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From "Malcolm Edgar" <malcolm.ed...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: The Guardian website moves to Velocity
Date Fri, 11 May 2007 10:40:39 GMT
Sorry this was flame bait.

cheers Malcolm

On 5/11/07, Jonathan Revusky <revusky@wanadoo.es> wrote:
> Townson, Chris wrote:
> > http://niksilver.com/2007/05/10/guardian-unlimiteds-new-look-s
> >
> > thought this might interest members of this list, if you haven't already seen it.
> >
> > It would be interesting to know a little more about the tools they built:
> > I know that we at Nature have been working towards a "component"-based system
>
> I'm actually quite interested in this sort of thing and I wrote a blog
> article about it. You might or might not find it interesting. Other
> people might (or might not) find it interesting as well:
>
> http://freemarker.blogspot.com/2006/07/designerdeveloper-division-of-labor.html
>
> There, you see that, I make no bones about what I think regarding
> Velocity. It definitely seems to me that VTL is lacking certain basic
> features that you would need to build reusable components. The macro
> system is just too deficient.
>
> That's not just my opinion. For example, look at the comments by Ken
> Egervari in this blog entry:
>
> http://jroller.com/page/raible?entry=freemarker_vs_velocity
>
> I'm referring to this part specifically, where Ken says:
>
> <QUOTE>
> However, I've been doing some pretty complex stuff in the view. Now, I
> don't mean I'm putting business logic in there - that's not it. I've
> just been making massive amounts of investment in macro libraries and I
> build higher-level marcos for all sorts of application-specific
> presentation reuse. However, Velocity just isn't any good at doing this
> - and I'm not even talking about large scale applications, I'm talking
> about a small to medium-sized but featureful project a competent
> developer can write in a few weeks.
>
> I think I've hit the capabilities of Velocity and I've been stretching
> it quite a bit. Without named/optional parameters or even basic macro
> overloading, I just can't build complex views and avoid duplication at
> the same time very easily. It's like a pain in the ass just to add an
> option column, button or sub-screen for a specific listing that uses the
> general listing macro and so on. I have all kinds of cases where I have
> to do functional-oriented type checking and it's inexcusable.
>
> Freemarker seems like the way to go. While it's probably more difficult,
> the end result looks to be more like html. When I saw features for
> unordered named, optional parameters and nested content, I realized that
> these features alone make it better than Velocity because they just
> aren't "nice" features, the are just down-right required.
>
> </QUOTE>
>
> The above comments were made several years ago, and I do not see any
> forward movement in this project in terms of addressing the deficiencies
> that Ken is mentioning there.
>
>
>  >(which seems to be what they've developed at The Guardian) for a
> little while
>  >now and are shortly to go live with a Spring-based system for formalizing
> > the management of the design and templating of large, complex, modular
>  > sites using Velocity.
>
> Large, complex, modular sites using Velocity, eh? I suppose it's
> possible. But really, you know, when you can't even #parse a set of
> commonly used macros in a separate file, and there's no notion of
> scoping or namespaces whatsoever, so that any variable defined locally
> in a macro potentially clobbers variables defined elsewhere -- to rely
> on that kind of tool to build something complex and modular, does not
> seem like a very good technical decision. The tool simply lacks
> necessary things for modularity.
>
>
> >
> > There might be some common ground covered between us and The Guardian here
>  > which could be fed back into the Velocity project itself, perhaps?
>
> Well, historically, lobbying Velocity developers for features that you
> need has not been a very fruitful path. I won't go on further about
> that, but surely you can perceive that, even bending over backwards to
> be generous and all, you can't describe this as a very dynamic
> environment, can you?
>
> Jonathan Revusky
> --
> lead developer, FreeMarker project, http://freemarker.org/
>
> >
> > Best,
> >
> > Chris
> >
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