The Serenade.js template language is inspired by Slim, Jade and HAML, but not identical to any of these.

Any view in Serenade.js must have a single element as its root node. Elements may have any number of children. Elements can have attributes within square brackets.

This is a single element with no children and an id attribute:


You can use a short form similar to a CSS selector:


You can omit the element name, which will create div elements:


Indentation is significant and is used to nest elements:


Attributes may be bound to a model value by prefix the name with @:


Similarly text can be added to any element, this may be either bound or unbound text or any mix thereof:

div "Name: " @name


Read about how events are bound from templates under Controllers.

Binding styles

We can change the style of an element by binding its class attribute to a model property. If possible, this is what you should do, since it separates styling from behaviour. Sometimes however, its necessary to bind a style attribute directly. Consider for example if you have a progress bar, whose width should be changed based on the progress property of a model object.

You can use the special style:name=value syntax to dynamically bind styles to elements like so:

div[class="progress" style:width=@progress]

Style names should be camelCased, like in JavaScript, not dash-cased, like in CSS. That means you should write style:backgroundColor=color, not style:background-color=color.

Binding classes

Often you will want to toggle a particular class for an element based on a bolean value. The Serenade template language has a special syntax for this, so you don't need to do any additional works in the model layer:


This will add the class active if the isActive property on the model is truthy. If isActive is a Serenade property, the class will of course be added and removed automatically when isActive is changed.


Oftentimes you will want to render a collection of objects in your views. Serenade has special syntax for collections built into its template language. Assuming you have a model like this:

var post = {
  comments: [{ body: 'Hello'}, {body: 'Awesome!'}]

You could output the list of comments like this:

  - collection @comments
    li @body

This should output one li element for each comment.

If comments is an instance of Serenade.Collection, Serenade.js will dynamically update this collection as comments are added, removed or changed:

var post = {
  comments: new Serenade.Collection([{ body: 'Hello'}, {body: 'Awesome!'}])

On Serenade.Model constructors, you can call collection to set up a collection instead of property:

var Post = Serenade.Model.extend();

post = new Post();
post.comments.push({ body: "Hello" });


It can be convenient to split parts of views into subviews. The view instruction does just that:

  h3 "Most recent comment"
  - view "post"

Assuming that there is a post view registered with Serenade.view('post', '...') that view will now be rendered.

It will often be useful to use the view and collection instructions together:

  h3 "Comments"
    - collection @comments
      - view "comment"

By default, the subviews will use the same controller as their parent view. This can be quite inconvenient in a lot of cases, and we would really like to use a specific controller for this new view. You can register a controller to be used for a particular view like this:

var CommentController = function() {};
Serenade.controller('comment', CommentController);

Serenade.js will now infer that you want to use a CommentController with the comment view.

Custom helpers

Read about how you can define custom helpers under Custom helpers.