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Contemplate was originally written in Perl and subsequently ported to both PHP and ASP. As of version 1.3, development stopped on the Perl and ASP versions, so you’ll need PHP to run the latest version. PHP runs on Linux, Windows and Mac servers with either Apache or IIS, but the Linux/Apache combination is the most thoroughly tested.
Since Contemplate can store its content in standard HTML files, you don’t need any database access on your web server. You can use a MySQL database for content storage if you wish. The Reporter component requires a MySQL database.
The overall design of Contemplate was based on the idea of a “dynamic” server-side include. Normally, an include consists of a hard-coded reference to a file. Contemplate expands on this in two ways. First, the reference is not hard-coded, but is passed into the page through the URL string. Second, the reference can be not only to a file but also to a portion of a file, a randomly selected portion of a file, or the value of an HTML form. These two differences reverse the paradigm of server-side includes: instead of a site with many pages, each sharing the same piece of content, we can build sites with just a few templates, each displaying different pieces of content.
Each URL in a Contemplate site is actually a request for Contemplate’s Assembler script, with an argument telling the script which template to use. Contemplate reads the template and looks for the special include tags, which we call “embed tags.” Each URL also contains arguments telling the script which piece of content to display in the place of each embed tag. Contemplate reads the content files that contain these pieces of content, extracts the desired pieces from them, and merges the content into the template. The visitor then sees a complete web page.
Here’s how Contemplate compares to other web development tools you might be considering:
e.g., Smarty, Savant
Contemplate’s functionality is more focused than most other systems, so it tends to have a shorter learning curve. And since its content and templates work as standalone HTML files, it’s less of a commitment to build a site using Contemplate. Another templating system would only be better if you need a particular feature that Contemplate doesn’t offer.
e.g., Zend, PEAR
You can think of Contemplate as a framework that’s focused on the task of combining content, front-end code and back-end code, while offering great flexibility on how you build those individual elements. This means class-based frameworks that provide other functionality generally work well in conjunction with Contemplate. For example, you might write a script that loads a Zend class to perform a file upload. You could then use Contemplate to combine your script with a front-end page layout and HTML content.
e.g., Wordpress, Drupal
Besides delivering pages to end users, a CMS offers administrators an interface for editing content, managing website navigation and uploading website files. This makes the CMS a comprehensive site management tool; it also makes it difficult to add custom functionality or move your design and content to a different system. Contemplate does not offer content editing or site management functionality, but its sister product, the Meditate™ Web Content Editor, adds a content editing interface that is completely separate from assembly and delivery, ensuring maximum flexibility and independence for your site.
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This label indicates that the owner of this website uses this script / application for his own projects with success and satisfaction. This does, however, not indicate that these projects could not have been realized using other scripts / applications as well or that other scripts would not fit the demands of other projects as well or even better.