The template compiler is a simple string replacement engine which allows PHP templates to be overridden with custom syntax. The default process rules allow PHP templates using short-echo syntax (<?=) to be rewritten to full PHP tags which automatically escape their output.

It is possible to create your own template compiler and have the chosen View adapter use that instead. Please see the documentation on the dynamic dependencies of the adapter in question to know more about how this can be achieved.


class Compiler extends \lithium\core\StaticObject {

	 * The list of syntax replacements to apply to compiled templates.
	 * Key/value pairs of regular expressions. The keys are the regexes, and the values are the
	 * resulting expressions along with any capture groups that may have been used in the
	 * corresponding regexes.
	 * @var array
	protected static $_processors = array(
		'/\<\?=\s*\$this->(.+?)\s*;?\s*\?>/msx' => '<?php echo $this->$1; ?>',
		'/\<\?=\s*(\$h\(.+?)\s*;?\s*\?>/msx' => '<?php echo $1; ?>',
		'/\<\?=\s*(.+?)\s*;?\s*\?>/msx' => '<?php echo $h($1); ?>'

	 * Compiles a template and writes it to a cache file, which is used for inclusion.
	 * @param string $file The full path to the template that will be compiled.
	 * @param array $options Options for compilation include:
	 *        - `path`: Path where the compiled template should be written.
	 *        - `fallback`: Boolean indicating that if the compilation failed for some
	 *                      reason (e.g. `path` is not writable), that the compiled template
	 *                      should still be returned and no exception be thrown.
	 * @return string The compiled template.
	public static function template($file, array $options = array()) {
		$cachePath = Libraries::get(true, 'resources') . '/tmp/cache/templates';
		$defaults = array('path' => $cachePath, 'fallback' => false);
		$options += $defaults;

		$stats = stat($file);

		$oname  = basename(dirname($file)) . '_' . basename($file, '.php');
		$oname .= '_' . ($stats['ino'] ?: hash('md5', $file));

		$template = "template_{$oname}_{$stats['mtime']}_{$stats['size']}.php";
		$template = "{$options['path']}/{$template}";

		if (file_exists($template)) {
			return $template;
		$compiled = static::compile(file_get_contents($file));

		if (is_writable($cachePath) && file_put_contents($template, $compiled) !== false) {
			foreach (glob("{$options['path']}/template_{$oname}_*.php", GLOB_NOSORT) as $expired) {
				if ($expired !== $template) {
			return $template;
		if ($options['fallback']) {
			return $file;
		throw new TemplateException("Could not write compiled template `{$template}` to cache.");

	 * Preprocess the passed `$string` (usually a PHP template) for syntax replacements
	 * using sets of regular expressions.
	 * @see lithium\template\view\Compiler::$_processors
	 * @param string $string The string to be preprocessed.
	 * @return string Processed string.
	public static function compile($string) {
		$patterns = static::$_processors;
		return preg_replace(array_keys($patterns), array_values($patterns), $string);