Note that my favorite "handlebars-like" template engine is currently
"spacebars", developed as part of the meteor.js project. This does safe
structured interpolation, so it's not really a "string-based" template
engine any more -- but it still contains the same minimalist markup (it
basically looks identical to handlebars, it's just a new implementation).
I've worked some with gwicke on spacebars support for his templating
The other important aspect which I haven't seen mentioned yet is editor
support. Where does using the template system fall, on a scale with
"writing an article for humans" on one side and "writing executable
on the other?
Even this is not necessarily straightforward to assess. As I understand
it, one of the advantages of KnockOff is that, although at a raw HTML level
it looks cumbersome for a human to author, it is structured in a way that
would make it easier to integrate with something like Visual Editor, with
simple properties that can be added to sample text to turn it into a
I personally lean toward "handlebars"-style engines, because the extremely
minimalist syntax makes it easy for non-coders to author directly. A
user-friendly editor for such a template language would probably expose
separate "content" and "code" views of a template. Basic templates
wouldn't have any code, but advanced templates would use something like
Scribunto for easy editing of the code associated with a template.