Template engine for PHP and code generator tool based on templates for all languages.
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Div PHP Template Engine

Build Status License

by Rafa Rodríguez (rafageist@hotmail.com)

Div is a template engine and code generator for PHP written in PHP, developed by the Eng. Rafa Rodriguez since 2011, that allows the separation of labor between developers and designers. As the designer or developer built templates with some specific tags, other developers or designers uses the template to replace these tags with data or more template code. Div have a compact, flexible and descriptive syntax for templates:

  • "compact" means "a minimum of code for template language"
  • "flexible" means "you can create dialects of template language"
  • "descriptive" means "template language talk by herself"

Basic example:



include "div.php";

echo new div('index.tpl', ['message' => 'Hello Universe']);



Your own dialect:



define ("DIV_TAG_MODIFIER_SIMPLE", "show:");

include "div.php";

echo new div('index.tpl', ['message' => 'Hello Universe']);



Of course, the replacement of tags is a basic functionality. More extensions of the substitutions exist, for example, replace repeatedly N times, replace conditionally, among others.


	Name: {$name}
	Price: ${#price:2#}


	Show login form
	Show content


		{% head %}
		{% body %}

The programmer creates an instance of a class with 2 parameters: the first is the designer's code or name of the file that he built, and the second is the information represented by an array, objects, or a combination of arrays and objects to replace the design's tags. The array's indexes, array's keys and object's properties must correspond with the design's tags.

The designer work in text files and use various types of tags: simple replacements, lists or loops, iterations, conditional parts, separating the design into different files, default replacements, and so on.

The parser

Div's parser work with 3 ideas:

Parse only that can be parse, else, don't touch.

If in the template exists a tag, for example, a simple replacement {$name}, and the programmer don't especify data for the variable $name, the engine will ignore this template's code, and don't show an error.

Parsing until exists a template's code that can be parsed

The parser don't stop until in the code some piece need be parsed.

Parsing with some syntax's rules

Some piece of codes will be parsed before others piece of codes.

The syntaxis

The syntax of Div is compact and adaptable. If the programmer wants to do a loop, the designer only needs to know a name for that loop, and if he wants to hide a part of the GUI, the designer is only responsible for tag the part that will be hidden or displayed conditionally. If the designer is a expert in other template engine, he can use a dialect to facilitate their work.


Our reasons? Div is developed with the philosophy of the knowledge reused. Of course, Div is released in time of recognized template engines that are widely used. For this reason, Div develop a minimum new knowledge so that the developers can quickly become familiar with this engine and they can understand when, how and why to use it.

The features are added if it is really necessary. That is, if there is a need to add another functionality, we first analyzed whether there is a mechanism to resolve this functionality, and then we publish an article that explains how to implement this mechanism.

The argument to develop Div was obtained from various tests with PHP and we concluded that it is faster replace the portions of string than includes of PHP scripts.

The fact remains, that the replacement of substrings is a fast process but it require more memory. However, this consumption is so small that it is worthwhile the sacrifice.

Div development is to avoid creating a cache system because we believe that it is unnecessary according to their characteristics as an engine. A learning system can be sufficient: it can prevent the repeated processing of the same templates.

Finally, it is known that the most popular engines are composed of more than one file, classes and libraries. Div sought since its inception, the implementation of everything in one class, in a single file. This allows easy adaptation to existing development platforms.


One class, one file!, considering the template like an object, create a minimum of highly descriptive syntax, avoid a cache system, improve the algorithms, reuse the knowledge, write mechanisms and extend!.

Possibilities for developers? The designer carries out its work in text files and then the designer can use different tags. Div does not provide for the design obtrusive code. All that is programmed in the templates has a single goal: design.

Possibilities for the programmer? The programmer creates an instance of div class, specifying in its constructor, the template created by the designer and the information that will be displayed.


For more information visit: - http://divengine.com - https://divengine.github.io/div - https://github.com/divengine/div/wiki