[wp-hackers] Easytags template system

Shawn McKenzie shawn at mckenzies.net
Wed May 10 18:16:47 GMT 2006

Are my emails received on the list, or did I just jump into a touchy 
discussion ?  :-)  I hadn't seen any replies (not even flames, so I 
began to wonder if anyone saw it).


Shawn McKenzie wrote:
> A month or so ago I introduced myself and let everyone know that I had 
> ported my AutoTheme HTML Theme System to Wordpress.  It does exactly 
> what you have outlined and more.  As for supporting templates from 
> other systems, AutoTheme is already the predominant theme system for 
> PHP-Nuke, PostNuke, osCommerce, CRE Loaded shops etc...
> I would be happy to answer any questions and provide any 
> testing/evaluation help that you might need.
> There are thousands of AutoTheme themes on the Internet, both free and 
> commercial.  Yes, some are crappy, but some are very nice also.
> AutoTheme goes beyond just templating.  It has taken the approach of a 
> full theme system that uses templates, not just a template engine or 
> language.
> Also new is the ability to separate all of the side bar content into 
> individual blocks that can be positioned anywhere on the page.  This 
> is rudimentary now, but can easily be improved.
> I have a demo site up at http://wp.spidean.com.  I would be happy to 
> give trusted members of this list admin access to see the 
> functionality so far.
> Thanks!
> -Shawn
> Matt Mullenweg wrote:
>> Came across this today:
>> http://businesslogs.com/reviews/movable_type_vs_wordpress_my_opinion.php
>> It's generally complimentary, but raises the oft-repeated point that 
>> people get scared by <?php ... ?> even though most templating systems 
>> are functionally equivalent to PHP. (Which I think can be very true.) 
>> So I thought I'd throw out an idea I've had baking for quite a while 
>> but haven't gotten around to coding: easytags.
>> Basically the concept is that it's very easy to parse something like 
>> <$the_title$> into <?php the_title(); ?>. What if there was a plugin 
>> (or in WP core) an option that gave you a "friendly" view when 
>> editing templates? On display it could hide all the scary PHP it 
>> knows how to parse behind psuedo-HTML tags, and on save turn it back 
>> into the PHP that WordPress knows and love.
>> Version two could have friendly arguments, so <$the_title 
>> before="yo"$> maps to the proper function calls. (This would be 
>> easier if we had a parse_str or array equiv for all functions with 
>> multiple arguments.)
>> Version three+ doesn't need to be restricted to any one particular 
>> syntax. WordPress says <?php potato(); ?>, MT says <$$$potato$$$>, 
>> Blogger says <$potatospot$>, and Greymatter mumbles something under 
>> its breath about the potato famine... why not let people choose what 
>> style they want to use -- or even better yet natively support 
>> templates from other systems. It's just another set of regexes. All 
>> of a sudden the switching costs to WordPress just dropped as low as 
>> we could feasibly take them.
>> Obscure systems could be support in plugins, it's all just a filter 
>> anyway.
>> There is no additional overhead to WP because it's all stored as PHP 
>> at the end of the day (and for every page load). PHP or tags that 
>> aren't supported could just be left as-is. It doesn't need to be 
>> perfect, just to cover the 80% of each system that people actually use.
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