Wednesday, November 12, 2008

functional languages and template engines: a StringTemplate docs quote

From the StringTemplate documentation (I started trying StringTemplate out just yesterday, when I was looking around for a currently-maintained template library for C#):

Just so you know, I've never been a big fan of functional languages and I laughed really hard when I realized (while writing the academic paper) that I had implemented a functional language. The nature of the problem simply dictated a particular solution. We are generating sentences in an output language so we should use something akin to a grammar. Output grammars are inconvenient so tool builders created template engines. Restricted template engines that enforce the universally-agreed-upon goal of strict model-view separation also look remarkably like output grammars as I have shown. So, the very nature of the language generation problem dictates the solution: a template engine that is restricted to support a mutually-recursive set of templates with side-effect-free and order-independent attribute references.

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