Mini reviews of 19 Ruby template engines 2008-04-12

I've seen lots of template systems in Ruby, but haven't been really been happy with any of them. Over the last few months or so I've kept notes of the ones I looked at. This is the list I came up with, and some comments on each. But first a disclaimer: I have NOT spent a lot of time looking at these - there are far too many for me to have time to go into a lot of detail for each of them. Some I know well, many I only know from a cursory review, so don't write an engine off just based on my comments. Also, I very much welcome corrections (or additions) in the comments


These don't fit in any of the other groups below.

eRuby style

Ruby code and text intervowen.

Liquid style

Text and "code" in a template language that is generally designed to be "safe" to varying degrees, up to and including allowing users to submit templated data without enabling execution of arbitrary code.

Amrita/TAL style

These look like pure XML (though many TAL-like template systems for Ruby and other languages violate XML expectations they are often close enough to be manipulated with a non-validating XML parser).

Markaby style

These tend to look like Ruby block notation, and make markup look purely like code.

Wiki / Markdown / Textile style

These are "plaintext" or wiki style markup engines that aim to turn reasonably natural text into HTML or other output and may not have much in terms of variable expansion etc. as that's not their purpose. They will typically be unsuitable as a view templating system, but are useful as 'part of the arsenal' to handle markup of user generated content in a safe way.

Seemingly dead projects (with or without code available)

In addition to the 19 above, I've come across a number of projects that appear to be dead, dormant or just haven't gotten properly started yet. I haven't looked more closely at them, but have included the links here. Descriptions are from their web-pages.

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