D-7 <altijd in beweging>

Day to day life of a Perl/Go/C/C++/whatever hacker. May include anything from tech, food, and family.



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Text::Xslate is one of the latest inventions by Goro Fuji. It's yet another template engine -- and since it is yet another template engine, I could easily see everybody going "oh, *another* one....". Yeah, I get the idea. I feel the same for most new template engines.

But I have to say, this time... this one /is/ worth looking at.

First off, it's blazing fast. For trivial tasks, Text::Xslate (ex-slate) is 10 ~ 20 times faster than Template::Toolkit. Check out some of the benchmark scripts in the benchmark directory.

For example, here's demo-tt.pl ran on my Mac OS X:

daisuke@beefcake p5-Text-Xslate$ perl benchmark/demo-tt.pl 
Perl/5.12.1 darwin-2level
Template-Toolkit's process() x 1000
Used: 3.457 sec.
Text::Xslate's render() x 1000
Used: 0.207 sec.
In this benchmark, Xslate is about 16.7 times faster than Template-Tookit.

Now usually that kind of speed comes with a significant hit on the template language's usability. 

For example, templates like Mason or Text::MicroTemplate allows you to write raw Perl -- which /is/ good in some situations, but in my line of work, you need a moderately easy language for designers to work on. You can't quite expect designers to be able to decipher Perl code in the templates.

The really cool thing about Text::Xslate is that now it supports a 80 ~ 90% Template-Toolkit compatible template language, with all the variable methods and what not. I just switched my Template::Toolkit based Catalyst app to Text::Xslate with only minor changes in the template -- it was an easy task. And now the template rendering is blazing fast!

To use Text::Xslate in a sort-of-TT-compatible mode, do the following:
use strict;
use Text::Xslate;

my $xslate = Text::Xslate->new(
    syntax => "TTerse",
    module => [
        # or 'Text::Xslate::Bridge::TT2'
print $xslate->render_string( <<EOT, { foo=> "bar" } );
The value of foo is '[% foo %]'
Its length is [% foo.length() %]
If I perform s/foo/bar/, it becomes [% foo.replace('foo', 'bar') %]

The use of "TTerse" enables the use of TT compatible template tokens ('[%', '%]'), and enables TT like syntax like WRAPPER, INCLUDE, FOREACH, WHILE, SET, etc. DEFAULT and PROCESS are not supported, but from what I can tell you can live with it.

If you suspect you might have some performance bottleneck in your template rendering, I suggest you seriously consider this template engine. If you are a Catalyst-head like me, you can use my Catalyst::View::Xslate to easily integrate Text::Xslate and Catalyst.

Happy Xslate-ing!
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