27 January 2015: FreeMarker 2.3.22 Release Candidate 1 was released
Please test it, especially with the incompatible_improvements configuration setting set to 2.3.22! FreeMarker 2.3.22-rc01 comes with:
Find the full list of changes and more details in the FreeMarker Manual included in the download!
You can download FreeMarker 2.3.22-rc1 here (includes documentation)... (Binary-only for Google App Engine is here...)
29 December 2014: Online FreeMarker template tester
Here's a simple but useful online FreeMarker template tester page, thanks to Nir Feldman of Kenshoo: http://freemarker-online.kenshoo.com/
12 October 2014: FreeMarker 2.3.21 was released
This version comes with, among many others, further improved error messages, new range operators, streamlined conversions between XML Schema formats and FTL types, possibility of using ISO 8601 or XML Schema date/time/dateTime format as the default, improved overloaded method selection (has to be explicitly enabled), setting for dealing with JDBC date-only an time-only value zone issues, safer and more memory-efficient way of managing object wrapper singletons, more flexible configuring via string values (such as .properties file), etc. See all the changes here...
Note that with this release we have changed our proprietary BSD-style license to the more familiar Apache License, Version 2.0.
What is FreeMarker?
FreeMarker is a "template engine"; a generic tool to generate text output (anything from HTML to autogenerated source code) based on templates. It's a Java package, a class library for Java programmers. It's not an application for end-users in itself, but something that programmers can embed into their products.
FreeMarker is designed to be practical for the generation of HTML Web pages, particularly by servlet-based applications following the MVC (Model View Controller) pattern. The idea behind using the MVC pattern for dynamic Web pages is that you separate the designers (HTML authors) from the programmers. Everybody works on what they are good at. Designers can change the appearance of a page without programmers having to change or recompile code, because the application logic (Java programs) and page design (FreeMarker templates) are separated. Templates do not become polluted with complex program fragments. This separation is useful even for projects where the programmer and the HTML page author is the same person, since it helps to keep the application clear and easily maintainable.
Although FreeMarker has some programming capabilities, it is not a full-blown programming language like PHP. Instead, Java programs prepare the data to be displayed (like issue SQL queries), and FreeMarker just generates textual pages that display the prepared data using templates.
FreeMarker is not a Web application framework. It is suitable as a component in a Web application framework, but the FreeMarker engine itself knows nothing about HTTP or servlets. It simply generates text. As such, it is perfectly usable in non-web application environments as well. Note, however, that we provide out-of-the-box solutions for using FreeMarker as the view component of Model 2 frameworks (e.g. Struts), which also let you use JSP taglibs in the templates.
Read more feature highlights.
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