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Ovid (2709)

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Stuff with the Perl Foundation. A couple of patches in the Perl core. A few CPAN modules. That about sums it up.

Journal of Ovid (2709)

Friday June 08, 2007
09:00 AM

TT: Filters Versus Methods

[ #33469 ]

Can someone tell me why I would want to use a filter instead of a vmethod when using Template Toolkit? Let's say I need ucfirst. Here's a filter:

[% some_var FILTER ucfirst %]

Or the more concise:

[% some_var | ucfirst %]

Frankly, I don't get this. I'd rather write:

[% some_var.ucfirst %]

In fact, it's trivial to provide that:

use Template::Stash;
$Template::Stash::SCALAR_OPS->{ucfirst} = sub { ucfirst shift };

The only advantage I can see for filters is that I can call them on constants:

[% "hello" | ucfirst %]

You can't do that with vmethods (a shame). However, method syntax seems far more natural. Admittedly, filters are great when I have a multi-line block of text:

[% FILTER html_para %]
Mary had a little lamb.

Support Planned Parenthood.
[% END %]

So, other than this compelling reason, why would filters be preferable? They're just one more thing to remember.

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  • U can also apply FILTERs to blocks....

    [% PROCESS some_block | upper %]

  • The short answer is that it's a design misfeature. As you note, FILTER can be used as a block directive whereas vmethods can't. But other than that syntactic difference, they *should* both hook into the same backend components so that filters and text vmethods are fully interchangeable. In TT2 they're not, but they will be in TT3.