{{ "HTML Templates For Humans" }}


Variables aren’t the only thing that can go inside {{ ... }}; any valid Ginger expression can be used, and expressions can be constructed in many different ways. Note that all expressions are case sensitive: null and Null are not the same thing. Currently, the following constructs are available:

Simple (“Atomic”) Expressions

Variable reference

Look up a variable in the current scope and return its value.

{{ username }}

String literals

A constant string. Strings can be single- or double-quoted.

{{ "Hello, world!" }}

Numeric literals

Numeric literals can be given in integer or decimal format:

{{ 21 }}
{{ 44.5 }}

Boolean literals

There are two boolean values, true and false. You will not normally need to use them, as they are produced by boolean expressions such as comparisons, but they can be useful occasionally.

{{ true }}
{{ false }}

The Null literal

Represents the special null value, which is used to signal the absence of a result or value. Looking up non-existent scope variables, for example, will produce Null.

{{ null }}

Data Structures

List Literals

A list literal consists of a comma-separated list of expressions between square brackets:

{{ [ foo, "bar", 1234 ] }}

Lists can contain any kind of expression, including other lists, so you can nest them:

{{ [ foo, [ 1, 2, 3 ], "baz" ] }}

Object Literals

An object is an unsorted key/value container, declared like this:

{{ { "foo": "bar", "baz": "quux" } }}

Objects, like lists, can contain any kind of value. The keys, however, are restricted to strings; you can define them using any expression you like, but they are always converted to strings when inserting items into the container. This means that the following is valid:

{{ { ["foo", 1]: "bar" } }}

It will, however, produce the same object as the following:

{{ { "foo1": "bar" } }}

That’s because converting ["foo", 1] to a string produces "foo1", and that is used as the key.


Parentheses can be used to group expression constructs to override default precedence. Excess parentheses are simply ignored.

Unary operators

Function calls

When an expression evaluates to a function, you can call it using a list of arguments between parentheses. Most of the time, the function itself just comes from a scope variable, so a function call typically looks like this:

{{ print(x, "hello!") }}

However, anything that returns a function can be called as a function:

{{ system.console['log']("hello!") }}

Filter expressions

Any function that takes at least one argument can be called through the alternative filter syntax instead:

{{ x|print }}

This is equivalent to:

{{ print(x) }}

Filters can take arguments:

{{ x|append("foobar") }}

This is equivalent to:

{{ append(x, "foobar") }}

Deviation from Jinja2: Ginger does not distinguish between filters and functions at the semantics level; any function can be called as a filter, and vv., and the filter syntax is merely a syntactic variant of a function call. Further, Ginger treats functions as first-class values, and their names are just regular variable names.

Binary operators

All binary operators have aliases that are regular functions; they are listed below. For example, 1 + 2 resolves to sum(1, 2). The aliases are variadic, that is, you can pass more than two arguments, e.g. sum(1, 2, 4, 5). This makes them slightly more useful than the operators, at the expense of readability.

In order of precedence:

  1. Boolean (logical) operators:
    • || (logical OR). Alias: any
    • && (logical AND). Alias: all
  2. Comparison operators:
    • == (loose equality). Alias: equals
    • != (loose inequality). Alias: nequals
    • < (numeric less-than). Alias: less
    • <= (numeric less-than-or-equal). Alias: lessEquals
    • > (numeric greater-than). Alias: greater
    • >= (numeric greater-than-or-equal). Alias: greaterEquals
  3. Additive operators:
    • + (addition). Alias: sum
    • - (subtraction). Alias: difference
    • ~ (string concatenation). Alias: concat
  4. Multiplicative operators:
    • * (multiplication). Alias: product
    • // (integer division). Alias: int_ratio
    • / (division). Alias: ratio
    • % (modulo). Alias: modulo

The Ternary Operator

Ginger borrows a ternary operator from the C family of languages. The syntax is:

condition ? yes-expression : no-expression

If condition evaluates to a truthy value, then the yes-expression is returned, otherwise, the no-expression is returned.

The ternary operator has lower precedence than any binary operator, and it associates such that a ? b ? c : d : e is equivalent to a ? (b ? c : d) : e.

As an alternative syntax flavor, Ginger also supports a Python-style ternary construct: b if a else c is equivalent to a ? b : c.

Lambda expressions

Lambda expressions allow you to create functions on the fly. The syntax is:

(argName0, argName1, ... argNameN) -> expression

This creates a function value which, when called, binds arguments to the argument names argName0 through argNameN, and evaluates expression in that context.

Do expressions

A do expression lifts statements into expressions, that is, it allows you to execute a statement (or a block of statements) and use its return value as the value of the expression. Inside the do block, statements are written in Script Mode Syntax.

{% set result = do { echo "hello"; "Said hello"; } %}

This will first print “hello”, and then return the string “Said hello”, which is then assigned to the variable result.