Ruby, Web Applications

Haml: Round Deux

So, with a comment on an earlier post about Haml, saying that it had had a major update I decided to give it another go. This time in conjunction with the web framework Ramaze.

While Haml has definitely improved but there was a definite sensation of returning to an abusive relationship. Haml is very cool but it can also be a colossol bitch to use. Mostly because of its whitespace lovin’ ways. Care to punt as to what the root cause of this issue was:

Illegal nesting: content can’t be both given on the same line as %form and nested within it.

I’d put a space character between my attribute curly braces and the form tag declaration:

%form {:action => 'url'}

when I should have put:

%form{:action => 'url'}

Do I really need this level grief just to avoid writing closing tags?

Haml does, as its advocates say, bring a clean and clear syntax to the table but it also brings a bundle of its own issues along the way. Particularly time consuming is having to adjust indents when placing content at different layers. The strict two spaces rule means you have to adjust blocks and even if you set up your browser to do soft tabs at two spaces (just for one syntax) it is still easier to play around with markup than Haml.

One feature I did like a lot since last time is that variable interpolation is a lot easier now:

%p== My variable goes #{@here}

Inline tags are still hopeless but that’s true of mostly of the lightweight templating systems.


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