[ANN] MasterView rails-optimized (x)html friendly template e

MasterView rails-optimized (x)HTML friendly template engine plugin -
Release
0.2.0

The MasterView development team is pleased to announce the general
availability of MasterView release 0.2.0. MasterView is a
rails-optimized
(x)html friendly template engine plugin that provides another option to
the
existing rails view templates (rhtml and rxml). The main idea is to
provide
a template engine that would provide all the power of layouts, partials,
and
rails helpers but still be editable/styleable in a WYSIWYG editor. It
was
also a major goal that the syntax of these attribute directives be very
similar to rails helpers so that one could intuitively start using
MasterView with little learning curve other than knowing rails.
MasterView
was inspired by Amrita, Kwartz, Tapestry, Zope/PHP TAL, Liquid, and Web
Objects but designed with a fresh approach and specifically targetted
for
rails users.

Allow your web designers to work on the design while the developers
focus on
coding. To get you up and running quickly the MasterView generator
creates
usable styleable templates (along with controller and models) that can
be
easily customized to your needs. Or start straight from your html
prototype
and add MasterView attribute directives directly to those files. You can
re-edit those same template files at any time in your development life
cycle
to update html layout and style.

This project was launched in January of 2006. Building on the
suggestions of
early users, the MasterView project has been enhanced for better team
usage
and for easier configuration/upgrading. The original release generated
a
single master file for all actions, but this has been changed to
generate
separate files for each action and each template simply imports the
other
supporting layouts and partials needed to provide full WYSIWYG design
capabilities in each file. A synchronizing (rebuilding) mechanism has
been
created to automatically be able to sync up the imports so that
designers
are always working with a consistent view. The single file generation
mechanism is still available as an option.

MasterView directives were designed to be user extended so that
additional
directives could be loaded and shared amongst the community, providing
infinitely extendable options. Custom directives could be designed to
wrap
complex layout and view code into a very simple declaration in your
view.
For instance directives could be created that ajaxify tables so that
they
support sorting, ajax updates, and gracefully degradation without
javascript. Directives might simply be used internally to simplify
repetitive view code.

Video
A quick start video which demos the basic operation is available at
http://masterview.org/videos/masterview_quick_start.html

MasterView is released under MIT open source licensing.

Main site: http://masterview.org/
Rubyforge Project site: http://rubyforge.org/projects/masterview

Goals

  • Create/extend a template engine for rails that would be XHTML
    friendly and thus could be edited/styled with a WYSIWYG HTML editor
    even
    late in development without breaking template.

  • Keep it simple. DRY. No extra config files, simple syntax with ruby
    flavor.

  • Design it specifically for ruby and rails. Use the full power and
    not be limited in its capabilities over what can be done with ERb
    (rhtml)

  • Work nicely with layouts, partials, and rails html helpers.

  • Reduce complexity, work with existing rails code, no extra view
    logic or hashes than what is used by ERb (rhtml). Scaffold generate
    initial
    templates or work from existing html prototype. Make scaffolds nicely
    styled
    and easily useable for production with minor changes.

  • Reduce the numbers of files, simplifying editing. Define partials
    and layouts naturallyl right in the template, no need to go to
    another file.

  • Preview in browser without running an app. Allow for dummy data in
    the template so that the page can be viewed and styled independently
    of the
    application.

  • Performance equal to ERb (rhtml)

Release Notes

  • Ability to easily utilize multiple template files for a controller
    making it easier to work together as a team on files and to keep file
    sizes
    manageable.
  • Added capability for eliminating rhthml generation, extends rails
    so
    that rhtml can be pulled directly from MasterView (rhtml file
    generation now
    optional)
  • Rails like configuration system which provides a clean way to
    configure options
  • MasterView admin pages for working with templates and viewing
    generated rhtml
  • Rake utilities to provide command line capabilities equal to those
    in MasterView admin pages.
  • Configuration and documentation cleanup.
  • Keyword expansions for generate and import directives.
  • Support for configuring MasterView logger and log_level

Installation - several options (gem install or plugin install)

  • As a gem - gem install masterview_gem_pack; cd railsapp;
    script/generate masterview_plugin
  • As a pure plugin using plugin install - script/plugin install
    svn://rubyforge.org/var/svn/masterview/tags/masterview
  • As a pure plugin download from rubyforge - download
    masterview-x.x.x.tgz or .zip and extract to
    railsapp/vendor/plugins/masterview

Visit the online documentation page at http://masterview.org/ for
complete
installation and usage information.

We would love to hear your feedback and ideas around this project! Visit
the
rubyforge project http://rubyforge.org/projects/masterview to join the
users mailing list or to add yourself to the announce list to receive
future
announcements. Check out the
videohttp://masterview.org/videos/masterview_quick_start.htmlto see
MasterView in action!

Thanks for your time!!

MasterView Development Team
Jeff B. and Deb Lewis

Jeff,

This looks really impressive - I can see how it could make development
life a LOT easier.

I’m one of those people who uses vim for almost everything, and I’ve
been playing around with RadRails trying to decide whether I want to
switch to it for most of my development.

MasterView now enters my field of vision, and has a whole different
set of pros and cons vs. RadRails. I can see that I’ve now got to
consider it as well as RadRails, so you’ve actually made my life MORE
difficult ;->

Great work - well done

Regards

Dave M.

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