[UPHPU] Template engines
mac at macnewbold.com
Wed Oct 4 16:30:23 MDT 2006
Today at 4:11pm, Walt Haas said:
> I'd be interested to hear from any graphic artists out there what they
> see as the pros and cons of template engines in general, and Smarty in
> particular. Are these templates easier for an artist to work with
> than the equivalent PHP code?
> I already know the engineering pros and cons, so don't need comments
> about that aspect of it.
I'll preface this with the fact that I'm not a graphic artist. But I've worked
with many of them.
The bottom line: most graphic designers/artists don't know HTML and don't want
to learn it. If they do any of it, it's with a WYSIWIG and isn't worth using
with a PHP app. So a template language won't change the fact that they wouldn't
be able to manage the HTML themselves anyway.
What I've seen of Smarty indicates to me that it really isn't all that much
simpler in syntax than PHP, and is a lot more limited, so even if you had some
designer working on the HTML, it's probably just as easy for them to use the
equivalent PHP directly as to use Smarty, as long as you separate out the files
appropriately. (Variable interpolation, foreach loops, etc, are practically
equivalent in Smarty and PHP, the Smarty just makes you use a different
Whether or not you go with smarty, or something else, or just straight PHP, I'd
still make sure to separate out the look and feel stuff from the application
logic if they're going to be worked on by different people or different groups.
There will always be some interdependencies between them, even with Smarty, but
the more you can limit them, the more flexibility each side will have without
help from the other side.
Again, I'm not a designer, so take it with a grain of salt, or a block of salt
if you want, but I can't remember a single time in the last 5 years where we've
had a designer that wanted to do the HTML while we did the PHP/MySQL stuff,
even though Wade was one of the designers we worked with.
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