Using Smarty as your Template Engine


Thanks to Malaney J. Hill we now have the Smarty template engine integrated into Seagull. To use simply download the latest Smarty package, unzip and install in seagull/lib/other/ removing the version number. You should have


Then in Config select 'Smarty' from the 'Template Engine' dropdown. This will use the templates from the Smarty theme:


Another idea, very easy to implement, would be to use the version of Smarty ( which would allow for easier updates and maintenance. Doing so would require modification of the Smarty include paths in


or as of Seagull 0.6.0 in



If you want to get full error messages, comment out the following lines in lib/SGL/HtmlRenderer/SmartyStrategy.php :


Using Smarty without changing the default renderer

It could be useful if:

  • You have an existing application using Smarty and you want to convert it to a Seagull module without changing the default template engine to Smarty
  • You want to make your module using Smarty because you feel more comfortable using Smarty than the default template engine

1. Make sure that the file masterSmarty.html exists in www/themes/default directory and that it contains:

<flexy:include src="header.html" />
<flexy:include src="banner.html" />
<flexy:include src="blocksLeft.html" />
<div id="content">
<flexy:include src="blocksRight.html" />
<flexy:include src="footer.html" />

2. Place this line in the constructor of your module manager:

$this->masterTemplate     = 'masterSmarty.html';

3. Put Smarty templates for your module in


4. Select the template in your module manager as usual with

$output->template = 'yourtemplate.html';

5. Variables assigned to the output object with

$output->yourVariable = 'Hello World!';

can be used inside the Smarty templates via


The methods of the output object can be called like this

{$result->makeUrl("youraction","yourmanager", "yourmodule")}

And that's all. Now you can use Smarty templates inside your module without changing the default theme manager.

Assigning values directly to Smarty

When porting an existing Smarty-based application to Seagull it saved me a lot of time to assign output values directly to the Smarty instance instead of adding them to the Seagull output object.

$smarty->assign('yourVariable', 'Hello Wold!');

This is the usual way how Smarty-based applications do their output. Therefore neither the templates nor the existing code fragments have to be changed for using them in a Seagull manager.

To be able to do this you need access to the Smarty instance. You can obtain the instance from the class SGL_Smarty which is part of the output renderer strategy for Smarty.

require_once SGL_LIB_DIR . '/SGL/HtmlRenderer/SmartyStrategy.php';
$smarty = & SGL_Smarty::singleton();

I'm not entirely sure if this undermines other concepts or features of Seagull. But for porting existing applications it may be a great help. For new applications I suggest using the Seagull output object. Both output techniques can be used in parallel when working with Smarty.

See Also