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Mahiro Ando


EJS::Template - EJS (Embedded JavaScript) template engine


Version 0.03


Anything inside the tag <%...%> is executed as JavaScript code, and anything inside the tag <%=...%> is replaced by the evaluated value.

    # Perl
    use EJS::Template;
    EJS::Template->process('source.ejs', {name => 'World'});
    # EJS ('source.ejs')
    <% for (var i = 0; i < 3; i++) { %>
    Hello, <%= name %>!
    <% } %>
    # Output
    Hello, World!
    Hello, World!
    Hello, World!

A simpler way to apply a template without an external file looks something like this:

    my $text = EJS::Template->apply('Hello, <%= name %>!', {name => 'World'});

Within <%...%>, it is also possible to call print() function:

    # EJS
      for (var i = 0; i < 3; i++) {
        print("i = ", i, "\n");
    # Output
    i = 0
    i = 1
    i = 2

EJS::Template supports auto-escaping that minimizes the risk of forgetting HTML-escape every individual variable. (See "Auto-escaping" for more details.)

    # Perl
    my $ejs = EJS::Template->new(escape => 'html'); # Set default escape type
    $ejs->process('sample.ejs', {
        address => '"Foo Bar" <foo.bar@example.com>', # to be escaped
        message => '<p>Hello, <i>World</i>!<p>', # not to be escaped
    # EJS ('<%=' escapes the value, while '<%:raw=' does *not*)
    <h2><%= address %></h2>
      <%:raw= message %>
    # Output
    <h2>&quot;Foo Bar&quot; &lt;foo.bar@example.com&gt;</h2>
      <p>Hello, <i>World</i>!</p>

Extra white spaces around <% and %> are appropriately trimmed so that the result output will look fairly clean intuitively. See "Trimming white spaces" for more details.

    v-- Indent would make unnecessary space in the output.
      <% for (...) { %>
        <li>...</li>   ^-- This line break would make an extra empty line where <%...%> is gone.
      <% } %>


EJS is a template engine with JavaScript code embedded.

It can be used as a general-purpose template engine to generate text documents, configurations, source code, etc. For web applications, EJS can be used as a template of HTML.

EJS is suitable when template authors should not embed potentially dangerous code such as file system manipulations, command executions, and database connections, while at the same time, they can still utilize JavaScript as a well-established programming language.

Especially for web applications, there are several different approaches to implement similar EJS functionality, such as parsing EJS and/or executing JavaScript on the server side or the browser side. This module implements both parsing and executing on the server side from that perspective.



Creates an EJS::Template object with configuration name/value pairs.


   my $ejs = EJS::Template->new( [NAME => VALUE, ...] );

Available configurations are as below:

  • escape => ESCAPE_TYPE

    Sets the default escape type for all the interpolation tags (<%=...%>).

    Possible values are: 'raw' (default), 'html', 'xml', 'uri', and 'quote'. See "Auto-escaping" for more details.

  • engine => ENGINE_CLASS

    Sets the JavaScript engine class. See "JavaScript engines" for more details.



    # Simple
    EJS::Template->process([INPUT [, VARIABLES [, OUTPUT ] ] ]);
    # Custom
    my $ejs = EJS::Template->new(...);
    $ejs->process([INPUT [, VARIABLES [, OUTPUT ] ] ]);

INPUT is the EJS source (default: STDIN). It can be either a string (as a file path), a string ref (as a source text), or an open file handle.

VARIABLES is a hash ref that maps variable names to values, which are made available in the JavaScript code (default: an empty hash). The values of VARIABLES can be a nested structure of hashes, arrays, strings, numbers, and/or subroutine refs. A function (subroutine) named print is automatically defined, unless overwritten in VARIABLES.

OUTPUT is where the final result is written out (default: STDOUT). It can be either a string (as a file path), a string ref (as a source text), or an open file handle.


    # Reads the file 'source.ejs' and prints the result to STDOUT
    EJS::Template->process('source.ejs', {name => 'World'});

    # Reads STDIN as the EJS source and writes the result to the file 'output.txt'
    EJS::Template->process(\*STDIN, {name => 'World'}, 'output.txt');

    # Parses the EJS source text and stores the result to the variable $out
    my $out;
    EJS::Template->process(\'Hello <%=name%>', {name => 'World'}, \$out);



    EJS::Template->apply(INPUT_TEXT [, VARIABLES])


    my $text = EJS::Template->apply('Hello <%= name %>', {name => 'World'});
    print $text;

This method serves as a syntax sugar for the process() method, focused on text-to-text conversion.



    EJS::Template->parse([INPUT [, OUTPUT ] ]);

INPUT is the EJS source, and OUTPUT is a JavaScript code, which can then be executed to generate the final output. (See execute() method.)

The parsed code can be stored in a file as an intermediate code, and can be executed at a later time.

The semantics of INPUT and OUTPUT types are similar to process().



    EJS::Template->execute([INPUT [, VARIABLES [, OUTPUT ] ] ]);

INPUT is a JavaScript code generated by parse() method, and OUTPUT is the final result.

The semantics of INPUT and OUTPUT types are similar to process().



EJS::Template supports auto-escaping if it is configured via the new() method.

    EJS::Template->new(escape => 'html')->process(...);

If the escape is set to 'html', all the texts inside <%=...%> are HTML-escaped automatically.

    # Input
    <% var text = "x < y < z"; %>
    <span><%= text %></span>
    # Output
    <span>x &lt; y &lt; z</span>

In case a raw HTML needs to be embedded without escaping, it can be annotated like this:

    <%:raw= text %>

In addition, the following escape types are available in a similar manner (both for the escape => config or in each individual tag <%=...%>):

  • html

        <span><%:html= plainText %></span>
  • xml

        <xml><%:xml= plainText %></xml>
  • uri

        <a href="http://example.com?name=<%:uri= value %>">Link</a>
  • quote

        <script type="text/javascript">
          var text = "<%:quote= value %>";
  • raw

        <div><%:raw= htmlText %></div>

Trimming white spaces

EJS::Template trims appropriate white spaces around <%...%> (but not around <%=...%>).

It helps the template author generate a fairly well-formatted output:


      <% for (var i = 1; i <= 5; i++) { %>
          <% if (i % 2 == 1) { %>
            <%=i%> x <%=i%> = <%=i * i%>
          <% } %>
      <% } %>


            1 x 1 = 1
            3 x 3 = 9
            5 x 5 = 25

Note: If no white spaces were trimmed, the result output would look much more ugly, because of extra indent spaces and line breaks around <% for (...) %>, <% if (...) %>, etc.

The trimming occurs only when <% is at the beginning of a line with any indent spaces, and its corresponding %> is at the end of the same or another line with any trailing spaces.

When the above trimming condition is met, any white spaces to the left of <% (not including any line breaks) and any white spaces to the right of %> (including the line break) are trimmed.

Data conversion between Perl and EJS

In the current version, the data conversion is limited to basic types (strings, numbers, hashes, arrays, and functions), although arbitrarily nested structures are allowed.

    EJS::Template->process('sample.ejs', {
        name => 'World',
        hash => {foo => 123, bar => 456, baz => [7, 8, 9]},
        array => ['a'..'z'],
        square => sub {
            my $value = shift;
            return $value * $value;

If a blessed reference in Perl is passed to EJS, it is converted into a basic type.

If a Perl subroutine is invoked from inside EJS, the types of the arguments depend on the JavaScript engine that is in use internally (See "JavaScript engines").

    # Perl
    sub printRefs {
        print(ref($_) || '(scalar)', "\n") foreach @_;
    EJS::Template->process(\<<END, {printRefs => \&printRefs});
        [4, 5, 6],
        {x: 7, y: 8},
        function () {return 90}
    # Output with JavaScript::V8
    # Output with JE

For portability, it is recommended to keep data types as simple as possible when data is passed between Perl and EJS.

JavaScript engines

EJS::Template automatically determines the available JavaScript engine from the below:

It is also possible to specify a particular engine:

   EJS::Template->new(engine => 'JE')->process(...);


Mahiro Ando, <mahiro at cpan.org>


Please report any bugs or feature requests to bug-ejs-template at rt.cpan.org, or through the web interface at http://rt.cpan.org/NoAuth/ReportBug.html?Queue=EJS-Template. I will be notified, and then you'll automatically be notified of progress on your bug as I make changes.


You can find documentation for this module with the perldoc command.

    perldoc EJS::Template

You can also look for information at:


Many thanks to authors of JavaScript engines for making them available, and to authors of those in the SEE ALSO section for giving me ideas and inspirations.



Copyright 2012 Mahiro Ando.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of either: the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; or the Artistic License.

See http://dev.perl.org/licenses/ for more information.