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Matthew Weir O'Phinney's Blog:
Start Writing Embeddable Applications
May 07, 2007 @ 16:39:00

Matthew Weir O'Phinney has a great new blog post today on the topic so many developers don't even think about when working up their applications - making apps that aren't "loners" and are embeddable.

"Why embed?" you ask. Simple: if I'm creating a site that has one or two of these applications, but also my (or my company's) own custom functionality, I may want to ensure that certain elements are present on all pages, or that I can control some of the content in all pages: a unified header and footer, ability to inject statistic tracking javascript, etc.

The predominant attitudes are either, "Don't embed our app, embed your app in ours," or "Just modify the templates." Neither of these solutions is acceptable.

He proposes a few helpful hints to those developing applications right now to have them be that much more "embeddable" like:

  • When using configuration files, use a configuration component that doesn't require use of the global namespace
  • Have your bootstrap script call on class methods or functions to do their work
  • Better yet, use an MVC pattern in your apps
  • Make sure your templates are easily modified to allow developers to strip out header, footer, and menu elements
  • Create an API to allow retrieving necessary javascript and CSS
  • Don't use $_GLOBALS ever.

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