Douwe van der Meij and Brandon Tilstra - MVC revisited with Diazo

published May 10, 2013

Douwe van der Meij and Brandon Tilstra talk about MVC revisited with Diazo, at PyGrunn.

See the PyGrunn website for more info about this one-day Python conference in Groningen, The Netherlands.

We work for Goldmund, Wyldebeast and Wunderliebe, the sponsors of this conference with the longest name.

We use Diazo for theming. Your application creates an html page. Your designer creates a standard html template including css. With Diazo you merge the two. It separates the content creation from the styling.

The technique is plain old XSL transformations. Nothing new.

Why should you use it? Designers and developers look at a certain project in a different way. The designer sees the beautiful outside of the car and the developer sees the gritty details under the hood. Developers usually want to stick to developing features in a minimal design, just some standard html preferably without any css.

If you look at the Model-View-Controller paradigm with Diazo in mind, it makes the View part easier: the developer handles the application part and the designer handles the styling part. The designer does not need to know Django or Plone templates.

Brandon is busy making Diazo available for other applications than just Plone. For Plone a tool is available: Since Plone 4.3 you can edit the theme inside Plone. A designer can do that, with a WYSIWYG editor in Plone and a developer can tweak the code with a code editor in Plone.

Brandon is working on thememapper, a standalone theme editor, written in Python. thememapper.core is the tool itself. thememapper.diazo is a diazo server to be used with thememapper.core.

Question: Aren't you trying to solve an organizational problem? Shouldn't the designer and developer be talking to each other?

Answer: We often get a design in Photoshop, give it to a third party front-end party that creates html and css from it, and we as developers create the Diazo rules.