An innovative approach to templating


Pulling together the pieces of a document using include pragmas is fine, but blue-phrase goes one further with its innovative enclosure templating.

Enclosures are a way to wrap a portion of your body matter with template-driven framing. This innovative approach to templates opens up new possibilities. Two of the most exciting are:

  • Allowing complex decorations to be applied to elements without cluttering up your main composition.
  • Wrapping the entire body of your composition with headers, footers, and menus.

The mechanism

The blue-phrase enclosure pragma behaves similar to its cousin, the include pragma, but instead of injecting the contents of the template file into your composition, it wraps the template file's contents around a portion of your composition.

The enclosure notation is straightforward: it identifies an element or class of elements as its target, and it specifies where your target matter should be placed within its body.


Here's an enclosure pragma that targets a single element of your composition with an identifier of #story:

!enclosure #story `./enclosures/story.blue`    

Here's an enclosure pragma that targets every element in your composition that has a classname of .team-member:

!enclosure .team-member `./enclosures/team-member.blue`    

A target-matter pragma is added somewhere within each template file, which becomes the point at which your composition's inner content is placed. Here's what a story.blue template file might look like:

html {
head {
meta *charset=UTF-8
meta *name=viewport *content='width=device-width, initial-scale=1'
link `css/standard-styles.css` *rel=stylesheet *type=text/css
script `js/basic-scripts.js`
title $TITLE
body {

And here's what a team-member.blue template file might look like:

div#member-frame {

Compiled results

To continue the example, consider a composition that contains this:

!enclosure #story `./enclosures/story.blue`    
!enclosure .team-member `./enclosures/team-member.blue`
$TITLE="Meet the Team"

div#story {
figure.team-member {
img `allegra.png` *width=300 *height=300
figcaption Allegra
address <<a `mailto:allegra@example.com`>>
figure.team-member {
img `arjana.png` *width=300 *height=300
figcaption Arjana
address <<a `mailto:arjana@example.com`>>
figure.team-member {
img `antoni.png` *width=300 *height=300
figcaption Antoni
address <<a `mailto:antoni@example.com`>>

When compiled, the resulting HTML will be wrapped with the template content from the two enclosures and will look like this:

<meta charset=UTF-8 />
<meta name=viewport content='width=device-width, initial-scale=1' />
<link href='css/standard-styles.css' rel=stylesheet type=text/css />
<script src='js/basic-scripts.js'></script>
<title>Meet the Team</title>
<div id=story>
<h1>Meet the Team</h1>
<div class=member-frame>
<div class='top left'></div>
<div class='top right'></div>
<figure class=team-member>
<img src='allegra.png' width=300 height=300 />
<address><a href='mailto:allegra@example.com'></a></address>
<div class='bottom left'></div>
<div class='bottom right'></div>
<div class=member-frame>
<div class='top left'></div>
<div class='top right'></div>
<figure class=team-member>
<img src='arjana.png' width=300 height=300 />
<address><a href='mailto:arjana@example.com'></a></address>
<div class='bottom left'></div>
<div class='bottom right'></div>
<div class=member-frame>
<div class='top left'></div>
<div class='top right'></div>
<figure class=team-member>
<img src='antoni.png' width=300 height=300 />
<address><a href='mailto:antoni@example.com'></a></address>
<div class='bottom left'></div>
<div class='bottom right'></div>

With enclosures, you can dramatically simplify your compositions and supercharge your templates!

Further Reading

BLUE-PHRASE Basics Getting started with symbolic endophrasing. Learn how to author documents with many of the commonly used typographic techniques found in word processors, by using BLUE-PHRASE symbolic endophrasing. There are only a few basic rules to learn.

BLUE-PHRASE Essentials A primer for effectively using BLUE-PHRASE. Learn the essentials necessary to effectively use BLUE-PHRASE, and discover techniques to perform commonly occurring tasks with greater ease using shorthand notation.

BLUE-PHRASE + CSS The fundamentals of styling Learn how to style BLUE-PHRASE with Cascading Style Sheets.

BLUE-PHRASE Quick Ref Syntax cheat sheet A quick reference to BLUE-PHRASE syntax.

Related Sites

BLUE-PHRASE HTML templating and blogging. A computer language for solving problems related to reading, writing, and publishing.

RWSERVE Caching HTTP/2 server with dynamic JavaScript plugins. HTTP/2 is all about speed: fewer bytes, reduced latency, longer connections, multiplexing and prioritization.

READ WRITE GROK A different take on a tech blog. Follow along as Tangled Web Services boldly goes where tech has gone before.

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An innovative approach to templating