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FreeMarker

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FreeMarker

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Categories: Page templating

Latest version: 2.3.4
Added 2005-01-27

FreeMarker is a "template engine"; a generic tool to generate text output (anything from HTML to autogenerated source code) based on templates. It's a Java package, a library for Java programmers. It's not an application for end-users in itself, but something that programmers can embed into their products.

FreeMarker is designed to be practical for the generation of HTML Web pages, particularly by servlet-based applications following the MVC (Model View Controller) pattern. The idea behind using the MVC pattern for dynamic Web pages is that you separate the designers (HTML authors) from the programmers. Everybody works on what they are good at. Designers can change the appearance of a page without programmers having to change or recompile code, because the application logic (Java programs) and page design (FreeMarker templates) are separated. Templates do not become polluted with complex program fragments.

Although FreeMarker has some programming capabilities, it is not a full-blown programming language like PHP. Instead, Java programs prepare the data to be displayed, and FreeMarker just generates textual pages that display the prepared data using templates.

FreeMarker is not a Web application framework. It is suitable for a component in a Web application framework, but the FreeMarker engine itself knows nothing about HTTP or servlets. It simply generates text. As such, it is perfectly usable in non-web application environments as well. Note, however, that out-of-the-box solutions are provided for using FreeMarker as the view component of Model 2 frameworks (e.g. Struts), which also let you use JSP taglibs in the templates.

FreeMarker is Free, with BSD-style license. It is OSI Certified Open Source Software. OSI Certified is a certification mark of the Open Source Initiative.

FreeMarker includes many IDE Plug-in: Eclipse, Emacs, JEdit, KWrite, Texpad.

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