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  Idly the man scrawled quill along page.  It was early yet, but his day
had scarcely begun.  Great sheaves of nearly identical work sat about his
desk as the clock clicked slowly to itself.  One by one, new pages joined
the ranks, permeated with the smell of roasted beans as the pen drew
coffee as often as ink.
  Exhausted, he collapsed atop his work in a fitful doze.  Images began to
invade his unconscious mind, of flight and fancy, and jubilant impropriety.
Then just as suddenly as he had slept, he woke, the image of a small child
wearing a big smile and a heavy coat of Milk on his upper lip startling him
back to alertness.
  He saw clearly, as he looked across his paper-strewn desk, that the task
could be changed – and for once, it looked like fun.

Milk is a spec-conforming (v1.1+λ) implementation of the Mustache templating language, written in CoffeeScript. Templates can be rendered server-side (through Node.js or any other CommonJS platform), or, since CoffeeScript compiles to Javascript, on the client-side in the browser of your choice.

Try Milk Now

Wondering what it can do? Hit the playground!


npm install milk


Milk is built for use both in CommonJS environments and in the browser (where it will be exported as window.Milk). The public API is deliberately simple:


  Milk.render(template, data);            // => 'A rendered template'
  Milk.render(template, data, partials);  // => 'A rendered template'

The render method is the core of Milk. In its simplest form, it takes a Mustache template string and a data object, returning the rendered template. It also takes an optional third parameter, which can be either a hash of named partial templates, or a function that takes a partial name and returns the partial.


  Milk.partials = { ... };

  // equivalent to Milk.render(template, data, Milk.partials)
  Milk.render(template, data);

If your application's needs for partials are relatively simple, it may make more sense to handle partial resolution globally. To support this, your calls to render will automatically fall back to using Milk.partials when you don't supply explicit partial resolution.


  Milk.helpers = { ... };  // will also work with an array

  // everything from Milk.helpers lives at the bottom of the context stack
  Milk.render(template, data);

Whether for internationalization or syntax highlighting, sometimes you'll find yourself needing certain functions available everywhere in your templates. To help enable this behavior, Milk.helpers acts as the baseline for your context stack, providing a quick way to all the global data and functions you need.


  Milk.escape('<tag type="evil">');  // => '&lt;tag type=&quot;evil&quot;&gt;'

  Milk.escape = function(str) { return str.split("").reverse().join("") };

  // Milk.escape is used to handle all escaped tags
  var template = "{{data}} is {{{data}}}";
  Milk.render(template, { "data": "reversed" });  // => "desrever is reversed"

Milk.escape is the function that Milk uses to handle escaped interpolation. As such, you can use it (e.g. from lambdas) to perform the same escaping that Milk does, or you can override it to change the behavior of escaped tags.


  Milk.VERSION  // => '1.2.0'

For when you absolutely must know what version of the library you're running.


Milk itself is documented more completely at (public API documentation is this bit).

The Mustache templating language is documented at


A few things to note:

  • This project uses submodules. To get them, run git submodule init and git submodule update.
  • To install the npm dependencies, run npm install .
  • There are a number of cake tasks, including ones that build the specs. To list the tasks, simply run cake in the project directory. To build the specs, run cake spec:node or cake spec:html.
  • To run the node.js tests, run npm test.


Copyright (c) 2011 Pieter van de Bruggen.

(The GIFT License, v2)

Permission is hereby granted to use this software and/or its source code for whatever purpose you should choose. Seriously, go nuts. Use it to build your family CMS, your incredibly popular online text adventure, or to mass-produce Constitutions for North African countries.

I don't care, it's yours. Change the name on it if you want -- in fact, if you start significantly changing what it does, I'd rather you did! Make it your own little work of art, complete with a stylish flowing signature in the corner. All I really did was give you the canvas. And my blessing.

Know always right from wrong, and let others see your good works.


Milk is Mustache in CoffeeScript -- great with your browser or NodeJS!







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