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Project description

NOTE: I'm thankful for any bug fix or report; They are more than welcome.
However, I want to keep the scope of this project very small, so any other kind of pull-requests are discouraged.


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A small and simple library for rendering projects templates.

  • Works with local paths and git URLs.
  • Your project can include any file and Hecto can dynamically replace values in any kind of text files.
  • It generates a beautiful output and take care of not overwrite existing files, unless instructed to do so.

How to use

pip install hecto
from hecto import copy

# Create a project from a local path
copy('path/to/project/template', 'path/to/destination')

# Or from a git URL.
# You can also use "gh:" as a shortcut of ""
# Or "gl:"  as a shortcut of ""
copy('', 'path/to/destination')
copy('gh:jpsca/base36.git', 'path/to/destination')
copy('gl:jpsca/base36.git', 'path/to/destination')

How it works

The content of the files inside the project template are copied to the destination without changes, unless are suffixed with the extension '.tmpl'. (you can customize that with the render_as setting). In that case, the templating engine is used to render them.

A slightly customized Jinja2 templates are used. The main difference is that variables are referenced with [[ name ]] instead of {{ name }} and blocks are [% if name %] instead of {% if name %}. To read more about templating see the Jinja2 documentation.

Use the data argument to pass whatever extra context you want to be available in the templates. The arguments can be any valid Python value, even a function.






Uses the template in src_path to generate a new project at dst_path.


  • src_path (str):
    Absolute path to the project skeleton. May be a version control system URL.

  • dst_path (str):
    Absolute path to where to render the project template.

  • data (dict):
    Optional. Data to be passed to the templates.

  • exclude (list of str):
    Optional. A list of names or shell-style patterns matching files or folders that must not be copied.

  • include (list of str):
    Optional. A list of names or shell-style patterns matching files or folders that must be included, even if its name is a match for the exclude list. Eg: ['.gitignore']. The default is an empty list.

  • skip_if_exists (list of str):
    Optional. Skip any of these file names or shell-style patterns, without asking, if another with the same name already exists in the destination folder. It only makes sense if you are copying to a folder that already exists.

  • envops (dict):
    Optional. Extra options for the Jinja template environment.

  • render_as (function):
    An optional hook that takes the absolute source path and the relative destination path of a file as arguments.

    It should return None if the file must be copied as-is or a Path object of the new relative destination (can be the same as the one received).

    By default all the files with the .tmpl postfix are rendered and saved without that postfix. Eg: becomes

  • get_context (function):
    An optional hook called before rendering a file. Takes the relative destination path of the file as argument, and should return a dictionary with the context for its rendering.

  • pretend (bool):
    Optional. Run but do not make any changes

  • force (bool):
    Optional. Overwrite files that already exist, without asking

  • skip (bool):
    Optional. Skip files that already exist, without asking

  • quiet (bool):
    Optional. Suppress the status output

The hecto.yaml file

If a YAML file named hecto.yaml is found in the root of the project, it will be read and used for arguments defaults.

Note that they become just the defaults, so any explicitly-passed argument will overwrite them.

# Shell-style patterns files/folders that must not be copied.
  - "*.bar"
  - ".git"
  - ".git/*"

# Shell-style patterns files/folders that *must be* copied, even if
# they are in the exclude list
  - ""

# Shell-style patterns files to skip, without asking, if they already exists
# in the destination folder
  - ".gitignore"

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