Writing plugins

Writing a plugin for Quaint is easy. You need to write a module that exports a single function. That function should support the following three call formats:

quaintEngine is an instance of Engine. If you want to know whether an object is an Engine or not, just check the isQuaintEngine property.


In the spirit of keeping things simple, I suggest you copy the following template and don't worry about it:

function myplugin(quaintEngine, options) {

    // An Engine defines isQuaintEngine = true
    if (!quaintEngine.isQuaintEngine) {
        // Not an Engine, so the options are the first argument:
        options = quaintEngine;
        return function (realQuaintEngine) {
            return myplugin(realQuaintEngine, options);

    // Initialize options to an empty object if no options are given
    options = options || {};

    // The interface is satisfied, we have an Engine, we have options,
    // do stuff with them!
    doSomethingWith(quaintEngine, options);

// Quaint expects you to export the plugin function directly.
// Just do this:
module.exports = myplugin;

As for the plugin itself, I recommend reading the api document for an overview of the Engine and QAst interfaces.


Here is an example to get you started.


// Use h to build HTML. If you try to return HTML as a string,
// Quaint will sanitize it, so it won't work.
var h = require("quaint").h;

function myplugin(engine, options) {

    if (!engine.isQuaintEngine) {
        options = engine;
        return function (realEngine) {
            return myplugin(realEngine, options);

    options = options || {};

    // $thing ==> <options.dollarTag>thing</options.dollarTag>
        "$ \\x": function (engine, vars) {
            return h(options.dollarTag || "span",

    // color red :: hello ==> <span style="color:red">hello</span>
        "color": function (engine, color, body) {
            return h("span",
                     {style: "color:" + color.raw()},


module.exports = myplugin;

Copy this in a file, and then you can test it with quaint immediately, like this:

quaint -p .myplugin -e 'Hello $world'
quaint -p .myplugin -e 'color green :: grass'
quaint -p '.myplugin{"dollarTag": "s"}' -e 'Hello $world universe'

The leading dot on myplugin is needed to tell Quaint to get the package in the current working directory. If you create a package, you use the package name without the dot and without the quaint- prefix if applicable. Note that it has to be installed locally or globally at the invocation point.


Assuming your plugin is in the file ../index.js, the following code will create and execute Quaint instances with it:

var quaint = require("quaint");
var myplugin = require("../index.js");

// Default options
var q1 = quaint(myplugin);

// Setting different options
var q2 = quaint(myplugin({option: value, ...});

// Generating HTML
var html = q2.toHTML("some markup");

This should be easy to adapt to your favorite test framework.


Publish your plugin on npm under a descriptive name and the prefix quaint-. For instance, if you are writing a plugin that adds a rule for Wikipedia links you could name it quaint-wikilinks.

Then, users will be able to install and then use your plugin like this:

# Install
npm install quaint-wikilinks -g
# Use
quaint -p wikilinks post.q

Plugin list

For convenience there is a list of plugins on Quaint's website.

The source for that page is located here. If you write a new plugin, please add it to the list at an appropriate place (you can create a new section if needed) and make a pull request :)