Any::Template - provide a consistent interface to a wide array of templating languages


        use Any::Template;
        my $template = new Any::Template({
                Backend => 'HTML::Template',
                Filename => 'page.tmpl',
                Options => {'strict' => 0}
        my $output = $template->process($data);

        my $template2 = new Any::Template({
                Backend => 'Text::Template',
                String => $template2_content
        $template->process($data, \*STDOUT);


This module provides a simple, consistent interface to common templating engines so you can write code that is agnostic to the template language used in the presentation layer. This means you can allow your interface developers to work in the templating language they're happiest in or write code that works with legacy/in-house templating modules but can also be released onto CPAN and work with more standard CPAN templating systems.

By its very nature, this interface only exposes pretty much the lowest common denominator of the template engine APIs. It does however provide a fairly rich set of input and output mechanisms, using native implementations where available and providing some default implementations to extend the default set offered by some templating modules.

If you need the quirky features of a particular templating engine, then this may not be for you. Having said that, in some cases you may be able to encapsulate some of your logic in options passed into the adaptor classes (either rolling your own adaptors, or improving ours) to pull the relevant strings on the backend module.

Templateing languages supported by backends supplied with this distribution can be found in the README (remember there may be others out there and you can always roll your own).


my $template = new Any::Template(\%options);
        See below for a list of options
$template->process($data_structure, $sink);
        $sink can be:
                - a scalar ref
                - a filename (string)
                - a filehandle (as a glob or glob ref) or an object offering a print method
                - a coderef (output will be passed in as the first argument)
$string = $template->process($data_structure);

A convenience form, if no second argument is passed to process(), equivalent to:

        my $string;
        $template->process($data_structure, \$string);

except data is passed by value rather than by reference.

$templating_engine = $template->native_object();

Allows the native templating engine to be accessed. This completely breaks the abstraction of Any::Template so it's not recommended you use it other than as a bridging strategy as part of a refectoring/migration process (with a view to ultimately eliminating its use).


 $list_of_backends = Any::Template::available_backends();

Scans @INC for a list of modules in the Any::Template::Backend:: namespace.


If an error occurs, an exception is raised with die(). You can use an eval block to handle the exception. $@ will contain an error message.



Backends distributed with this module are listed in the distribution README.

See Any::Template::Backend for information on writing your own backends. You should be able to create a new backend in a couple of dozen lines of code and slot it into the unit test with a one or 2 line change.

        Filename of the template file
        String containing the template
        Reference to a filehandle from which to read the template
        A hashref of options passed to the backend templating engine


If you don't supply a Backend to the constructor, Any::Template looks for a default Backend in the ANY_TEMPLATE_DEFAULT environment variable. This allows you to retrofit Any::Template into legacy code without hard-coding a default templating language or forcing a backwardly-incompatible change to the interface of the code you are retrofitting into.


This module doesn't have built-in caching, however the objects it creates are intended to be cachable (where possible the backends hold onto precompiled templates that can be fed any number of data structures). It's therefore up to you what caching strategy you use. In the spirit of "if you liked this, you might also like..." Cache and Cache::Cache offer a consistent interface to a number of different caching strategies.



$Revision: 1.15 $ on $Date: 2006/04/18 08:32:26 $ by $Author: johna $


John Alden <cpan _at_ bbc _dot_ co _dot_ uk>


(c) BBC 2005. This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the GNU GPL.

See the file COPYING in this distribution, or