piecutter is a template rendering framework, written in Python [1].

Leitmotiv: render templates against context, wherever the templates, whatever the template engine.

Project status

piecutter is under active development.

Yesterday, piecutter was the core of diecutter [2].

As diecutter‘s authors, we think diecutter has great features related to templates and file generation. We wanted to share it with a larger audience. So we just packaged it as a standalone library. And we are planning to make it better as soon as possible. Join us [3] if you like the features ;)

Here are some of our motivations:

  • third-party projects can use piecutter. They do not have to depend on diecutter, which embeds some specific code related to its web service.
  • as a standalone library, piecutter should be easier to maintain and improve.
  • piecutter is more open than diecutter. It can have a larger community. It also may converge with similar tools.

Today, piecutter is tied to diecutter implementation. The API reflects diecutter‘s architecture and concepts, which may sound obscure for other usage.

Tomorrow, we are planning to improve piecutter. As an example, we think the API should be refactored, with simplicity in mind.


Here is a simple demo of piecutter‘s API:

>>> import piecutter
>>> cutter = piecutter.Cutter(engine=piecutter.PythonFormatEngine())
>>> print(cutter.render("Hello {who}!", {'who': 'world'}))
Hello world!

Here is another setup, where several template engines are registered:

>>> cutter = piecutter.Cutter(
...     engine=piecutter.GuessEngine(
...         engines=[
...             piecutter.Jinja2Engine(),
...             piecutter.DjangoEngine(),
...             piecutter.PythonFormatEngine(),
...         ],
...     )
... )

Then we can use the cutter to render various templates:

>>> cutter.render("{# Jinja2 #}Hello {{ who }}!", {'who': 'world'})
'Hello world!'
>>> cutter.render("{# Django #}Hello {{ who }}!", {'who': 'world'})
'Hello world!'
>>> cutter.render("Hello {who}!", {'who': 'world'})
'Hello world!'

Key features

  • Simple API: render templates against context.
  • Support multiple template engines: Jinja2 [4] and Django [5] for now. Later: Cheetah [6] and even non-Python template engines such as Ruby’s ERB [7].
  • Render files and directories.
  • Load templates from almost everywhere: local filesystem and github.com for now. Later: Django storages...
  • Do what you want with generated content: write to local filesystem, generate an archive...