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Eco: Embedded CoffeeScript templates

Eco lets you embed CoffeeScript logic in
your markup. It's like EJS and ERB, but with CoffeeScript inside the
<% ... %>. Use it from Node.js to render your
application's views on the server side, or compile your templates
to JavaScript with the eco command-line utility and use them to
dynamically render views in the browser.

Here's how an Eco template looks:

<% if @projects.length: %>
  <% for project in @projects: %>
    <a href="<%= project.url %>"><%= project.name %></a>
    <p><%= project.description %></p>
  <% end %>
<% else: %>
  No projects
<% end %>

Usage

Use eco.render() to render your templates. The first argument is the
template source as a string. The second argument is the context object
which contains your view state and any helper methods you want to call.

eco = require "eco"
fs  = require "fs"

template = fs.readFileSync __dirname + "/views/projects.html.eco", "utf-8"
console.log eco.render template, projects: [
  { name: "Mobile app", url: "/projects/1", description: "Iteration 1" },
  { name: "Home page redesign", url: "/projects/2" }
]

Eco is fully synchronous. If your template needs to access data from
asynchronous operations, perform those first before calling render.

Language reference

Eco's syntax is simple:

A note about whitespace

CoffeeScript is whitespace-sensitive, but your templates
aren't. Therefore, Eco code tags that begin an indented CoffeeScript
block must be suffixed with a colon. To indicate the end of an
indented block, use the special tag <% end %>. For example:

<% if @project.isOnHold(): %>
  On Hold
<% end %>

You don't need to write the if and end tags on separate lines:

<% if @project.isOnHold(): %> On Hold <% end %>

And you can use the single-line postfix form of if as you'd expect:

<%= "On Hold" if @project.isOnHold() %>

Certain forms in CoffeeScript, such as else, must be unindented
first. Eco handles that for you automatically:

<% if @project.isOnHold(): %>
  On Hold
<% else if @project.isArchived(): %>
  Archived
<% end %>

The context object

The context object you pass to eco.render() becomes the value of
this inside your template. You can use CoffeeScript's @ sigil to
easily access properties and call helper methods on the context
object.

eco.render "<p><%= @description %></p>",
  description: "HTML 5 mobile app"

Helpers

Helper methods on your context object can access other properties on
the context object in the same way they're accessed in the template:
through this, or with the @ sigil.

translations = require "translations"

eco.render "<span><%= @translate 'common.welcomeText' %></span>",
  language:  "en"
  translate: (key) ->
    translations[@language][key]

Escaping and unescaping

When you print an expression in a template with <%= ... %>, its
value is HTML-escaped. For example,

eco.render "<%= @description %>",
  description: "<strong>HTML 5</strong> mobile app"

would render:

&lt;strong&gt;HTML 5&lt;/strong&gt; mobile app

You can use the <%- ... %> tag to print the value of an expression
without escaping it. So this code:

eco.render "<%- @description %>",
  description: "<strong>HTML 5</strong> mobile app"

would produce:

<strong>HTML 5</strong> mobile app

It is sometimes useful to generate markup in helper methods. The
special safe method on the context object tells Eco that the string
can be printed in <%= ... %> tags without being escaped. You can use
this in conjunction with the context object's escape method to
selectively sanitize parts of the string. For example,

eco.render "<%= @linkTo @project %>",
  project: { id: 4, name: "Crate & Barrel" }
  linkTo: (project) ->
    url  = "/projects/#{project.id}"
    name = @escape project.name
    @safe "<a href='#{url}'>#{name}</a>"

would render:

<a href='/projects/4'>Crate &amp; Barrel</a>

Custom escape helpers

By default, Eco's escape method takes a string and returns an
HTML-escaped string. You can override this behavior to escape for
formats other than HTML, or to bypass escaping entirely. For example,

eco.render "From: <%= @address %>",
  address: "Sam Stephenson <sstephenson@gmail.com>"
  escape:  (string) -> string

would return:

From: Sam Stephenson <sstephenson@gmail.com>

Blocks and capturing

You can capture blocks of a template by wrapping them in a function
definition. For example, rendering this template:

<% div = (contents) => %>
   <div><%- contents %></div>
<% end %>
<%= div "Hello" %>

would produce:

<div>Hello</div>

Captured blocks can be passed to helper methods too. In this example,
the capture body is passed to the formFor helper as its last
argument. Then the formFor helper calls this argument to produce a
value.

template = """
  <%= @formFor @project, (form) => %>
    <label>Name:</label>
    <%= form.textField "name" %>
  <% end %>
"""

eco.render template,
  project: { id: 1, name: "Mobile app" }
  formFor: (project, yield_to) ->
    form =
      textField: (attribute) =>
        name  = @escape attribute
        value = @escape @project[attribute]
        @safe "<input type='text' name='#{name}' value='#{value}'>"

    url  = "/projects/#{@project.id}"
    body = yield_to form
    @safe "<form action='#{url}' method='post'>#{body}</form>"

Note: In general, you should use CoffeeScript's fat arrow (=>) to
define capturing functions, so that you have access to the context
object inside the captured block. Treat the plain arrow (->) as an
optimization, for when you are certain the capture body will not need
to reference properties or helper methods on the context object.

Contributing

You can check out the Eco source code from GitHub:

$ git clone http://github.com/sstephenson/eco.git

To run Eco's test suite, install
nodeunit and run cake test.

Report bugs on the GitHub issue tracker.

License (MIT)

Copyright (c) 2010 Sam Stephenson sstephenson@gmail.com

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining
a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the
"Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including
without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish,
distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to
permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to
the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be
included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND,
EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF
MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND
NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE
LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION
OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION
WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

Special thanks