Noel is an HTML template compiler which I have been using in form or another since I wrote the first version (in Perl) in 1997. This public release is a solid, thoroughly-tested Java implementation of Noel which includes advanced features such as background compilation and features to support and encourage re-use of Noel tags.

Noel is like the C macro-preprocessor except that instead of inputting and outputting C code, it inputs and outputs HTML files. Noel enables a rich template hierarchy and component-based design by using custom variables and tags.

Noel is similar to Web templates engines such as WebMacro, Velocity, and Tea, inserting content into Web page templates. But Noel works with static files; it does not have a dynamic component that plugs into a Web application. In fact, Noel is designed to co-exist with a template engine.

Noel can be used to generate static Web pages, Velocity templates, JSPs, ASPs, PHP files, XML files, etc. Noel can generate any sort of text files but is best used to generate HTML-like file.

Noel provides the abstraction that Web designers so desperately need in order to create large, multi-faceted Web sites that must be actively maintained. With Noel, making a change to the layout of a search box that is used in different formats throughout the site is as easy as fixing a typo.

Noel can act as part of a lightweight (i.e. free, custom, simple) content management system. Formalize a set of variables and tags that can be used in content, spit the content from a database into a Noel project tree, and run Noel to apply the latest site design and architecture to the content.

All of my Web sites use Noel templates. (Designing and maintaining a site without Noel is painfully inefficient.) This includes:

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