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eZ publish Enterprise Component: Component, Design
:Author: Jan Borsodi
:Revision: $Revision$
:Date: $Date$
Design description
Elements are the internal types used by the engine to represent the syntax of a
template file. Elements are dividied into several groups and each is explained
in detail.
.. figure:: template_elements.png
All template elements.
Comments are text blocks which will be stripped away from the output when the
template is executed. Comments can be standalone spanning an entire tag or
placed inline in template code.
Comments can be used for explaining what or why something is done or to comment
out code which is no longer to be used.
Code comments
Code comments are created by starting and ending the tag with an asterix
(\*). Whatever is inside is considered comments for the template code::
{* Comment text *}
{* Comments can
also span
multiple lines *}
The comment will be read as it is with newlines.
Inline comments
Inline comments are created using \/\* and \*\/ or with \/\/. Use the \/\* to
span multiple lines \/\* or the \/\/ to start a comment which continues to the
end of the line::
{def $a = 1 /*, $b = 2, */, $c = 3 }
{def $a = 1 //, $b = 2
, $c = 3}
These comments are usually something you use while developing but isn't left in
after a release is made. If the result after removing the inline comments is an
empty tag the tag itself will be ignored::
{ /* def $a = 1 */ }
Expressions are not a real element but rather a way of thinking a combination
of elements. For instance each operator of an operator can be any kind of
element (including new operators) which in the end forms a composition tree.
.. figure:: template_element_composition.png
Example composition structure.
The language comes with several builtin expression for types and structures to
make it easier to use.
Booleans are created with the *true* or *false* names, for instance::
$a = true
Integers and floats are written as in PHP using::
Creating strings is done using single or double quotes, single quotes takes the
characters literally and doesn't allow escaping while the double quotes allows
"a simple string"
'another simple string'
"with the escaped characters \"\n\r\t\\"
'no escaping in here \"\n\r\t\\'
Create arrays and hashes with the syntax::
array( $v1 [, $v2 ...] )
array( $k1 => $v1 [, $k2 => $v2 ...] )
.. Todo: Update this text.
A function is a piece of reusable code which can be called with parameters.
The function will perform some PHP code and return a value based on the
parameters. Parameterless functions are also possible.
Functions can either be programmed by implementing the ezcTemplateFunction
interface or mapping them to PHP functions or expressions.
The template language must supply the required functions for the most common
operations. The names should not follow the confusing and inconsistent naming
of PHP functions but provide a clean and easy to understand set (As reference
some of the names in the Qt library have been used, e.g. methods in QString)
See design_functions.txt for a list of functions which will be part of the
template language as a standard.
Operators are part of an expression and can modify the value or transform it
into another value. Examples of operators are adding two numbers together (+)
or checking for equality (==). Operators takes one, two or three operands
(called unary, binary and terniary operators).
The operator precedence is as follows (some are missing):
=============== ====================
Associativity Operators
=============== ====================
right [ ->(left)
non-associative ++ --
non-associative ! - instanceof
left \* / %
left \+ \- .
non-associative < <= > >=
non-associative == != === !==
left &&
left ||
left ? :
right = += -= \*= /= .= %=
=============== ====================
.. figure:: template_operators.png
Some of the operator classes.
Arithmetic operators
The arithmetic operators can be used on all expression which returns a
numerical value (integer or float).
============== ===========
Negation -$o
Addition $ol + $or
Subtraction $ol - $or
Multiplication $ol * $or
Division $ol / $or
Modulus $ol % $or
============== ===========
Assignment operator
The assignment operator can be used to assign the value of an expression to a
variable or an entry in an array.
========== =========
Assignment $ol = $or
========== =========
Note: Assignment is only allowed with some functions and blocks
See also `Combined operators`_
Combined operators
============== ============
Addition $ol += $or
Subtraction $ol \-= $or
Multiplication $ol \*= $or
Division $ol /= $or
Modulus $ol %= $or
Concat $ol .= $or
============== ============
Comparison operators
===================== ============
Equal $ol == $or
Identical $ol === $or
Not equal $ol != $or
Not identical $ol !== $or
Less than $ol < $or
Greater than $ol > $or
Less than or equal $ol <= $or
Greater than or equal $ol >= $or
===================== ============
Increment/decrement operators
============== ====
Pre increment ++$o
Pre decrement --$o
Post increment $o++
Post decrement $o--
============== ====
Logical operators
=== ==========
Not ! $o
And $ol && $or
Or $ol || $or
=== ==========
Flow operator
============ ===================
If/then/else $if ? $then : $else
============ ===================
String operators
============= =========
Concatenation $ol . $or
Substring $ol[$or]
============= =========
See also `Combined operators`_
Array operators
===================== ============
Equal $ol == $or
Identical $ol === $or
Not equal $ol != $or
Not identical $ol !== $or
Union $ol + $or
Key value $ol[$or]
Append $ol[] = $or
===================== ============
See also `Combined operators`_
Object operators
===================== ===========
Equal $ol == $or
Identical $ol === $or
Not equal $ol != $or
Not identical $ol !== $or
Property lookup $ol->or
===================== ===========
Note: This is probably skipped, conflicts with the rest of the syntax
Blocks are nested structure which performs a given operation on their children.
For instance it can execute the children and then transform the text result
into something else.
.. figure:: template_blocks.png
Some of the block classes.
Curly braces
Since the curly braces are used for the invocation of the template syntax they
cannot be used directly in plain text anymore. To get around this you can
escape the brace with a backslash (\)::
function code()
It is also possible to use the specialized ldelim and rdelim blocks to output
function code()
Lastly it can also be placed inside a text string::
function code()
Literal text
If you want to enter lots of code or text which should not be processed by the
template language you can place the code inside *literal* blocks. Any text
within this block is read as it is (even back slashes) until a {/literal} is
function code()
Text manipulation
.. Note: These entries are only a suggestion.
- block start/block end
Captures the output of the child elements and performs wrapping, indentation
and end-of-line style on the result. This can be used to generate lots of
text with template code and then wrap it into a readable text format::
{block [wrap column] [indent prefix] [eol suffix]}
- wrap - Which column to wrap at, if not supplied the current context wrap is
- indent - A text piece to indent each line with (after wrap), this will be
appended to any existing indent text.
- eol - A text piece to replace the newline character for each line (after
Example #1, generating mail reply::
{block wrap 79 indent "> "}
... render mail reply here:
Example #2, wrapping with html hard breaks::
{block wrap 70 eol "<br/>"}
- table/tr/th/td
A set of blocks to easy the generation of plain text tables::
- matrix/md/mh
Easy generation of plain text matrices::
{matrix 3 by 3}
- cleanup (XML/XHTML only)
Renders the child blocks and cleans up excess whitespace from the output to
reduce whitespace which is only present for being human readable. This is
something that is done once a project is finished to reduce bandwidth.
Cleanup blocks can be turned on or off globally to aid in development of
This contains quite
a lot of
unneccesary whitespace.
- tidy (XML/XHTML only)
Renders the child blocks and then tries to rearrange the XML/XHTML structure
to be more readable. This can be used while developing to make it clearer
where errors occur in XML/XHTML output::
Control structures
Control structures are elements which help you control the flow of the code,
either by doing conditional statements or by repeating certain actions.
Control structures can exist both as Blocks and inline code.
.. figure:: template_control_structures.png
Some of the control structure classes.
Control structures for looping are:
- foreach
- for
- while
- do/while
Control structures for code flow are:
- if/elseif/else
- switch/case
- include
Executes the external template file and appends the output of it to the
current text output.
- embed
Inlines the code from the external template as if it was local code. The code
will have access to all the variables of the current stack.
- return/stop ?
- break
Breaks out of loops.
Used outside a loop will cause an exception.
- continue
Continues to next iteration in loop and processes the sequence.
Used outside a loop will cause an exception.
- skip
Continues to next iteration in loop and does not process the sequence.
Used outside a loop will cause an exception.
- delimiter
Piece of code which is executed at given iterations, e.g. every other
Used outside a loop will cause an exception.
- once
Execute child elements only once.
Other structures:
- def, undef
- set
.. Note: These entries are only a suggestion.
- counter
Starts a counter at a given value which is increased at given steps. The
counter can be output and increased automatically. Also counters can be
stacked to start sub counts for a given period and then continue on the
previous count later on, the current counter stack level is also available
for output (starts at 1). If you need multiple separate counters the *name*
parameter can be used or it can be assigned an object.
{counter start [$start] [step $step] [name $name | as $object]}
{counter stop [name $name | $object]}
{counter [name $name]}
{counter level [name $name]}
Counting from 0::
{counter start 0}
{counter stop 0}
Counting from 1 and intervals of 2::
{counter start 1 step 2}
{counter stop}
Counting headers::
{counter start 1}
<h{counter level}>{counter} Header</h{counter level}>
<h{counter level}>{counter} Header</h{counter level}>
{counter start 1}
<h{counter level}>{counter} Header</h{counter level}>
<h{counter level}>{counter} Header</h{counter level}>
Using objects::
{counter start 1 as $c}
{counter stop $c}
- sequence
Similar to *counter* but will go trough a given sequence array over and over
{sequence start array() [name $name | as $object]}
{sequence stop [name $name | $object]}
{sequence restart [name $name]}
{sequence [name $name]}
{sequence level [name $name]}
Sequences are typically used to generate tables with even/odd colors::
{sequence start array( 'red', 'blue' )}
<tr class="{sequence}">...</tr>
<tr class="{sequence}">...</tr>
<tr class="{sequence}">...</tr>
<tr class="{sequence}">...</tr>
{sequence stop}
Using objects::
{sequence start 1 as $s}
{sequence stop $s}
Output handling
Output handling is done by append the text result to the current execution
object. Washing of the output depends on the current output context, for
instance it can add additional HTML entity escaping.
Since some strings from functions or properties might return HTML it needs
ways to detect this and disable output washing.
Note: The output from print, echo can be caught if it is desired, e.g. when
executing external PHP scripts.
.. figure:: template_context.png
The default context classes and the interface.
Type hinting
It must be possible to give type hints to the template system for the variables
and parameters. This can be used by the optimizer to further optimize usage on
variables, e.g. operator usage and function calls.
The Op-Codes are the result from the transformation of template elements. These
Op-Codes reflect the basic building blocks of PHP code and is highly structured
which allows for easy traversal and transformation.
The Op-Codes can be optimized to reduce the code needed for one template and
then generated into PHP code as text.
The Op-Code structure will be cached on disk before elements are inlined and
the Op-Codes are optimized. This means that the source code for one inlined
element can be updated by recreating the Op-Code structure for this element and
then inlining and optimizing it again.
Design keys
All PHP objects can return information on design keys to use by implementing
the ezcTemplateDesignkey interface. The object must return a hash array with
the key names and values. A value is either a string or an array of strings.
These design keys are used to determine which actual template file to fetch
(only for some resources).
Design keys are stacked for templates and subtemplates, this means that they
will be inherited to sub-includes unless they are overriden. Once an include is
finished the old design keys are restored.
The execution of a template file consists of several steps many which can
shortcut under some conditions. The end result is always the execution of a
generated PHP file which consists of code made from the template.
.. figure:: template_execution.png
Activities in executing a template.
Loading contents
.. figure:: template_execution_content_load.png
Loading the template contents as plain text into source.
Transforming elements
.. figure:: template_execution_element_transformation.png
Turning elements into PHP structures.
Generating code
.. figure:: template_execution_generate_php.png
Generating PHP code.
All template variables will be created as normal PHP variables in the compiled
code. This greatly increases the speed of the execution and makes the system
easier to debug. The name of the PHP variable will not match the template name,
the major reason being that some reserved names might clash with the user
defined ones.
Reserved variables
The template system will use some PHP variables for keeping track of execution
states, these variables must be registered in the template system as being
reserved and used by the variable name generator.
Main classes
.. figure:: template.png
Main classes for the template engine.
Public classes
To make it easier for 3rd party developers to access or enhance the template
engine they must make sure they only relate to what is defined as public
.. figure:: template_public.png
Publicly available classes.
Normal usage
The most common way to use the template engine is to execute template files and
get the resulting output text. This involves creating an *ezcTemplate* object
and setting the correct output context.
Extending the engine
There are many ways to extend what the engine is capable of. This can be to
generate a new context for handling the output, creating new elements
(e.g. functions).
Data structures
.. figure:: template_structures.png
The various internal classes used to execute code.
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