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SilverStripe templates tutorial

In this article I would like to explain the Silverstripes‘ Template-Engine by an example, as well as illustrate how it works. Hereof I’m only going to explain prime methods that are efficient for developers who want to program a project with Silverstripe. The logic of Silverstripe’s Template-
Engine lays behind building a HTML framework and to taking hold of the variable that was given back on PHP controller to assemble it into a HTML code.

Overview of the methods that are going to be explained in this tutorial::

  1. Template- directory- structure
  2. Variables
  3. include
  4. Operators
  5. „if“ branches
  6. loop
  7. with
  8. Formatting of the date

1. Template- directory- structure
The template-files of a Silverstripes‘ project are situated in the themes/mytheme/ directory

The theme directorys‘ structure:

  • css: css-files directory
  • images: css-files directory
  • javascript: javascript-files directory
  • templates: this directory contains the template files and has its own structure:
  • templates/Layout: this directory contains all controllers‘ index- and actions templates
  • templates/Includes: global templates (Header, Footer, Navigaions, SideBar etc.) can all be deposited here.
  • templates/email: all e-mail templates can be deposited in this directory.
  • templates/forms: all forms templates can be deposited in this directory.
  • templates/ the HTML-base frame for the whole project is constructed in the file
    Here all HTML-basic elements, css,javascripts and include-files are being accessed.

Here you can see how a simple looks like::

<% base_tag %>
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0, maximum-scale=1.0,user-scalable=0">
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
    <!-- CSS Files -->
    <% require themedCSS('style') %>
<div class="wrapper">
    <% include Header %>
    <div class="main">
    <% include Footer %>
    <!-- JavaScript Files -->
    <script type="text/javascript" src="{$ThemeDir}/javascript/script.js"> </script>


2. Variables
The variables for example, the $Title are being written with the $ first and the variables‘ name
Here’s a quick example of how a variable can be defined in a controller and output in a template:

Defining the variable in a controller:

class Page_Controller extends ContentController {
    public MyVar = null;
    public Member = null;
    public function init() {
        $this->MyVar = 'hello';
        $this->Member = Member::get()->First();

indicate the variable in a template

<p>$Member.ID <br/>


3. Include
With Include it is possible to integrate specific or global templates. It requires that the include-
templates are situated in the includes folder.
This is the correct syntax for include: <% include Templatename %>. Silverstripe automatically
includes the include-template.


4. Operators
In SilverStripe Templates-Engine you can use the following operators:
== , =, != , || und &&

In the following part „If“ of this blog I will point out the functional examples of both parts,
namely Operators and „if“.


5. if
Functional examples for „if“-branches and operators:

<% if $Member.ID == 1 %>
	<h1>Member ID is 1 </h1>
<% else %>
	<h1>Member with ID is not 1 </h1>
<% end_if %>

<% if $Member.FirstName && $Member.Surname %>
Hello $Member.FirstName $Member.Surname
<% end_if %>

<% if $MyVar == 'silverstripe' || $MyVar='wordpress' %>
	<h1>$MyVar is silverstripe or wordpress </h1>
<% else %>
	<h1>$MyVar is not silverstripe and note wordpres </h1>
<% end_if %>

<% if $MyVar != 'silverstripe' %>
	<h1>$MyVar is not silverstripe </h1>
<% end_if %>
if not <% if not $MyVar %> <h1>$MyVar is undefined </h1> <% end_if %> else_if <% if $Member.ID == 0 %> <h1>$MyVar is 0</h1> <% else_if $Member.ID == 1%> <h1>$MyVar is 1 </h1> <% else_if $Member.ID == 2%> <h1>$MyVar is 2</h1> <% else_if $Member.ID == 3%> <h1>$MyVar is 3</h1> <% else %> <h1>$MyVar is greater than 3</h1> <% end_if %>


6. Loop
In the Silverstripes‘ Template-Engine you can let Array variables slide in a Loop.

<% loop MyMenu %>
<% end_loop %>

Sort the data sets with „Sort“
<% loop MyMenu.Sort(Title) %>
<% end_loop %>

Limit the data sets with „Limit“
<% loop MyMenu.limit(3) %>
<% end_loop %>

List data sets backwards with „Limit Reverse“
<% loop MyMenu.Reverse %>
<% end_loop %>


Loop Indicators
In einer Loop- Schleife kann man auf folgende Indikatoren zugreifen:

  • $Pos gives you the current location, back$Even shows whether the current position is even or not.
  • $Odd shows whether the current position is uneven or not.
  • $EvenOdd delievers, depending on the position, $EvenOdd Even or Odd as String back.
  • $First, $Last, $Middle: shows on which place the current position is placed.
  • $FirstLast: delievers, depending on the position, $ FirstLast First or last as String back.
  • $TotalItems: delievers the number of found data sets back in Array.


7. With
With „with“ you can get the single index from the Array variable

<% with $Member %>
	<h1>$FirstName $Surname</h1>
<% end_with%>

8. Date formatting:
Date formatting is one of the advisable methods in SilverStripes‘ Template-Engine.
Here you can format a date on the base of date-format. The variable $Now is defined as a global
variable and it defines the current date.$Now // the current date

  • $Now.Year // the current year
  • $Now.Month // the current month
  • $Now.Day // the current day
  • $Now.Nice // depending on the variable i18n::set_locale('en_US'); in _config.php the date will be defined and formatted.
  • $Now.Format('m.d.Y') // gibt z.B 01.01.2014 back. With the option‘ format‘ you can determine the dates‘ format.

For more information about SilverStripe go to