A template engine using a simple syntax

v1.0.1 2016-03-23 19:16 UTC


Castor is a template engine for PHP, using syntax similar to PHP.


  • A simple Api to inject data and to generate content
  • A language with a syntax similar to PHP, but a bit simpler to ease learning
  • Templates can be a file or a simple string
  • Efficient generator: template files are "compiled" to PHP files
  • A sandbox mode, to fetch untrusted templates (templates uploaded by a user in a CMS for example). This mode has less capabilities of course.
  • A plugin system, similar to Smarty plugins.
  • Plugins can be specific to a content type (HTML, XML, text…), so they produced right content.
  • a system of “meta”: allow the template to expose data to PHP code. For example, a "meta" can be a url of a stylesheet to use with the generated content.


Castor was formerly known as jTpl and was used in the Jelix Framework since 2006. There was a specific version, "jTpl standalone", existing for years to use jTpl without Jelix, but it was never released as a stable version.

In 2015, jTpl was completely "extracted" from Jelix (starting to Jelix 1.7), and is now available as a standalone component under the name "Castor", with true stable releases.


You can install it from Composer. In your project:

composer require "jelix/castor"


A template file:

{foreach $countries as $country}
<li>{$country|eschtml} ({$country|count_characters})</li>

The PHP code:

// directory where compiled templates are stored
$cachePath = realpath(__DIR__.'/temp/') . '/';

// directory where templates can be found
$templatePath = __DIR__.'/';

// create a configuration object. See its definition to learn about all of its options
$config = new \Jelix\Castor\Config($cachePath, $templatePath);

// let's create a template engine
$tpl = new \Jelix\Castor\Castor($config);

// assign some values, so they will be available for the template

$countries = array('France', 'Italie', 'Espagne', 'Belgique');
$tpl->assign('countries', $countries);
$tpl->assign('titre', 'This is a test !');

// content is generated from the given template file and returned
$content = $tpl->fetch('test.tpl');

// or content is generated from the given template file and sent directly to the browser

To know more, see the docs/ directory.