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Using PHP in templates


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kubox

30 March 2008 at 4:28am (Last edited: 30 March 2008 4:32am), Community Member, 1 Post

Hi there,

First of all, I want to say want a great CMS SS is. In particular, the interface for the backend of the CMS is miles ahead from 99% of what's out there at the moment, and is something I feel confident clients would be able to use with very little help.

Secondly, I have to admit that I'm not a hardcore developer by any means, although I know enough to be able to customize most CMSs to my needs. SS has been tricky in that respect - I know the code is very well structured, but the lack of tutorial-type backend documentation makes it a bit tricky for someone like me who is more designer than developer.

Something I've been struggling with is not being able to use PHP in my templates. I know that there's a real need to seperate content from presentation (as discussed here http://www.silverstripe.com/site-builders-forum/flat/18678 ) but I can't help feel that occasionally logic and presentation are so closely intertwined that a little logic in a tempate file is a good thing. But I may be wrong!

One exaple is something I'm working on now, where I have a list of child pages that I want to span over several columns in a menu in the front end (see screenshot). The normal way I'd do this is using PHP to count the child pages as they're iterated, and insert something like </ul><ul> every fifth child to break the list into columns.

This is very simple in PHP, but seems a lot more complicated in SilverStripe - I'm not even sure where to start!

WHat do you guys think?