every template can have different options. If you have all your
templates with the same options, then you can use the precompile class
method. It works like this:
# usual options like path, default_escape, global_vars, file_cache_dir, ...
filenames => [ list of template-filenames ],
This will then pre-compile all templates into file_cache_dir. Now you
would just put this directory onto the server, and it doesn't need any
write-permissions, as it will be never changed (until you update it
because templates have changed).
The options "case_sensitive", "loop_context_vars" and "global_vars" can
have the biggest influence on speed.
Setting case_sensitive to 1, loop_context_vars to 0 and global_vars to 0
saves time.
On the other hand, compared to HTML::Template, you have a large speed
gain under mod_perl if you use case_sensitive = 1, loop_context_vars =
0, With CGI HTC is slower.
See the "examples/" contained in this distribution.
Here are some examples from the benchmark script. I'm showing only
Template::AutoFilter, Template::HTML, HTML::Template and HTC. These four
modules allow to set automatic HTML escaping ('filter') for all
loop_context_vars 1
global_vars 0
case_sensitive 1
default_escape HTML (respectively Template::AutoFilter and Template::HTML)
ht: HTML::Template 2.10
htc: HTML::Template::Compiled 0.95
ttaf: Template::AutoFilter 0.112350 with Template 2.22
tth: Template::HTML 0.02 with Template 2.22
First test is with the test.(htc|tt) from the examples directory, about
900 bytes.
Test without file cache and without memory cache.
all_ht: 1 wallclock secs ( 0.40 usr + 0.00 sys = 0.40 CPU) @ 250.00/s (n=100)
all_htc: 1 wallclock secs ( 1.74 usr + 0.01 sys = 1.75 CPU) @ 57.14/s (n=100)
all_ttaf_new_object: 1 wallclock secs ( 1.69 usr + 0.01 sys = 1.70 CPU) @ 58.82/s (n=100)
all_tth_new_object: 1 wallclock secs ( 1.44 usr + 0.00 sys = 1.44 CPU) @ 69.44/s (n=100)
With file cache:
all_ht: 1 wallclock secs ( 1.03 usr + 0.01 sys = 1.04 CPU) @ 379.81/s (n=395)
all_htc: 1 wallclock secs ( 1.07 usr + 0.00 sys = 1.07 CPU) @ 260.75/s (n=279)
all_ttaf_new_object: 1 wallclock secs ( 1.07 usr + 0.04 sys = 1.11 CPU) @ 251.35/s (n=279)
all_tth_new_object: 1 wallclock secs ( 1.01 usr + 0.04 sys = 1.05 CPU) @ 227.62/s (n=239)
With memory cache:
all_ht: 1 wallclock secs ( 1.04 usr + 0.00 sys = 1.04 CPU) @ 461.54/s (n=480)
all_htc: 1 wallclock secs ( 1.05 usr + 0.01 sys = 1.06 CPU) @ 3168.87/s (n=3359)
process_ttaf: 1 wallclock secs ( 1.04 usr + 0.00 sys = 1.04 CPU) @ 679.81/s (n=707)
process_tth: 1 wallclock secs ( 1.05 usr + 0.00 sys = 1.05 CPU) @ 609.52/s (n=640)
Now I'm using a template with about 18Kb by multiplying the example
template 20 times. You can see that everything is running slower but
some run more slower than others.
Test without file cache and without memory cache.
all_ht: 8 wallclock secs ( 7.57 usr + 0.04 sys = 7.61 CPU) @ 13.14/s (n=100)
all_htc: 32 wallclock secs (32.08 usr + 0.06 sys = 32.14 CPU) @ 3.11/s (n=100)
all_ttaf_new_object: 36 wallclock secs (36.21 usr + 0.04 sys = 36.25 CPU) @ 2.76/s (n=100)
all_tth_new_object: 29 wallclock secs (28.92 usr + 0.05 sys = 28.97 CPU) @ 3.45/s (n=100)
With file cache:
all_ht: 8 wallclock secs ( 7.22 usr + 0.00 sys = 7.22 CPU) @ 13.85/s (n=100)
all_htc: 5 wallclock secs ( 5.32 usr + 0.00 sys = 5.32 CPU) @ 18.80/s (n=100)
all_ttaf_new_object: 8 wallclock secs ( 7.59 usr + 0.15 sys = 7.74 CPU) @ 12.92/s (n=100)
all_tth_new_object: 9 wallclock secs ( 8.74 usr + 0.19 sys = 8.93 CPU) @ 11.20/s (n=100)
With memory cache:
all_ht: 1 wallclock secs ( 1.04 usr + 0.01 sys = 1.05 CPU) @ 15.24/s (n=16)
all_htc: 1 wallclock secs ( 1.12 usr + 0.00 sys = 1.12 CPU) @ 272.32/s (n=305)
process_ttaf: 1 wallclock secs ( 1.07 usr + 0.00 sys = 1.07 CPU) @ 39.25/s (n=42)
process_tth: 1 wallclock secs ( 1.05 usr + 0.00 sys = 1.05 CPU) @ 34.29/s (n=36)
So the performance difference highly depends on the size of the template
and on the various options. You can see that using the 900byte template
HTC is slower with file cache than HTML::Template, but with the 18Kb
template it's faster.
See "objects.html" in examples (and "examples/") for an
example how to feed objects to HTC.
Probably many bugs I don't know yet =)
Use the bugtracking system to report a bug:
Why another Template System?
You might ask why I implement yet another templating system. There are
so many to choose from. Well, there are several reasons.
I like the syntax of HTML::Template *because* it is very restricted.
It's also easy to use (template syntax and API). However, there are some
things I miss I try to implement here.
I think while HTML::Template is quite good, the implementation can be
made more efficient (and still pure Perl). That's what I'm trying to
I use it in my web applications, so I first write it for myself =) If I
can efficiently use it, it was worth it.
See for svn access.
Template - Toolkit
Tina Mueller
Sam Tregar big thanks for ideas and letting me use his HTML::Template
test suite
Bjoern Kriews for original idea and contributions
Special Thanks to Sascha Kiefer - he finds all the bugs!
Ronnie Neumann, Martin Fabiani, Kai Sengpiel, Jan Willamowius, Justin
Day, Steffen Winkler, Henrik Tougaard for ideas, beta-testing and
<> and> for
everyday learning
Corion, Limbic~Region, tye, runrig and others from
Copyright (C) 2005-2012 by Tina Mueller
This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
under the same terms as Perl itself, either Perl version 5.8.3 or, at
your option, any later version of Perl 5 you may have available.
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