push-style templating - an xml-like way to process xhtml

Tino Wildenhain tino at wildenhain.de
Sun Nov 2 17:05:09 CET 2008

Terrence Brannon wrote:
> Tino Wildenhain wrote:
>>> An opposite approach to this form of dynamic HTML production is called
>>> push-style templating, as coined by Terence Parr:
>> Hm.
>> "<a href=$attr.url$>$attr.title$</a>
>> $if(attr.active)$
>> $attr.submenu:menuItem()$
>> $endif$"
>> This looks ugly to me.
> It looks ugly to me too.
>> Why not just using well tested TAL, which is
>> also available for a number of languages?
> well, to me, TAL has to be learned. It is a language. Why is this an 
> issue? Let me answer: I already know Python. I already know the XHTML 
> standard. I do not wish to learn TAL. If you know Python, and can read 
> the API to a high-quality XML processing toolkit, then you are done. TAL 
> introduces another language and I have to learn its conventions and 
> idiosyncrasies.

Your templating engine you have in your paper has yet another language.
So where is the difference?

> Now, the same would be true of Terence Parr's StringTemplate engine. It 
> is small, only 4 commands, but it litters the template with too much if 
> you ask me.

TAL's core has also only a few "commands". So not much to learn. If
thats to much, development is not for you I fear ;)

> I like the approach of my own HTML::Seamstress --- object-oriented Perl 
> and knowledge of an object-oriented tree-rewriting library is all you need:
> http://search.cpan.org/~tbone/HTML-Seamstress-5.0b/lib/HTML/Seamstress.pod#Text_substitution_via_replace_content()_API_call. 

Still you need to learn. There is no way out.

>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template_Attribute_Language
>> In contrast there would be something like TSSL, which
>> unfortunately never saw the light of the day yet :-)
>> http://mail.zope.org/pipermail/zpt/2002-May/003304.html
>> (This solution would not even touch the HTML directly)
> just remember: XHTML is a subset of XML and no one ever touches XML 
> directly. There really is no reason for HTML to be handled any 
> differently than XML.
> That TSSL is a nightmare. It's trying to be a programming language. And 
> again, we already have Perl/Python, so why bother? You can avoid 
> touching HTML by using Python.

Mini languages is the correct term. And yes they have their
purpose. (Think of SQL for example).
> Thank you for writing. I enjoyed the discussion.

Yeah :-)

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