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C..6 Cheetah vs. PHP's Smarty templates

PHP (http://www.php.net/) is one of the few scripting languages expressly designed for web servlets. However, it's also a full-fledged programming language with libraries similar to Python's and Perl's. The syntax and functions are like a cross between Perl and C plus some original ideas (e.g.; a single array type serves as both a list and a dictionary, $arr[]="value"; appends to an array).

Smarty (http://smarty.php.net/) is an advanced template engine for PHP. (Note: this comparision is based on Smarty's on-line documentation. The author has not used Smarty. Please send corrections or ommissions to the Cheetah mailing list.) Like Cheetah, Smarty:

Features Smarty has that Cheetah lacks:

Features Cheetah has that Smarty lacks:

Comparisions of various Smarty constructs:

{assign var="name" value="Bob"} (#set has better syntax in the author's opinion)
counter   (looks like equivalent to #for)
eval      (same as #include with variable)
fetch: insert file content into output   (#include raw)
fetch: insert URL content into output    (no euqivalent, user can write
     function calling urllib, call as $fetchURL('URL') )
fetch: read file into variable  (no equivalent, user can write function
     based on the 'open/file' builtin, or on .getFileContents() in
     Template.)
fetch: read URL content into variable  (no equivalent, use above
     function and call as:  #set $var = $fetchURL('URL')
html_options: output an HTML option list  (no equivalent, user can
     write custom function.  Maybe FunFormKit can help.)
html_select_date: output three dropdown controls to specify a date
     (no equivalent, user can write custom function)
html_select_time: output four dropdown controls to specify a time
     (no equvalent, user can write custom function)
math: eval calculation and output result   (same as #echo)
math: eval calculation and assign to variable  (same as #set)
popup_init: library for popup windows  (no equivalent, user can write
     custom method outputting Javascript)


Other commands:
capture   (no equivalent, collects output into variable.  A Python
     program would create a StringIO instance, set sys.stdout to
     it temporarily, print the output, set sys.stdout back, then use
     .getvalue() to get the result.)
config_load   (roughly analagous to #settings, which was removed
     from Cheetah.  Use Cheetah.SettingsManager manually or write
     a custom function.)
include   (same as #include, but can include into variable.
     Variables are apparently shared between parent and child.)
include_php: include a PHP script (e.g., functions)
     (use #extends or #import instead)
insert   (same as #include not in a #cache region)
{ldelim}{rdelim}   (escape literal $ and # with a backslash,
     use #compiler-settings to change the delimeters)
literal  (#raw)
php    (``<% %>'' tags)
section  (#for $i in $range(...) )
foreach  (#for)
strip   (like the #sed tag which was never implemented.  Strips
     leading/trailing whitespace from lines, joins several lines
     together.)


Variable modifiers:
capitalize    ( $STRING.capitalize() )
count_characters    (   $len(STRING)  )
count_paragraphs/sentances/words   (no equivalent, user can write function)
date_format    (use 'time' module or download Egenix's mx.DateTime)
default    ($getVar('varName', 'default value') )
escape: html encode    ($cgi.escape(VALUE) )
escape: url encode    ($urllib.quote_plus(VALUE) )
escape: hex encode   (no equivalent?  user can write function)
escape: hex entity encode  (no equivalent?  user can write function)
indent: indent all lines of a var's output  (may be part of future
     #indent directive)
lower    ($STRING.lower() )
regex_replace   ('re' module)
replace    ($STRING.replace(OLD, NEW, MAXSPLIT) )
spacify   (#echo "SEPARATOR".join(SEQUENCE) )
string_format   (#echo "%.2f" % FLOAT , etc.)
strip_tags  (no equivalent, user can write function to strip HTML tags,
     or customize the WebSafe filter)
truncate   (no equivalent, user can write function)
upper   ($STRING.upper() )
wordwrap  ('writer' module, or a new module coming in Python 2.3)

Some of these modifiers could be added to the super output filter we want to write someday.

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