RTML is a language for describing
web sites. Like HyperTalk, it is designed to be easy for
users with no programming experience. It is, however, quite
a powerful language.
In Viaweb, every object (e.g. an item or section) has an
RTML template that describes what its Web page should look
like. An RTML template yields ordinary HTML as its output, but
with RTML you can describe complex pages that would be impossibly
burdensome to express directly in HTML, either by hand or with a
WYSIWYG authoring tool.
- RTML is a real programming language, not just a page description
language (though it can be used simply as a page description language).
As well as tags, it has variables, conditionals, iteration,
subroutines, math operators, and so on.
- RTML makes it possible to
define the structure of a whole site,
not just the contents of individual pages.
- RTML can generate images, as well as text.
You can define a simple button bar, for example, in about 30 lines.
- RTML includes predefined versions of commonly needed cgi-scripts.
- Like HTML, RTML is forgiving. If you make a mistake in a template,
you may get a weird-looking page as a result, but you'll usually get
something more than just an error message.
- RTML has a structure editor for editing templates. Instead
of typing in your whole program, you choose code units from
a menu, then fill in the blanks. This approach eliminates the
syntax errors that are usually such an obstacle to novice programmers.
It is impossible to create an ill-formed RTML template.
- RTML yields HTML as its output,
so anything you can express in RTML can
be viewed on an ordinary browser.