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We are looking at rewriting our current content management system so that it works with the most popular/easiest to use/best templating system.

Our current system is to generate XML and then use XSLT to transform the XML to html, so the current templates are XSLT. The feedback we have had from designers is that XSLT is a horrible language, and we have to agree :). Though it does have some benefits like being executed by most browsers.

Unfortunately the browsers are not supporting XSLT 2.0, along with frameworks like dotNet.

Please let me know your favourite templating systems and why they are better or worse than others.

RonaldDuncan

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Last Post by RonaldDuncan
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One of our team wrote a gossip site in smarty, and liked the templating system.

We have also tried Mako, and the person with smarty experience thought it was better. However, it means moving over to python, which has advantages and disadvantages.

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The best template system is none.

We already support that, it is making it easy to people to write websites with the common navigation, adds and other bits easily included that we want to provide in a better way for designers to interact with our system.

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Ronald,

Don't dismiss Servere Side Includes (SSI).

OK, it's not proper templating by itself but it's great for throwing common, static chunks into as many web pages as you want.

At one time, I worked on someone else's overcomplex JSP site, Enterprise Beans the full thing, when SSI would have done the job. They couldn't see it!

Something I have yet to see (I must experiment one day) is SSI in conjunction with something that updates the includes with dynamic content when available. Would be good for server-side asynchronous update (not Ajax - that's a client-side UI technique).

Airshow

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Ronald,
Don't dismiss Servere Side Includes (SSI).
Airshow

The old solutions are often the best. SSI was superseded by frames, which then got junked because the search engines did not rank them and now we have moved on from table to div's. But for showing blocks of nav content SSI does this great. I have not played with them for over 10 years.

I will also have to have a think about how we could pull together a site with SSI.

One of our issues is that we have close to 1 million users to we compress all our content to reduce bandwidth when serving content, and I think with SSI we would need to do that on the fly rather than pre-compressing all the static content.

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