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Clarion templates are highly configurable, interactive, interpreted, code generation scripts. A template typically prompts you for information then generates a custom set of source code based on your responses. In addition to its prompts, many templates also add source code embed points to your application'points at which you can supply custom source code that is integrated into the template generated code. You may want to think of the template prompts as a way to define the static (compile time) characteristics of a program or procedure, and the embedded source as a way to define the changing (runtime) characteristics of a program or procedure.
A template typically prompts you for information at design time. The Application Generator interprets the template and presents a dialog with all the template's prompts. You fill in the prompts, with assistance from the on-line help, to define the static (compile time) characteristics of your program or procedure. For example, fill in the Record Filter prompt to establish a filter for a BrowseBox template.
In addition to its prompts, many templates also add source code embed points to your application or procedure'points at which you can supply custom source code that is integrated into the template generated code. You can use these embed points to define the changing (runtime) characteristics of a program or procedure. For example, embed source code to hide a related listbox when there are no related records to display.
Advantages of Template Use
Templates promote code reuse and centralized maintenance of code. They provide many of the same benefits of object oriented programming, especially reusability. In addition, templates can compliment and enhance the use of object oriented code by providing easy-to-use wrappers for complex objects. The ABC Templates and ABC Library are a prime example of this synergistic relationship between templates and objects.
You can modify templates to your specifications and store your modifications in the Template Registry. You may also add third party templates and use them in addition to, and along with, the Clarion templates. You may write your own templates too. The Template Language is documented in the Template Language Reference and in the on-line help.