10.6 Template

Haxe comes with a standard template system with an easy to use syntax which is interpreted by a lightweight class called haxe.Template.

A template is a string or a file that is used to produce any kind of string output depending on the input. Here is a small template example:

class Main {
  static function main() {
    var sample = "My name is <strong>::name::</strong>, <em>::age::</em> years old";
    var user = {name:"Mark", age:30};
    var template = new haxe.Template(sample);
    var output = template.execute(user);
    trace(output);
  }
}

The console will trace My name is Mark, 30 years old.

Expressions

An expression can be put between the ::, the syntax allows the current possibilities:

  • ::name:: the variable name
  • ::expr.field:: field access
  • ::(expr):: the expression expr is evaluated
  • ::(e1 op e2):: the operation op is applied to e1 and e2
  • ::(135):: the integer 135. Float constants are not allowed
Conditions

It is possible to test conditions using ::if flag1::. Optionally, the condition may be followed by ::elseif flag2:: or ::else::. Close the condition with ::end::.

::if isValid:: valid ::else:: invalid ::end::

Operators can be used but they don't deal with operator precedence. Therefore it is required to enclose each operation in parentheses (). Currently, the following operators are allowed: +, -, *, /, >, <, >=, <=, ==, !=, && and ||.

For example ::((1 + 3) == (2 + 2)):: will display true.

::if (points == 10):: Great! ::end::

To compare to a string, use double quotes " in the template.

::if (name == "Mark"):: Hi Mark ::end::
Iterating

Iterate on a structure by using ::foreach::. End the loop with ::end::.

<table>
	<tr>
		<th>Name</th>
		<th>Age</th>
	</tr>
	::foreach users::
		<tr>
			<td>::name::</td>
			<td>::age::</td>
		</tr>
	::end::
</table>
Sub-templates

To include templates in other templates, pass the sub-template result string as a parameter.

var users = [{name:"Mark", age:30}, {name:"John", age:45}];

var userTemplate = new haxe.Template("::foreach users:: ::name::(::age::) ::end::");
var userOutput = userTemplate.execute({users: users});

var template = new haxe.Template("The users are ::users::");
var output = template.execute({users: userOutput});
trace(output);

The console will trace The users are Mark(30) John(45).

Template macros

To call custom functions while parts of the template are being rendered, provide a macros object to the argument of Template.execute. The key will act as the template variable name, the value refers to a callback function that should return a String. The first argument of this macro function is always a resolve() method, followed by the given arguments. The resolve function can be called to retrieve values from the template context. If macros has no such field, the result is unspecified.

The following example passes itself as macro function context and executes display from the template.

class Main {
  static function main() {
    new Main();
  }

  public function new() {
    var user = {name:"Mark", distance:3500};
    var sample = "The results: $$display(::user::,::time::)";
    var template = new haxe.Template(sample);
    var output = template.execute({user:user, time: 15}, this);
    trace(output);
  }

  function display(resolve:String->Dynamic, user:User, time:Int) {
    return user.name + " ran " + (user.distance/1000) + " kilometers in " + time + " minutes";
  }
}
typedef User = {name:String, distance:Int}

The console will trace The results: Mark ran 3.5 kilometers in 15 minutes.

Globals

Use the Template.globals object to store values that should be applied across all haxe.Template instances. This has lower priority than the context argument of Template.execute.

Using resources

To separate the content from the code, consider using the resource embedding system. Place the template-content in a new file called sample.mtt, add -resource sample.mtt@my_sample to the compiler arguments and retrieve the content using haxe.Resource.getString.

class Main {
  static function main() {
    var sample = haxe.Resource.getString("my_sample");
    var user = {name:"Mark", age:30};
    var template = new haxe.Template(sample);
    var output = template.execute(user);
    trace(output);
  }
}

When running the template system on the server side, you can simply use neko.Lib.print or php.Lib.print instead of trace to display the HTML template to the user.

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