Diecutter: templates as a service

Presentation at an AFPY event, march 2013, Paris.

By Rémy Hubscher and Benoit Bryon.

Slides available on http://tech.novapost.fr

This presentation is published under CC BY 3.0

Presenter Notes

Render templates

Client posts DATA to TEMPLATE which returns FILE

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Render directories

Client posts DATA to DIRECTORY which returns ARCHIVE

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Generate configuration

Setup template "diecutter.ini" server-side:

diecutter.template_dir = {{ template_dir|default('') }}
diecutter.token = {{ token|default('') }}
diecutter.readonly = {{ readonly|default('false') }}

Generate configuration client-side:

wget --post-data="template_dir=src/templates"  \
     --output-document="diecutter.ini"     \
     http://diecutter.alwaysdata.net/diecutter.ini

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Generate code

django startproject reloaded:

curl --data "django_project=demo"                      \
     http://diecutter.alwaysdata.net/+django_project+  \
     > demo.zip

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PasteScript is complicated

  • needs PasteScript and templates installed locally
  • template registration is a pain:
    • create template files (Cheetah markup)
    • create template class (Cheetah Template)
    • update template package's entry points (setup.py)
    • update your environment (reinstall/update)
  • Cheetah?

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Provisioners are overkill

  • I just want to render a template against data!
  • I don't need Chef, Salt, Puppet & co.
  • Templates aren't only useful in provisioning.

And I'd like to reuse templates whatever the provisioning tool!

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Diecutter's REST API

  • POST data and retrieve generated files
  • GET raw content of templates
  • PUT templates from client to server
  • DELETE template (1)
  • OPTIONS lists template variables (1)
  • PATCH alters default values of variables (1)

(1) Work in progress.

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KISS

  • focus on API
  • no builtin client
  • no builtin form validation (have a look at daybed)

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Encapsulated implementation(s)

  • template resources backend
    • Today: local filesystem.
    • Tomorrow: remote Git/Hg/..., NoSQL, include/extend URLs
  • template engines
    • Today: Jinja.
    • Tomorrow: Cheetah, ERB, XSLT...
  • response writers
    • Today: return single file or ZIP archive.
    • Tomorrow: tar.gz, write to storage, attachments, streaming, asynchronous generation...

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Roadmap

  • today: proof of concept, focus on API
  • tomorrow: rock-solid defaults, focus on stability & performance
  • later: make your own, focus on extensibility

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