Couldn't agree more. One other suggestion, though, is to extend that
separation a little further by generating XML with PHP, and then parsing
that XML into whatever templating engine you end up using. This just
provides another degree of separation, and reduces the temptation to
hard-code ANY HTML into your back-end... something which I wish I'd been
aware of 6 months ago!

This would be the best choice too, im currently working on a CMS and we're going to be using XML for the data and straight up XSL for the transformation (only because PHP5 has great XML capabilities). This allows us to seperate data from structure.

Having your content available in XML will also simplify the presentation
of content in other formats in the future, if you choose to do so --
thinking of syndication (RSS) amongst other things.

Or converting to WML, or back to plain HTML.

From a standards perspective, this separation just reduces the chance of
making some early mistakes which will take ages to correct six months
down the track.

Just make sure you study the best choices.

Joshua Street

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