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Meta templates / Double Template for Node.js

I have checked many templates and not found a really stright forwared simple templets script. So i decided to write my own.

The idea is to have a template like php mixed with html.

A template that processed twice:

  • 1st time prepeared with static data
  • 2nd time - each time a request is made.

The template is compiled at runtime when preloaded in to a simple javascript funciton.

My requirement was a minimal learning curve.

The template is planed for nodejs to be prepeared once and used many times.

I decided on <??> tags for runtime part of the template.

I decided on <%%> tags for prepeare part of the template.

example template:

  hello <? if(myvar) { ?><?=myvar?><? } else { ?> world<? }?>

A complex template example with calling other template and recursion,

A website with satic recusive menu and dynamic content in the center

  <head><title>complex template example</title></head>
   <table width="100%" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0">
         <td dir="rtl" style="padding:10px;text-align:right;direction:rtl">
         <td dir="rtl" width="225" bgcolor="#ccd5f4" style="padding:10px;text-align:right;direction:rtl">
           function print_menu(menu1)
            var echo; //redefine local echo variable
            for(link in menu1)
              <li><a href="<?=link.href?>"><?></a></li>
            return echo;
           echo+=print_menu(menu); // echo is defined in the begining of the function 
                                   // and returned at the end of the function. 

   // vars is an argument of the template function,  it is extracted at the begining of function.
   // it calls for other template , with same variable you have in this function
   // for more information see buildtemplate function below.

to include in in nodejs I use:

  var te = require('doubletemplate');  //load double teplate module

or var loadtemplate=require('doubletemplate').loadtemplate; // only load template function

example of using parsedir function:


example of using loadfile function:


in the code you can use:

  te.templates['subdir/filename.html'].call(this,{name:'your name'});

example of using loadtemplate function:

  var mytemplate=te.loadtemplate(__dirname+'/templates/filename.html',this,{'app':app});,{name:'your name'});

the code is in stright forward logic you can read it and understand how it works.


  • add managed templates = reload templates automaticaly
  • to add parsing of first ; position for output shortcut tag to allow easier convertion to non bloking style if needed.
  • later I plan to rewrite it to support html paritials with sizzle css selector. like styling html with paritial html.
  • later I plan to enhance the api and the module structure. for now what is here is enought for me.

common tricks solutions:

unclosed quotes in javascript may lead to show the source of the template in a full or in a paritial way.

if it tells you unexpected token ">" it might mean that there is a missing question mark "?" before it, and it is a part of "?>"

if you get a duplicate page header and footer like 3 to 8 times it might be becuse you have an extra spontaneous html tag at the bottom, it is just becuase chrome randers it badly, chrome creates a new extra div tag similar to a one in that place, to createa an openning tag for the spontaneous close tag.

it might help to have a page object and app object, example will be added later as used in nodejs-mongo-app.

to load tampaltes on in the prepere strage. use .call to change the object of this of the function:,{});  

the wrapper is a fun part of this templates system, it allows adding a wraper and receive a solid function after the template is prepered. and you can use it many times,


this.load1('listgrid','paritials/listgrid.html'); // load a template

echo+=this.listgrid({'app':app,'page':page,'model_name':'model1','model':model1,'cursor_name':'cursor1'}); // run loaded template,this._.replace(vars,{'content':echo}));  //this is a wrapper,

// the result varibale called echo so you can play with it:
// save it,clear it , acamulate again, change it , restore it appaned the changed ..., 
// and so you have a wrapper. a good idea only use it in the preperaring step only.

by Shimon Doodkin,