Not getting what I see

I’m keen to overhaul the way that I’m authoring. Multiple experiments with workflows and formats for writing and publishing have left me with a patchwork that has started to feel brittle. I want to be authoring XML/HTML, but with an elegant abstraction over-top. I don’t need full WYSIWYG, just rendered HTML tags, hot-reload will suffice for preview of styles.

The main consideration/difficulty here will be the templating aspect.

Thinking about this some more, I can’t see this working as fluently as I would like until I can solve for a good HTML templating engine, a space which seems pretty primitive to this day. In the meantime I will probably continue to settle for having an abstraction underneath (markdown) rather than over-top.

Requirements: Fluent, low friction authoring (no manual HTML tag input), live preview, expressiveness.