Alternative delimiters or changing delimiters #227

sebpiq opened this Issue Apr 26, 2012 · 14 comments


None yet
10 participants

sebpiq commented Apr 26, 2012

Hi !

I couldn't find if there is the possibility to change the delimiters for blocks or variables ({{}}, {{#, ...).
From a quick look in the source, the delimiters seem hard-coded in a regular expression, but I'd like to have the confirmation of that !?
Without giving complete freedom to chose the delimiters, it would be cool to be able to choose between alternative syntax.

My current problem is that I am using Django, and the delimiters of Django's templating langage and handlebar's clash. Therefore, where I need to use both template langages, I have to use very clumsy syntax like :

{% raw %}
    <img src="{{#if user.mugshot_url}}{{user.mugshot_url}}{{else}}{% endraw %}{{ USER_DEFAULT_PIC_URL }}{% raw %}{{/if}}"/>
{% endraw %}

Thanks !

This would, indeed, be nice (coming from another Django user). For now, here's a workaround that someone has developed:

sebpiq commented May 22, 2012

Thanks for the tip !

Its better to precompile your templates into javascript functions and include them with your javascript assets, which removes this issue completely.


wagenet commented Nov 2, 2012

I think we're pretty unlikely to be able to support custom delimiters since that's part of the lexer which isn't configurable. However, it may be possible to add an alternate syntax. I also recommend precompilation.

sebpiq commented Nov 2, 2012

Ok .. thanks for the tip. Precompilation sounds pretty good to me. However there's still some cases when you're not able to precompile and you'll have clashes between template languages ... alternate syntax would be a nice way out.

Just another Django user that would find nice to choose between two syntaxes. Personally, I have the need to preprocess the templates server side so I have no chance of compiling them as an static asset.

@doowb doowb referenced this issue in assemble/assemble Aug 14, 2013


keep some handlebars template-tags ? #281

If you're rolling Django 1.5+ you can use the verbatim template tag to skip parsing Handlebar expressions.


kpdecker commented Nov 3, 2013

This isn't something that we are going to be able to support with our lexer setup. It sounds like there are some workarounds proposed by this group for the Django environment.

@kpdecker kpdecker closed this Nov 3, 2013


jonschlinkert commented Sep 14, 2014

I put this module together to make it easy to use custom delims if anyone is interested. suggestions for improvement or prs are welcome

korya commented Oct 2, 2014

@jonschlinkert, great work. Do you have any idea how it can be easily injected to assemble in Grunt-initConfig?
Edit: I don't want to fork assemble repo to add the support for custom delimiters. It would be nice to inject it via assemble's options.initializeEngine, or in a similar way.


jonschlinkert commented Oct 2, 2014

@korya, mind opening an issue on assemble to discuss?

erquhart commented Nov 29, 2016

@wagenet @kpdecker so it's been two years and Handlebars is still the top templating tool for js. Is there willingness to even consider overcoming the limitations to making the delimiter configurable? I'm using Handlebars as a part of a Node library for static site generation, and precompiling doesn't apply if you're generating a static Angular app. It doesn't make sense to require users of the generator lib to use alternate tags throughout their entire Angular application for the sake of the templating language, when we know the templating will generally be quite minimal.

I'm aware (and appreciative!) of @jonschlinkert's solution, but this really is a core concern.


korya commented Nov 29, 2016

I am not sure about their plans. I believe the main argument against doing it remains the same: this requires changing the parser, which is generated and tested during build time.

Our case was similar to yours one. We use handlebars to assemble our HTML templates during the project compilation (build time), and we use angular at runtime.

First we started to escape the angular templates; that is in HTML file you write <span>\{{name}}</span> instead of just <span>{{name}}</span>. This approach did not work well since you had to remember always to escape these expressions; and even worse if you forgot to do it you got some weird errors messages during the build.

Since most of our effort is spent writing the angular apps, we decided to change the delimiters of handlebars rather than angular ones. We tried to reconfigure handlebars to use different delimiters at run-time. But we failed to integrate it into our setup. We use to build the HTML templates, and there was always an edge case that did not work for us. Hence at some point we just decided to fork Handlebars and change its delimiters in the lexer itself.

We decided to change the delimiters to <{{ and }}> (from the default {{ and }}). The fork can be found at The main change is in the lexer definition master...PlanitarInc:masterdiff-a13581e6dfc1c61c90703da188230cbc, other changes are just fixes for the tests.

I hope this can help you.

erquhart commented Nov 29, 2016

@korya thanks for the detailed reply - using the module by Jon Schlinkert represents a similar option, and probably one we'll have to take.

I brought it up her because the module that Jon wrote is a succinct script that just wraps handlebars and, unless there are caveats that I'm not aware of, it works. I'm hoping that the maintainers are at least open to this approach for now - simply allow users to specify alternate tags once, globally, but still have that configuration supported as a core feature.

Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment