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    0.2.3 • Public • Published


    JSON IR for templating and corresponding runtime implementation

    "Fast but safe"

    Security guarantees of DOM-based templating (tag balancing, context-sensitive href/src/style sanitization etc) with the performance of string-based templating.

    See this page for background.

    • The JSON format is compact, can easily be persisted and can be evaluated with a tiny library.

    • Performance is on par with compiled handlebars templates, the fastest string-based library in our tests.

    • Compilation target for Knockoff templates (KnockoutJS syntax) and Spacebars.


    var ta = require('tassembly');
    // compile a template
    var tplFun = ta.compile(['<div',['attr',{id:""}],'>',['text','m.body'],'</div>']);
    // call with a model
    var html = tplFun({id: 'some id', body: 'The body text'});

    TAssembly also supports compilation options.

    var options = {
        globals: {
            echo: function(x) {
                return x;
        partials: {
            'user': ['<li>'['text','m.userName','</li>']
    var tpl = ['<ul>',['attr',{id:"rc.g.echo("}],'>',
        // compile the template
        tplFun = ta.compile(tpl, options);
    // call with a model
    var model = {
        id: 'some id',
        users: [
                userName: 'Paul'
    var html = tplFun(model);

    Optionally, you can also override options at render time:

    var html = tplFun(model, options);

    TAssembly spec

    TAssembly examples:

    • String content is represented as plain strings
    • Opcodes are represented as a two-element array of the form [opcode, options]
    • Expressions can be used to access the model, parent scopes, globals and so on. Supported are number & string literals, variable references, function calls and array dereferences. The compiler used to generate TAssembly is expected to validate expressions. See the section detailing the model access options and expression format below for further detail.


    Emit a raw object reference. Options is a single expression:



    Emit text content. HTML-sensitive chars are escaped. Options is a single expression:



    Iterate over an array. The view model 'm' in each iteration is each member of the array.

            "data": "m.items",
            "tpl": ["<span>",["text","m.key"],"</span>"]

    You can pass in the name of a partial instead of the inline template.

    The iteration counter is available as context variable / expression 'i'.


    Calls a template (inline or name of a partial) with a given model.

    ['template', { 
        data: 'm.modelExpression', 
        tpl: ['<span>',['text','m.body'],'</span>']


    Calls a template (inline or name of a partial) with a given model, only if that model is truish.

    ['with', { 
        data: 'm.modelExpression', 
        tpl: ['<span>',['text','m.body'],'</span>']


    Calls a template (inline or name of a partial) if a condition is true.

    ['if', { 
        data: 'm.conditionExpression', 
        tpl: ['<span>',['text','m.body'],'</span>']


    Calls a template (inline or name of a partial) if a condition is false.

    ['if', { 
        data: 'm.conditionExpression', 
        tpl: ['<span>',['text','m.body'],'</span>']


    Emit one or more HTML attributes. Automatic context-sensitive escaping is applied to href, src and style attributes.

    Options is an object of attribute name -> value pairs:

    { id: "m.idAttrVal", title: "m.titleAttrVal" }

    Attributes whose value is null are skipped. The value can also be an object:

        "style": {
            "v": "m.value",
                "app": [
                    "ifnot": "m.obj",
                    "v": "display: none !important;"

    In this case, the style attribute will have the values "color:red;" or "color:red;display:none !important" depending on the value of the variable 'obj' in the current view model.

    Model access and expressions

    • Literals:
      • Number "2" or "3.4"
      • String "'Some string literal'" (note single quotes); single quotes escaped with "'" & backslashes escaped as "\"
      • Object "{foo:'bar',baz:m.someVar}"
    • Variable access with dot notation: ''
    • Array references: "m.users[m.user]"
    • Function calls: "rc.g.i18n('username',{})"; nesting and multiple parameters supported

    Expressions have access to a handful of variables defined in the current context:

    • m - current view model (Knockout: '$data')
    • rm - root (topmost) view model (Knockout: '$root')
    • pm - parent view model (Knockout: '$parent')
    • pms - array of parent view models (Knockout: '$parents')
    • pc - parent context object (Knockout: '$parentContext')
    • i - current iteration index in foreach (Knockout: '$index')
    • rc - root context object
    • rc.g - globals defined at compile time; typically used for helper functions which should not be part of the model (i18n etc)




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