Unmaintained fork of CoffeeKup
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CoffeeFilter <☕/>

It was fun while it lasted, but this fork has been left for dead... CoffeeCup is the way to go if you want an up-to-date Coffeekup.

This is my branch of the original Coffeekup. I have great plans for it, but they are not all implemented yet.

Changes from CoffeeKup:

  • Supports express 3.0.0beta5
  • Supports CoffeeScript 1.3.3
  • Supports template inheritance with the extend function, and injecting content into the parent template with the block function.
  • yield has been renamed to cede to work with newer CoffeeScript versions.


  • Clean up the code (a lot, and rewrite the template inheritance thingy)
  • Allow for partials (or use express3 functionality for it)
  • More...

Not safe for production use...

Markup as CoffeeScript

CoffeeFilter is a templating engine for node.js and browsers that lets you to write your HTML templates in 100% pure CoffeeScript.

It was created in celebration of whyday, as an application of the concept used in Markaby ("Markup as Ruby", by Tim Fletcher and why the lucky stiff) to CoffeeScript.

Here's what a template written for CoffeeFilter looks like:

doctype 5
html ->
	head ->
		meta charset: 'utf-8'
		title "#{@title or 'Untitled'} | A completely plausible website"
		meta(name: 'description', content: @description) if @description?

		link rel: 'stylesheet', href: '/css/app.css'

		style '''
			body {font-family: sans-serif}
			header, nav, section, footer {display: block}

		script src: '/js/jquery.js'

		coffeescript ->
			$(document).ready ->
				alert 'Alerts suck!'
	body ->
		header ->
			h1 @title or 'Untitled'

			nav ->
				ul ->
					(li -> a href: '/', -> 'Home') unless @path is '/'
					li -> a href: '/chunky', -> 'Bacon!'
					switch @user.role
						when 'owner', 'admin'
							li -> a href: '/admin', -> 'Secret Stuff'
						when 'vip'
							li -> a href: '/vip', -> 'Exclusive Stuff'
							li -> a href: '/commoners', -> 'Just Stuff'

		div '#myid.myclass.anotherclass', style: 'position: fixed', ->
			p 'Divitis kills! Inline styling too.'

		section ->
			# A helper function you built and included.
			breadcrumb separator: '>', clickable: yes

			h2 "Let's count to 10:"
			p i for i in [1..10]

			# Another hypothetical helper.
			form_to @post, ->
				textbox '#title', label: 'Title:'
				textbox '#author', label: 'Author:'
				submit 'Save'

		footer ->
			# CoffeeScript comments. Not visible in the output document.
			comment 'HTML comments.'
			p 'Bye!'

Interactive demo at coffeekup.org.


  • One language to rule them all. JavaScript is everywhere, thus so is CoffeeScript. Servers, browsers, even databases. If extending this to rendering logic and UI structure (server and client side) is desirable to you, CoffeeFilter is your friend.

  • More specifically, one outstanding language. CoffeeScript is one hell of a clean, expressive, flexible and powerful language. It's hard to find such combination, especially if you need it to run in the browser too.

  • Not yet another specialized language to learn. Transferable knowledge FTW.

  • Embed your templates in CoffeeScript nicely. Templates are just functions, so they don't lose syntax highlighting and syntax checking when embedded in CoffeeScript apps.

  • Embed CoffeeScript in your templates nicely. In the same manner, you can write the contents of <script> blocks in CoffeeScript, and keep the highlighting. Perhaps more significantly, the CoffeeScript compiler doesn't have to be called just to convert these blocks to JS, as in other templating engines.

  • Extensive editor support. You benefit from the already existing list of excellent CoffeeScript text editor plugins.

  • Client-server consistency. The same template language and implementation in node.js or the browser.

  • Easily extendable into a higher level "DSL". Since all elements are just functions, it's very easy to define your own custom "tags", which will work and look the same as "native" ones.

  • HTML 5 ready. Boring legacy doctypes and elements also available.

  • Optional auto-escaping. You can also use the h helper on a case-by-case basis.

  • Optional formatting, with line breaks and indentation.

  • Pick your poison. Works with both CoffeeScript and JavaScript apps.

Why not?

CoffeeFilter may not be your best choice in those cases:

  • You're after the cleanest syntax possible, above all. In this regard a specialized language such as Jade just can't be beaten.

  • You use divs and/or classes for everything. While in CoffeeFilter you can do div '#id.class.class', specialized languages often have an even shorter syntax for that.

  • You want CoffeeScript for rendering logic, but you'd rather stick with HTML for markup. Then you're looking for Eco.

  • For your specific project/team/preferences, you think a limited and/or separate language for templating is actually beneficial.


TODO: add CoffeeFilter to npm

Just grab node.js and npm and you're set:

npm install coffeefilter

To get the coffeefilter command, install it globally:

npm install coffeefilter -g

Or to use the latest version:

git clone git@github.com:tgwizard/coffeefilter.git && cd coffeefilter
cake build
npm link
cd ~/myproject
npm link coffeefilter


cf = require 'coffeefilter'

cf.render -> h1 "You can feed me templates as functions."
cf.render "h1 'Or strings. I am not too picky.'"

Defining variables: TODO: rewrite this, this is not how it works

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

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

cf.render(template, title: 'Log In', hardcode: helpers)

Precompiling to functions:

template = cf.compile(template, locals: yes, hardcode: {zig: 'zag'})

template(foo: 'bar', locals: {ping: 'pong'})

With express:

coffeefilter = require 'coffeefilter'
app.set 'view engine', 'coffee'
app.engine '.coffee', coffeefilter.adapters.express

app.get '/', (req, res) ->
	# Will render views/index.coffee:
	res.render 'index', foo: 'bar'

With zappa:

get '/': ->
	@franks = ['miller', 'oz', 'sinatra', 'zappa']
	render 'index'

view index: ->
	for name in @franks
		a href: "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_#{name}", -> name

With meryl:

coffeefilter = require 'coffeefilter'

meryl.get '/', (req, resp) ->
	people = ['bob', 'alice', 'meryl']
	resp.render 'layout', content: 'index', context: {people: people}

	templateExt: '.coffee'
	templateFunc: coffeefilter.adapters.meryl

On the browser: TODO: make sure this works, it probably doesn't now

<script src="template.js"></script>
	$('body').append(templates.template({foo: 'bar'}));

This is one of many browser deployment possibilities, pre-compiling your template on the server to a standalone function. To see all serving suggestions, check out regular, decaf and crème.


$ coffeefilter -h

  coffeefilter [options] path/to/template.coffee

      --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 CoffeeFilter version
  -h, --help         display this help message

See /examples for complete versions (you have to run cake build first).

TODO: make these examples work...

Please note that even though all examples are given in CoffeeScript, you can also use their plain JavaScript counterparts just fine.



  • html2coffeekup - Converts HTML to CoffeeKup templates.

  • htmlkup - Another HTML converter, stdin/stdout based.

  • ice - CoffeeKup and Eco in Rails (screencast).

  • coffee-world - Tool to watch and compile HTML with CoffeeKup, CSS with coffee-css and JS with CoffeeScript.

  • cupcake - Express app generator with CoffeeKup support.

Related projects

  • ck - "a smaller, faster coffeekup": Alternative, barebones implementation.

  • ckup - "Markup as Coco": Similar engine but for Coco ("Unfancy CoffeeScript").

  • Eco - "Embedded CoffeeScript templates": "EJS/ERB" for CoffeeScript.

  • timbits - "Widget framework based on Express and CoffeeScript".

  • coffee-css - "More CSS for CoffeeScript".

  • ccss - "CoffeeScript CSS".


Latest version tested with node 0.8.1 and CoffeeScript 1.3.3.

Special thanks