Planning your first Taglib

In my last post I described why I love Grails Taglibs and how they increase productivity, reduce the amount of code in GSPs (therefore reducing maintenance time) and help to keep your code consistent; this post, as promised, is aimed at PHP developers moving over to Grails and will show newbies how to use Taglibs and reduce your coding time and re-used code.

When writing your application, you will quickly come across blocks of code that you will re-use – in fact, a good indicator of this is the over use of CMD-V (or Ctrl-V for those developers still using Windows) – these will be the first methods in your taglib.

We shall use the DVD Library from my last post to illustrate how I would begin and a couple of example methods within the taglib itself. Before we begin, I’ll quickly describe namespaces and what they mean for taglibs.

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The beauty of Taglibs

At enotions, we have a team of designers, developers and project managers to get a project from initial concept, through design, programming and front end build and ultimately out to the client – hopefully on time and on budget; this has evolved over the years and is now working rather nicely. On the flip side, any projects I work on for personal enjoyment and edification don’t get the benefit of said team and so personal projects often have to be built with little documentation and in such a way that they "do work, but could do with refinement" – I like to think of it as a form of Agile Programming but without anyone else backing me up or checking up on me (and certainly no Scrum Master to be seen!).

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Last.fm iTunes Mashup

Now that I’ve finally got my blog back up and running I thought it was about time I started to actually use it for good.

WordPress has fantastic support for adding custom functionality via Plugins and Widgets; I’ve not yet tapped into the power of these facilities although I know I have some good creative ideas and the ability to implement them.

As the title suggests, I am currently working on a mashup using Last.fm’s Api, TradeDoubler’s links with Apple and WordPress’s fantastic documentation to provide a widget for your blog that shows your favourite iTunes with affiliates links to generate a little extra revenue.

This post will serve as the installation guide, support information and release platform once I’ve completed the plugin.