Announcing Buildnode, CSS-Selectors & TALCL

I have just pushed three Common Lisp libraries to my github account.  We have been using Buildnode and TALCL internally for quite some time and CSS-Selectors was something of a learning project I just wrote.


Buildnode is a library to make working with CXML DOM documents and nodes easier.  It smoothes some of the DOM interfaces to be a bit nicer and more in line with common lisp conventions.  We use buildnode primarily to generate the output of webpages hooked up to our extensively modified UCW lisp web server.  We also use it to generate excel spreadsheet XML and google earth KML.  It facilitates writing small generation functions that can be built up and combined in any way.  We also use it to generate “tag” packages which are a package of functions that build the XML tree for us (see the example).

Primary Features

  • Iterate drivers for the dom (in-dom-children, in-dom-parents, and in-dom)
  • DOM manipulation functions such as set-attribute, add-children etc that return the node they are manipulating to ease stringing many calls together and then appending the result to the dom
  • TAG Packages that make a library of functions for interacting with a specific XML dialect


TALCL is a branch of ARNESI YACLML/UCW Template Attribute Language, which in turn was branch of Template Attribute Language originally developed in python for Zope.  We think that this version of TAL is much improved over the one originally shipped with UCW by being simpler to use, has better integration with the lisp environment, and simpler evaluation rules.  TALCL is divorced entirely from the UCW/ARNESI/YACLML stack and should be a usable choice for any templating need (though certainly specializing in XML templating).  We use this library for HTML templates that our designers can work with as well as processing both plain text and HTML email templates in our internal billing software. Examples can be found in the repository.


CSS-Selectors is a library that implements a parser for css-selectors level 3 and provides a compiler that can compile node-matcher functions from these selectors.  It also provides a query function (much like jQuery), that can be used to retrieve a list of matching nodes from the dom.  I use this for selecting dom nodes to manipulate from the output of an (unreleased) form controls library and for manipulating and pulling information from DOM documents.  If static, compilation of CSS-selectors into node-matcher functions occurs at compile time.


One thought on “Announcing Buildnode, CSS-Selectors & TALCL

  1. Pingback: Reliable Common Lisp Builds with Quicklisp | Russ’s Tech Blog

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