[whatwg] template element?

Henri Sivonen hsivonen at iki.fi
Tue Aug 3 12:10:08 PDT 2004

On Jul 29, 2004, at 12:02, Wrigley, Ave wrote:

> I agree - I have had the same reservations. How constrained do people
> feel about fitting the templating model into HTML syntax?

My initial gut reaction was that some fundamental principle is violated 
if after parsing an XML document the elements nodes of the DOM tree are 
different depending on whether the DOM builder is WF2-aware or not. 
(OK, strictly speaking the DOM builder does not implement the 
repetitions at parse time, but still the DOM tree has been mutated from 
the form implied by raw XML-level observation before onLoad fires.)

However, because I could not articulate why exactly that would be bad 
in practice, I did not raise the issue in my comments on the draft. I 
still have the feeling that problems might be just around the corner.

> Clearly, there
> are a number of well developed server side templating minilanguages 
> that
> (deliberately) use a syntax that is orthogonal to the HMTL markup.

(Nowadays I tend to consider such orthogonality as a bug rather than as 
a desirable feature, because such orthogonality leads to tag soup 
thinking and results.)

> Without opening too much of a can of worms ... are there any lessons to
> be learned / wheels left un-re-invented?

For one thing, designing a terse templating language where the template 
directives are XML elements is hard. The supposedly terse language 
becomes verbose really easily in my experience. See 

Henri Sivonen
hsivonen at iki.fi

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