I have never had much faith in templating engines for PHP believing that they add an additional layer of unwanted complexity to an application. It's for similar reasons that I have a strong dislike for struts and other templating systems for JSP as well.

However I have a small project in mind that calls for the use of a templating system. In this case it's unavoidable. Smarty was the first templating engine for PHP that came to mind and I decided to download it and have a ago at it.

The first impression was very positive, it's only 135kb which is a good indication that smarty is not bloatware. The second impression was equally good, the installation is simply a matter of setting your php include path. Now for the acid to; to try out a sample script.

Even that step was ok but the tooltip javascript didn't work as it's supposed to because of a pathname mismatch. Another pleasent suprise was the debugging console that popped up when the demo script was accessed. I do not generally engage in print vs echo debates but having easy access to this profile information could prove usefull.

It was then that I decided to have a look at the code for the demo and nearly puked.

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