PHPBuilder - Templates: The PHPLib Way Page 2

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Templates: The PHPLib Way - Page 2

by: David Orr
July 30, 2000

Using PHPLIB Template

Let's start with a cheesy example with some sample code. We'll assume that there is a template in the /home/mydir/mytemplates/ named MyTemplate.ihtml that has some text that reads something like this:
Congratulations! You won a new {some_color} Honda Prelude!
Notice that "{some_color}" has curly braces around it. The curly braces indicate that some_color is a template variable. We may want to write a PHP script that will load the template, insert the value of the PHP variable $my_color where the {some_color} template variable tag is, and then output the new text. If $my_color happens to be set to "blue", the final output should look like:
Congratulations! You won a new blue Honda Prelude!
Here's the PHP script that will do just that:


include ""

$my_color "blue"// we'll use this later

$t = new Template("/home/mydir/mytemplates/");
// create a template object named $t
// set MyFileHandle = our template file
// set template variable some_color = $my_color value
// set template variable MyOutput = parsed file
$t->p("MyOutput"); // output the value of MyOutput (our parsed data)

The first line is an include command to give you PHPLIB Template functionality. Of course PHPLIB does a lot more than templates, but if you only want to use the template feature just include ( is one of the files that comes with PHPLIB). PHPLIB Template uses object-oriented programming, so the next thing we do is create a Template object. The code <? $t = new Template("/home/mydir/mytemplates/"); ?> creates a new Template object $t. This $t object will be your handle for accessing all of the template functions for the rest of the PHP script. If you wanted to, you could create additional Template objects (each with their out template variable namespace), but one is usually all you need. The path ("/home/mydir/mytemplates/") in the Template constructor call sets the root path where your templates are located, but if you leave it out it defaults to the same directory as your PHP script.
Then we call set_file() to define a handle "MyFileHandle" linked to MyTemplate.ihtml (the template isn't actually loaded until parse() is called). By the way, the .ihtml extension of the template filename is customary for PHPLIB templates, but you can use .html, .tpl, or any other extension. Then we call set_var() to set the template variable some_color to the value of $my_color (which is "blue"), which means that all occurrences of {some_color} in the template will be replaced with the word blue when we call parse().
And then we call parse(), which parses MyFileHandle by loading MyFileHandle (MyTemplate.ihtml) and replacing any template variables ("{some_variable}") with their template variable values, and the resulting parsed text is placed in MyOutput. Nothing is output to the webserver until p("MyOutput") is called, which outputs the final parsed text.

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