> I have read the Cheetah and Velocity docs, played with Cheetah but still am
> missing something. How does templating in general and Cheetah in particular
> make my life easier? I do not use PSP so its advantages over PSP mean
> nothing to me. With FormKit and WebWare servlets, it seems straightforward
> enough. Is adding Cheetah to the mix going to make a big difference in
Well, this depends on what you're doing, really. Cheetah may not, in
fact, make your life easier at all. And using Cheetah does mean
occasionally having to deal with some "fudges", like work-arounds for
Webware form actions, for instance, which don't work de facto when
you're using Cheetah. I recently had to deal with that.
Cheetah adds quite an important component to my Python tookit,
however, since it does enable me to effectively separate the view from
the model, and make those two things very distinct. None of my
business code has anything to do with display logic. And all of my
templates are super easy to maintain since, basically, they're HTML
with Cheetah's embedded directives. If ever I decide to use a
different templating engine, or a different method for the view, then
I can switch without ever worrying about my business code.
Now if you're already doing this, and you don't mind writing HTML
strings in separate .py servlets, then Cheetah may not do a lot for
you. Also, if you're working in a situation where you don't have a
distributed model of Web development -- designers in their
departments, developers in theirs, -- but rather you have technical
people who have no trouble with Python code, then again, no problem.
But if you are getting XHTML files from designers who have generated
them using, oh, Dreamweaver, and then you have to cut and paste
sections of HTML into your .py servlets, well, you might find that
using templates can be a very big productivity increase indeed,
especially since the directives in Cheetah are mostly Python-based and
not at all difficult to learn.
Anyway, with anything there's at least some kind of learning curve and
you may or may not think Cheetah is for you. For me it's been totally
kick-ass, as has Webware, because I've finally found a middle ground
that gives me most of the ease-of-use of PHP, without PHP's
significant blah-factor, along with most of the needed advantages of
Java and Java's take on MVC, without Java's best practices of editing
four different XML files before you get to "Hello World".
Anyway, that's my .02.