Collecting my attempts to improve at tech, art, and life

PageTemplate - Other Features

Tags: pagetemplate coolnamehere

PageTemplate has a number of other features for the designer, and I couldn’t figure out where to put them. Let’s just dump them here until the day I do figure out where a good spot for them would be.


Filtering seemed so handy with variables that we thought it would be fun to have filtering as an independent action. All the contents of a filter block are passed through the named filter during output.



[%filter :escapeHTML %]
<h1><blink>Some browsers still allow this?</blink></h1>


include is somewhat tricky. The idea is easy enough. You want to include the same template fragment in several other templates. A login form, a stats view, whatever. include lets you do that in one of two ways. First, the developer may have already processed that template fragment and made it available to you as a sort of variable. The other is where you request that a specific file be processed. Okay, that wasn’t so hard after all.



[%include login_form %]
[%include fragments/login_form.tmpl %]


Occasionally you will have information that the developer doesn’t. No, I don’t mean the name of the great Mexican restaurant on the north side of town. Wait a minute. Sure, why not? You know the name of this great Mexican restaurant on the north side of town, and the developer doesn’t. You could just tell him. He could add the name in his code so you can use it in your template, and then the two of you could go share a tasty lunch and a few drinks. Then again, he is out with horrible food poisoning for the whole week because he listened to somebody else’s great suggestion and went to that restaurant downtown which is so bad it must be a front for a black market biowaste disposal organization. Maybe you can just provide the name in the template yourself, and he can add it to his code when he recovers.

The define directive is a helpful tool for adding variables to the template without waiting for the developers to incorporate them into the code. It’s kind of a shortcut and only good for simple string values, but every once in a while a shortcut is exactly what you need.



[%define restaurant Jalisco %]
[%define dish Enchilada Combo %]

<p>I really enjoy the [%var dish %] at [%var restaurant%]</p>


The case directive is a special extra directive which allows you to show different content based on the value of a single variable.



[%case role %]
[%when admin %]
<a href="abuse.cgi">Abuse Users</a>
[%when user %]
<a href="beg.cgi">Beg For Mercy From Admin</a>
[%else %]
<a href="register.cgi">Register To Get Love And Abuse From Admin</a>
[%end %]

You must make sure the developer includes the PageTemplate/case.rb library in his code to use the case directive.


Comments are useful if you want to make notes to yourself as the template designer, but you don’t want those comments showing up in the final template output.


[%-- Random Commentary %]

Alternate Syntax

One of PageTemplate’s features is the ability to come up with your own directive syntax. If you feel that the default syntax is less than ideal, discuss a new system with your developers. If you are the lone designer/developer, talk to yourself for a bit. We all need some quality time to ourselves occasionally. Working together, you and the developers — or you and your split personalities - can come up with a syntax that is much more comfortable.

Added to vault 2024-01-15. Updated on 2024-01-26