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Generally, I'm a big fan of Helma's current templating scheme. There are, however, some things that are fairly cumbersome to do at the moment:
- simple conditional display (have to write a dedicated macro)
- navigating the object graph is impossible (apart from "navigating" to the objects in the request path)
- passing arguments to skins used "lower down" never feels quite right
- the sheer number of template fragments sometimes gets out of hand, making an application hard to understand
Of course, all of those "issues" have a good reason (limiting access to a strictly controllable subset of an object's properties and macros). One of the original design goals of the Helma templating system was to be able to let site users customize the look and feel of an application at runtime by giving them the possibility to specify skins, functionality that's used to spectacular effect in Antville.
dev.helma.org: Helma 2 Templates
Jürg Lehni on Helma templates
helma-dev thread: Alternate template engines (November 2005)
helma-dev thread: HTML/XML syntax/subskins, 2 (February 2005)
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