User websites with templates

Hi, I’m very new to Rails and have a general question.

What technique would you use to allow users who have a uniform set of
data to create very un-uniform websites from that data?

One set of data, many different website/output possibilities.

It would have to go beyond CSS. I’m assuming there will potentially be
some level of scripting involved for each template. The goal is to
create a framework that will allow for nearly any design/functionality
going forward.

Any advice? TIA.

Two suggestions:

  1. Engines
  2. MasterView template engine

Engines allow you to have a base set of code and views and to override
just
what you need to for each client. http://rails-engines.org/ Obviously
you
can symlink or use svn to link the base code and views together if in
different apps.

MasterView template engine which is the project I am working on, allows
you
to use html templates with the erb logic embedded in attributes so one
can
work with it in a WYSIWYG editor. The part of this that would allow for
extended reuse is how the attribute directives are created. Custom
directives can be created to implement boiler plate code around things
like
tables and such. So if you need to do things in addition to simple CSS,
writing your own directives for MasterView would be one way to ensure
consistency. (Caveot: We are currently in the process of simplifying the
directive api to make it easier to use and understand so the internals
of
that may change over the next several weeks). http://masterview.org/

So two different ways to approach things. Depending on what you are
wanting
to do, one may be better than the other.

Let me know if I can help you further.

Jeff

Jeff B. wrote:

Two suggestions:

  1. Engines
  2. MasterView template engine

Engines allow you to have a base set of code and views and to override
just
what you need to for each client. http://rails-engines.org/ Obviously
you
can symlink or use svn to link the base code and views together if in
different apps.

MasterView template engine which is the project I am working on, allows
you
to use html templates with the erb logic embedded in attributes so one
can
work with it in a WYSIWYG editor. The part of this that would allow for
extended reuse is how the attribute directives are created. Custom
directives can be created to implement boiler plate code around things
like
tables and such. So if you need to do things in addition to simple CSS,
writing your own directives for MasterView would be one way to ensure
consistency. (Caveot: We are currently in the process of simplifying the
directive api to make it easier to use and understand so the internals
of
that may change over the next several weeks). http://masterview.org/

So two different ways to approach things. Depending on what you are
wanting
to do, one may be better than the other.

Let me know if I can help you further.

Jeff

Hi Jeff-
Our web designer had cranked out our website (with all static contents
for privacy, faq etc) with dreamweaver. He had used dreamweaver template
for designing the website. Now I am in the processs of taking that
design and apply it to the application (dynamic content).What is the
best way to do it? Does the masterview help with it?
thanks/thila

Yes, that is one of the things that MasterView would help with. You can
start from a pure html prototype and add in MasterView attributes to
make it
dynamic. And you can go back into dreamweaver or other editor and
re-edit it
at any point in the development lifecycle.

So it makes it great for designers to be able to create prototypes and
developers just sprinkle the prototype with some attributes to make it
dynamic. And the designer can go back in later and tweak things if need
be
too.

Plus you don’t have to give up any of the nice rails functionality
(layouts,
partials, helpers, etc), MasterView keeps all the power of rails that
you
have with erb (rhtml) since it uses rhtml under the covers.

I will be putting together a demonstration video about how to start from
a
prototype very soon. Right now the demos show starting from scratch
using a
generator. There is documentation for the attributes so you can get
started,
but I just don’t have any example videos ready yet.

Best,

Jeff

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