On NETTUTS.com today there's a new tutorial introducing you to one of the more well-established templating tools for PHP-based applications - Smarty. It provides abstraction between your data and the output of the site, making is simpler to maintain in the long run.
Smarty is a PHP-based templating engine/framework. It allows you to further separate your business logic from its visualization, by removing as much PHP code as possible away from your views. Some developers and frameworks prefer not to use a templating engine, others do prefer them to using plain PHP in your views. Both points of view can be argued, and in the end, it's mostly a matter of taste. Anyway, it's never a bad idea to try it out before deciding not to use it, and that's what this tutorial is about: trying out the Smarty Templating Framework.
They introduce it in a series of five steps (well, six):
- What To Expect
- Setting Up The Project
- Creating The SMTemplate Class
- Assigning and Formatting Variables
- Working With a Layout
- Creating Your Own Modifiers
Each of these comes with code examples and full descriptions so that, by the end of the tutorial, you'll end up with a full "Hello World" template system. The modifiers let you augment the base Smarty functionality to handle custom types and make handling the data even simpler.