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

Terrence Brannon metaperl at gmail.com
Sun Nov 2 15:25:51 CET 2008

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 

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.

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://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.

Thank you for writing. I enjoyed the discussion.

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