Newscoop 4 Cookbook

Using jQuery and PHP in templates

The Newscoop template engine comes with a set of custom functions which are used in examples in this Cookbook. A full template reference can be found at the end of the book. Everything involving the $gimme object is Newscoop related.

You can also find a number of examples in the advanced section, which use jQuery and PHP. This chapter explains some of the background information you need to know to make your work with advanced functions easier to understand. It will also allow you to venture into making your own. If you do, by all means, tell us about it! You can mail us at and share your ideas with the community in our forums at

Using jQuery in your templates

jQuery is a fast and concise JavaScript Library that simplifies HTML document traversing, event handling, animating, and Ajax interactions for rapid web development. If you haven't used jQuery yet, you could start getting familiar with it by reading the tutorial on the jQuery site:

To use jQuery with Newscoop, you just need to add libraries in your _html-header.tpl file, and that's it! It will be much easier if you follow our recommendations and put all your own jQuery code in a separate file (/templates/set_name/_js/functions.js).

So the first thing to do will be to include all required jQuery libraries in the html header:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html xmlns=""> <head>   <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />   <meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="en" />   ...   <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>   <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>   <link type="text/css" href="" rel="stylesheet" />   <script src="http://{{ $gimme->publication->site }}/templates/set_name/_js/functions.js"></script>   ... </head> 

The first <script> line is the jQuery library itself. It is required for all functions to work.

The next two lines are for jQuery UI, which provides abstractions for low-level interaction and animation, advanced effects and high-level, themeable widgets, built on top of the jQuery JavaScript Library.

As you can see in the above example, we included all libraries from Google's CDN (see You also can download jQuery (see and copy it to the right place on your server:

  <!-- Grab Google CDNs jQuery. fall back to local if necessary -->   <script src=""></script>   <script>!window.jQuery && document.write(unescape('%3Cscript src="http://{{ $gimme->publication->site }}/templates/set_thejournal/_js/jquery-1.5.2.min.js"%3E%3C/script%3E'))</script>   ...   <script src="http://{{ $gimme->publication->site }}/templates/set_name/_js/functions.js"></script> 

Your part of the magic is created inside the functions.js file:

$(document).ready(function(){ ... }); 

If you need to place a piece of jQuery inside some particular template, just use the <script> tag:

<script type="text/javascript">$(document).ready(function(){ ... });</script> 

jQuery, like other JavaScript frameworks, is a very handy tool to make your designs work, so that you can concentrate on other things. Here is, just for example, a small piece of code to make an "Increase/Decrease Font Size" control. First, the JavaScript, then the template code:


var articleBox = $(".block-article"); var originalFontSize = $(articleBox).css('font-size');   // Increase Font Size $("a[href=#zoomin]").click(function(){   var currentFontSize = $(articleBox).css('font-size');   var currentFontSizeNum = parseFloat(currentFontSize, 10);   var newFontSize = currentFontSizeNum*1.1;   $(articleBox).css('font-size', newFontSize);   return false; });   // Decrease Font Size $("a[href=#zoomout]").click(function(){   var currentFontSize = $(articleBox).css('font-size');   var currentFontSizeNum = parseFloat(currentFontSize, 10);   var newFontSize = currentFontSizeNum*0.9;   $(articleBox).css('font-size', newFontSize);   return false; }); 


<div class="block-fonts-control">  <a href="#zoomin">Increase</a> / <a href="#zoomout">Decrease</a> font </div> ... <div class="block-article">   {{$gimme->article->intro}}   {{$gimme->article->full_text}} </div> 

Using PHP in your templates

The {{ php }} tag allows PHP code to be embedded directly into the template. This is for advanced users only, not normally needed and not recommended. The following information was taken from

Example PHP code within {{ php }} tags:

{{ php }}   // including a php script directly from the template.   include('/path/to/display_weather.php'); {{ /php }} 

Passing on variables between $gimme and PHP

When using PHP, you might want to work with $gimme values inside PHP, as well as pass on PHP variables to the template. In order to do this, you need to assign the variables first, then you can access them inside PHP. Important: use backticks ` in the assign function. Here's a little example:

Assigning a variable in the template to use with PHP

{{ assign var="profile_email" value=`$gimme->comment->reader_email` }} {{ php }} $profile_email = $this->get_template_vars('profile_email'); print $profile_email; {{ /php }} 

Note: there seems to be no way to pass on variables from an included file into the parent. We could not figure it out. If you can, please add your code here!

Assign a variable in PHP to use in the template

{{* a {{php}} block that assigns the variable $varX *}} {{php}}   $this->assign('varX','Toffee'); {{/php}} {{* output the variable in the template *}} <strong>{{$varX}}</strong> is my favourite ice cream :-)