PHP Template Engine

I have been looking online for a tutorial to build a template engine. I know there are many engines that exist, like smarty, twig, and pattemplate, that could do exactly what I want, but I am looking to learn how to build one. I started with a template engine that added strings to an array and then displayed the array. Since then I built one using eval() (see below).

<// Define links & folders
define("ROOT_HTTP", "http://" . $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] . "/preprocessor");
define("TEMPLATE", "/template");

// Get the template file
$template = file_get_contents("template/template.php");

// Replace
$template = str_replace("<x Title x>", displayTitle(), $template);
$template = str_replace("<x Menu x>", displayMenu(), $template);
$template = str_replace("<x Content x>", displayContent(), $template);

$result = @eval("?>" . $template . "<?");

function displayMenu(){
    return "Link1<br />" . 
     "Link2<br />" . 
     "Link3<br />";
}

function displayTitle(){
     return "Site Title <?php echo date(\"m-d-y\", time()); ?>";
}

function displayContent(){
     return file_get_contents("content.php");
}

It works fairly well but its not what I am looking to achieve. I would like to build something that is like the Joomla template with tags like <jdoc:include type="component" />. I would also like it to be able to handle errors inline meaning that it will display the line number of an error or when I call echo "text" it displays text in the correct position inside the template.

How do I create something along those lines?

Answers


http://www.phptal.org/ sounds very similar and has good code organization. if extension of mentioned system does not suit the needs, it would at least work as good tutorial


First of all: Immediately forget the idea about using a TE with XML-like tags. Really, it may look nice on the first glance but only causes too much work in the end and is really limiting.

Secondly I obviously recommend you to use Twig. It is clean, fast, extensible and offers all the features you need.

And lastly: I have written a small tutorial how to write a simple but powerful TE in another Stackoverflow question. It is really simple but for smaller projects it may suffice.


I cannot agree with NikiC's point of view. XML is, although an old syntax, very powerful and brings a lot of advantages -- one of which is its similitude with properly written HTML.

There is nothing limiting in using an XML-based template syntax.

Besides, although Twig is, indeed, an excellent and famous project, it still lacks from a really good separation paradigm. It is still too dangerous and too easy to make mistakes from within the template and cause damages to the application as a whole.

Finally, the best template engine -- just as the best MVC framework -- is the one you feel really comfortable with. I recommend having a look at FigDice]1, which was inspired by PHPTal, but takes things a few steps further, with an exclusive approach by giving the Web Designer (integrator, html-ist, etc.) a central position with the project -- much more flexible than the Twig-like approach.

I would be happy to read some feedback. Thanks


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