MasterView rails-optimized (x)html friendly template engine - Release 0.3.0

MasterView is a rails-optimized (x)html friendly template engine plugin that provides another option to the existing rails view templates (rhtml and rxml). The main idea is to provide a template engine that would provide all the power of layouts, partials, and rails helpers but still be editable/styleable in a WYSIWYG editor. It was also a major goal that the syntax of these attribute directives be very similar to rails helpers so that one could intuitively start using MasterView with little learning curve other than knowing rails. MasterView was inspired by Amrita, Kwartz, Tapestry, Zope/PHP TAL, Liquid, and Web Objects but designed with a fresh approach and specifically targetted for rails users.

Release 0.3.0 was a major release for MasterView with an emphasis on refactoring and simplifying the API for building directives. A DSL syntax was chosen to greatly simplify the creation of directives to both help the core team with directive development as to also enable developers to create their own custom directives easily. MasterView has been constructed to allow directives to be shared amongst the community and this refactoring will enable custom development. To further enhance sharing and prevent collisions, this release introduces custom namespaces to the directives allowing users to create their own namespaces to prevent conflict. Namespaces as well as many other metadata about directives can now be configured at both the app-level and installation-level providing flexibility.

**UPGRADE CONSIDERATIONS: (for MasterView deployments that have created custom directives)
default namespace of extensions directives changed from mv: to mvx: (custom directive default namespace)
upgrade any user created custom directives to use new directive API (see release notes)

A short video which demos the basic operation is available at [](

Screenshots and illustrations[](

MasterView is released under MIT open source licensing.

Main site: [](
Rubyforge Project site:


  • Create/extend a template engine for rails that would be XHTML friendly and
    thus could be edited/styled with a WYSIWYG HTML editor even late in
    development without breaking template.
  • Keep it simple. DRY. No extra config files, simple syntax with ruby flavor.
  • Design it specifically for ruby and rails. Use the full power and not be
    limited in its capabilities over what can be done with ERb (rhtml)
  • Work nicely with layouts, partials, and rails html helpers.
  • Reduce complexity, work with existing rails code, no extra view logic or
    hashes than what is used by ERb (rhtml). Scaffold generate initial templates or
    work from existing html prototype. Make scaffolds nicely styled and easily useable for production with minor changes.
  • Reduce the numbers of files, simplifying editing. Define partials and
    layouts naturallyl right in the template, no need to go to another file.
  • Preview in browser without running an app. Allow for dummy data in the
    template so that the page can be viewed and styled independently of the
  • Performance equal to ERb (rhtml)

Release Notes:
== Recent changes (Release 0.3.0 - Major update - refactoring of directive API (for developing directives)
The directive API for creating directives has been refactored and simplified. This will enable directives to be developed more easily by both core developers and MasterView users. The end goal is to make it extremely simple for anyone to create their own custom directives and to share those with the community, and thus the project can live and grow into many specialty areas. The directive API refactoring is one more step towards those goals.

The old directive_base.rb which provided the API for directives has been deprecated and moved to deprecated/directive_base.rb, MasterViewdevelopers which have developed custom directives should upgrade those directives to the new API as soon as possible. During the transition period one can use the original API by requiring the deprecated/directive_base.rb file and changing their directive to inherit from DirectiveBaseOld rather than DirectiveBase.

== Recent changes (Release 0.2.5)
Fix AdminPage compatibility with Rails 1.1.5+ which uses safe_load_paths to find controllers
Fix rake mv:view_rhtml RHTML=foo/_bar.rhtml was not able to find partials

Visit the online documentation page at for screenshots, illustrations, complete installation and usage information.

We would love to hear your feedback and ideas around this project! Visit the rubyforge project

to join the users mailing list or to add yourself to the announce list to receive future announcements. Check out the [

video]( to see MasterView in action!

Thanks for your time!!

MasterView Development Team
Jeff Barczewski and Deb Lewis

Oh man this makes me giddy!

Ta, Jeff and Deb for all your hard work.


Hi Jeff,

        I have been trying to make MasterView works on my Rails
project. However, every time I issue a script/generate masterview
Product Store command, I always get the following: