facile
Convention-based template engine that depends on jQuery, zepto or cheerio.
Last updated 6 years ago by smassa .
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Facile

Facile is a convention-based template engine that can be executed either in the browser (using jQuery or zepto) or on the server (using cheerio). While other template systems like Mustache give the developer syntax for explicit conditionals, enumerations and data bindings, Facile uses simple conventions to achieve the same goals with less code.

Installation

If you want to use Facile with Node.js, install it using npm:

npm install facile

To use Facile in the browser, either copy the facile.coffee file or the compiled test/public/javascripts/facile.js file into your project.

Usage

The facile package is a single function that accepts a template string and a data object:

var facile = require("facile"), // only needed in Node.js
    template = "...",
    data = {...},
    output = facile(template, data);

Data Binding by Ids and Classes

Facile will look for DOM ids and classes that match the keys in your data object and set the DOM elements' text to the data values:

var template = '<div id="dog"></div><div class="cat"></div>',
    data = {dog: "woof", cat: "meow"};
facile(template, data);
// returns '<div id="dog">woof</div><div class="cat">meow</div>'

Looping Over Collections

When a value in the data object is an array, Facile will find the container DOM element that matches the data key and render its contents for each item in the array.

var template = '<ul id="users"><li class="name"></li></ul>',
    data = {users: [
      {name: "Moe"}, 
      {name: "Larry"},
      {name: "Curly"}
    ]};
facile(template, data);
// returns:
// <ul id="users">
//   <li class="name">Moe</li>
//   <li class="name">Larry</li>
//   <li class="name">Curly</li>
// </ul>

If you are binding an array of data to a <table> element, Facile will use the content of the table's <tbody> as the template for the data object. This allows you to setup a <thead> without duplicating it.

var template = '<table id="users">' +
               '  <thead>' +
               '    <tr><th>Name</th></tr>' +
               '  </thead>' +
               '  <tbody>' +
               '    <tr><td class="name"></td></tr>' +
               '  </tbody>' +
               '</table>',
    data = {users: [
      {name: "Moe"}, 
      {name: "Larry"},
      {name: "Curly"}
    ]};
facile(template, data);
// returns:
// <table id="users">
//   <thead>
//     <tr><th>Name</th></tr>
//   </thead>
//   <tbody>
//     <tr><td class="name">Moe</td></tr>
//     <tr><td class="name">Larry</td></tr>
//     <tr><td class="name">Curly</td></tr>
//   </tbody>
// </table>

Removing Elements

If the data object has a null value, the corresponding DOM element will be removed.

var template = '<p>Hello!</p><p class="impolite">Take a hike, guy.</p>',
    data = {impolite: null};
facile(template, data);
// returns "<p>Hello!</p>"

Setting DOM Attributes

There are two ways to set DOM attributes on elements using Facile. First, if a value in the data object is an object, Facile will treat the keys as attribute names for the matching DOM element. NOTE: the content key is required to trigger this behavior. It is also special in that it updates the content of the element rather than setting a content attribute.

var template = '<div id="dog" />',
    data = {dog: {content: 'woof', 'data-age': 3} };
facile(template, data);
// returns '<div id="dog" data-age="3">woof</div>'

The second way is to name a key in the data object using the convention id-or-class@attribute.

var template = '<div id="dog" />',
    data = {dog: 'woof', 'dog@data-age': 3};
facile(template, data);
// returns '<div id="dog" data-age="3">woof</div>'

Using Facile with Express

Facile works out of the box as a render engine in the Express framework in Node.js. If you are suffixing your view files with .facile then you simply need to add this line to your Express app:

app.set("view engine", "facile");

If you would rather name your view files with a .html suffix, add these lines instead:

app.set("view engine", "html");
app.register(".html", require(facile));

Running the Tests

  1. Install node and npm.
  2. Run npm install to the dependencies
  3. Run npm test to run the specs in Node.js
  4. Run ./coffee to watch/compile the CoffeeScripts
  5. Run node test to run Jasmine test server
  6. Visit http://localhost:5000 to see the tests run in the browser.

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