in reply to
mini-languages for MVC view/controller manipulation
Which brings me to my point: the use of mini-languages within view templates seems to occupy a very small and recent slice in the history of MVC frameworks, motivated primarily by the need to dynamically generate HTML.
In the pre-web epoch, several "mini languages" for describing views (and how to hook them up to models) came and went. VisualWorks had one, which served as the basis for reusable visual components. If I recall correctly, NeXT had one, too (on the back end of their visual UI design tool).