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Chapter 9. Config Files

Config files are handy for designers to manage global template variables from one file. One example is template colors. Normally if you wanted to change the color scheme of an application, you would have to go through each and every template file and change the colors. With a config file, the colors can be kept in one place, and only one file needs to be updated.

Example 9.1. Example of config file syntax


# global variables
pageTitle = "Main Menu"
bodyBgColor = #000000
tableBgColor = #000000
rowBgColor = #00ff00

[Customer]
pageTitle = "Customer Info"

[Login]
pageTitle = "Login"
focus = "username"
Intro = """This is a value that spans more
           than one line. you must enclose
           it in triple quotes."""

# hidden section
[.Database]
host=my.example.com
db=ADDRESSBOOK
user=php-user
pass=foobar

  

Values of config file variables can be in quotes, but not necessary. You can use either single or double quotes. If you have a value that spans more than one line, enclose the entire value with triple quotes ("""). You can put comments into config files by any syntax that is not a valid config file syntax. We recommend using a # (hash) at the beginning of the line.

The example config file above has two sections. Section names are enclosed in [brackets]. Section names can be arbitrary strings not containing [ or ] symbols. The four variables at the top are global variables, or variables not within a section. These variables are always loaded from the config file. If a particular section is loaded, then the global variables and the variables from that section are also loaded. If a variable exists both as a global and in a section, the section variable is used. If you name two variables the same within a section, the last one will be used unless $config_overwrite is disabled.

Config files are loaded into templates with the built-in template function {config_load} or the API config_load() function.

You can hide variables or entire sections by prepending the variable name or section name with a period eg [.hidden]. This is useful if your application reads the config files and gets sensitive data from them that the template engine does not need. If you have third parties doing template editing, you can be certain that they cannot read sensitive data from the config file by loading it into the template.

See also {config_load}, $config_overwrite, get_config_vars(), clear_config() and config_load()

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