Tech Stuff Tales from the trenches

Server To Client Templating

The PHP application I work on uses Symfony2 with Twig. Recently we've undergone a redesign and it was a good chance to consolidate a lot of things that have grown out in their own directions over the last few years. One of those things involved listing content, so I created a listing template for other code to extend (obviously simplified for this example) ...

    <div class="title">{% block title %}{% endblock %}</div>
    <div class="body">{% block body %}{% endblock %}</div>

This worked great and allowed me to really simplify and centralise the styling of these kinds of elements (of which there are lots!). But anyway, one of the places where content was listed was in a Javascript-only component that did the usual fetching JSON from the server and then rendering it ting...

So how to use my lovely listing templating here?

I'm using Lodash templating in the client so wanted to get the code there somehow. I decided to try using script templates...

<script id="tpl-listing" type="text/template">
    {% include 'MyBundle:Foo:listing.html.twig' %}

With the template then including the Lodash bits...

{% extends 'MyBundle::listing.html.twig' %}

{% block title %}<%= item.title %>{% endblock %}

{% block body %}
        <% _.each(item.children, function(child) { %>
                <%= child.title %>
        <% }); %>
{% endblock %}

I can then use this in the client...

var tpl = $('#tpl-listing').html();
var html = _.template(tpl, {item: foo});

// etc...

When I first did this I thought it was a bit insane, but I've grown to like it and haven't run into any problems yet. If you know of any, or can suggest some improvements please let me know (using a single language or templating library between client and server probably being one of them...)

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