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HTML/XML template engine for .NET platform.

SharpTAL is an HTML/XML template engine for .NET platform, with minimal dependencies that you can use in any application running on .NET 4.0.

The template engine compiles HTML/XML templates into .NET assemblies.

It contains implementation of the ZPT language (Zope Page Templates). ZPT is a system which can generate HTML, XML or plain text output. ZPT is formed by the TAL (Template Attribute Language), TALES (TAL Expression Syntax) and the METAL (Macro Expansion TAL).

The SharpTAL reference dokumentation is hostet at

Getting the code

Binaries are provided as a NuGet Package (

The project is hosted in a GitHub repository.

Please report any issues to the issue tracker.


Using a set of simple language constructs, you control the document flow, element repetition and text replacement.

The basic TAL (Template Attribute Language) example:

    <h1>Hello, ${"world"}!</h1>
      <tr tal:repeat='row new string[] { "red", "green", "blue" }'>
        <td tal:repeat='col new string[] { "rectangle", "triangle", "circle" }'>
           ${row} ${col}

The ${...} notation is short-hand for text insertion. The C# expression inside the braces is evaluated and the result included in the output.

By default, the string is escaped before insertion. To avoid this, use the structure: prefix:

<div>${structure: ...}</div>

The macro language (known as the macro expansion language or METAL) provides a means of filling in portions of a generic template.

The macro template (saved as main.html file):

<html metal:define-macro="main">
    <title>Example ${document.title}</title>
    <div id="content">
      <metal:tag metal:define-slot="content" />

Template that imports and uses the macro, filling in the “content” slot:

<metal:tag metal:import="main.html" use-macro='macros["main"]'>
  <p metal:fill-slot="content">${structure: document.body}<p/>

In the example, the statement metal:import is used to import a template from the file system using a path relative to the calling template.

Here’s a complete sample code that shows how easy the library is to use:

var globals = new Dictionary<string, object>
    { "movies", new List<string> { "alien", "star wars", "star trek" } }

const string body = @"<!DOCTYPE html>
<html tal:define='textInfo new System.Globalization.CultureInfo(""en-US"", false).TextInfo'>
    Favorite sci-fi movies:
    <div tal:repeat='movie movies'>${textInfo.ToTitleCase(movie)}</div>

var template = new Template(body);

var result = template.Render(globals);

Here's the console output:
<!DOCTYPE html>
   Favorite sci-fi movies:
   <div>Alien</div><div>Star Wars</div><div>Star Trek</div>


This software is made available under Apache Licence Version 2.0.


3.0 (2014-03-04)

  • Features:
      Macro parameters can be declared without default values
  • Dependency Changes:
    •  Removed runtime dependency on ICSharpCode.NRefactory

2.1 (2013-05-30)

  • Features:
    • Improved the type definition resolution of variables defined in globals dictionary

2.0 (2013-01-18)

  • Features:
    • Add support for plain text templates
    • Create NuGet package
  • Dependency Changes:
    • SharpTAL now relies on ICSharpCode.NRefactory 5.3.0
    • .NET 4.0 is now required

 2.0b1 (2013-01-04)

  • Features
    • Added support for code blocks using the `<?csharp ... ?>` processing instruction syntax (Roman Lacko)
    • Enable expression interpolation in CDATA (Roman Lacko)
    • The "Template" class now provides virtual method "FormatResult(object)" to enable customization of expression results formatting. (Roman Lacko)
  • Backwards Incompatibilities
    • Removed "RenderTemplate()" methods from "ITemplateCache" interface (and it's implementations). (Roman Lacko)

2.0a2 (2012-01-05)

  • Features
    • New "meta:interpolation" command to control expression interpolation setting. (Roman Lacko)
  • Internal
    • More code refactoring. (Roman Lacko)
  • Bugs fixed
    • Tags in the custom tal/metal namespace were not ommited, if the custom namespace was declared on that tag. (Roman Lacko)
  • Backwards Incompatibilities
    • Rename "tal:define:set" variable context definition to "tal:define:nonlocal" to declare that the listed identifiers refers to previously bound variables in the nearest enclosing scope. (Roman Lacko)
    • Removed "<tal:omit-scope>". It was non standart and introduces bad design in template. (Roman Lacko)

2.0a1 (2011-12-20)

  • Features:
    • New HTML/XML template parser. This adds support for HTML5 templates. (Roman Lacko)
    • String expression interpolation using ${...} operator in element attributes and in the text of an element. (Roman Lacko)
    • New "Template" class that replaces the direct usage of "MemoryTemplateCache" and "FileSystemTemplateCache". (Roman Lacko)
    • Allow setting CultureInfo for string formatting, default to InvariantCulture (Petteri Aimonen)
    • Added method CompileTemplate() to ITemplateCache to precompile template before knowing the global variable values (Petteri Aimonen)
  • Internal:
    • Code refactoring. (Roman Lacko)
    • Add relevant lines of the generated source code to CompileSourceException message (Petteri Aimonen)
    • Made template hash calculation more robus (Petteri Aimonen)
  • Backwards Incompatibilities:
    • Removed "Inline Templates" from ITemplateChache.RenderTemplate method. Use "metal:import" command to import macros from external templates (Roman Lacko)
  • Dependency Changes:
    • SharpTAL now relies on ICSharpCode.NRefactory.dll (Roman Lacko)
  • Bugs fixed:
    • In SourceGenerator, fix the handling of newlines in attributes (Petteri Aimonen)

1.2 (2011-01-26)

  • Fixed tal:repeat command when using with empty arrays (Roman Lacko)

1.1 (2010-10-25)

  • Unit Tests ported to NUnit (Roman Lacko)
  • Mono 2.6 with MonoDevelop 2.4 now supported under Linux (tested under Ubuntu 10.10) (Roman Lacko)
  • .NET Framework 3.5 and 4.0 with Sharpdevelop 4.0beta3 supported under Windows (Roman Lacko)

1.0 (2010-06-28)

  • Initial version (Roman Lacko)

Last edited Jun 23, 2014 at 1:24 PM by rlacko, version 56