1.6.0 • Public • Published


Yet Another Text Templating Engine

This package is still somewhat experimental in nature. If it interests you, please try it out and share your feedback.

Why another templating engine?

There are a number of really great templating engines out there. (See Prior Art below.) Why bother creating another one?

  • syntax targeted for use by reasonably technical people who are not software developers
  • feature set that attempts to balance richness with ease of learning and reading templates
  • designed to be a foundation for common syntax and execution model across different types of files, not exclusively text or html




Template markup is accomplished using "fields" to describe how the content should be modified when text is being "assembled." Fields are currently set apart from regular text using a somewhat odd combination of delimiters (see below). There are plans to allow easier-to-type delimiters in the future, but for now, at least it's unambiguous.

Yatte currently supports three types of fields: Content, If, and List. More samples (and possibly additional types of fields!) are coming soon.

Content fields cause additional text to be added (merged) into the template text.

{[First]} {[Last]}

Content fields can contain either simple identfiers or expressions. Expressions use a subset of standard JavaScript syntax, and identifiers in those expressions can refer to any type of JavaScript construct: variables, objects, functions, etc..

if fields cause a portion of the template text to be included or excluded based on logical conditions.

{[First]} {[if Middle]}{[Middle]} {[endif]}{[Last]}

An if field contains an expression that is evaluated for purposes of determining whether to include the text between if and endif. If this expression evaluates to a true (or truthy) value, the text between the fields is included; otherwise it is excluded from the assembled text.

If fields can also include alternatives ("else") or chains of alternatives ("elseif").

list fields cause text to be repeated as many times as is dictated by the data provided by the caller. Lists can also be nested as deeply as necessary.

My beneficiaries are:
{[list beneficiaries]}
* {[Name]}, currently of {[Address]}

As with if fields, the list field contains an expression – "beneficiaries" in the example above. However, for list fields, this expression is expected to evaluate to a list of items. (Specifically, in JavaScript parlance, it must evaluate to any iterable – often, but not necessarily, an array.) When this expression is evaluated, the resulting list of values is kept in temporary memory and is used to determine both how many repetitions of the template content are necessary, and then for each repetition, that item in the array (or iterable) serves as the data context for all expressions evaluated until the endlist field is reached.


yatte's public API includes two methods:


function assembleText(templateText, dataContext)

Given a text template (a string) and a data context (any JavaScript object), assembleText simply "assembles" a text result:

const yatte = require("yatte");
const assert = require('assert');

const template = "Hello {[World]}!";
const data = { World: "Earth" };
const result = yatte.assembleText(template, data);
assert.equal(result, "Hello Earth!");


function compileText(templateText)

compileText() is used to "compile" a text string into a yatte template. This pre-processes that text and returns a curried function that can be used (later) to assemble text when given a data context:

const yatte = require("yatte");
const assert = require('assert');

const template = "Hello {[World]}!";
const evaluator = yatte.compileText(template);
// ... later ...
const data = { World: "Earth" };
const result = evaluator(data);
assert.equal(result, "Hello Earth!");

Prior Art

Yatte's approach to compiling and assembling text was inspired by the pure functional transformations in

  • Open-Xml-Power-Tools, maintained by Eric White. Open-Xml-Power-Tools is also closely related to OpenDocx, Yatte's companion project that allows assembly of DOCX files using the identical syntax and features as Yatte.

Yatte's creator also drew inspiration from these fantastic text templating engines:

Yatte's powerful ability to parse and evaluate JavaScript expressions is indebted to:


Development of Yatte was made possible through the sponsorship of REAL Automators, Inc..


npm i yatte

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