View Full Version : Frontend Workflow Advice: How to Maintain HTML Efficiently?

19 Nov 2010, 12:03 PM
I'm encountering some workflow headaches, and I was wondering if you guys had any suggestions.

At our shop we divide web development between traditional backend developers (SQL, .net, older & weirder stuff) and frontend developers who do the graphic/web design and preliminary HTML mockups. The backend developers prefer to work from production ready HTML mockups and slice them per constantly evolving business rules.

As a frontend guy, I'm having to maintain an increasingly unmanageable library of mockups due to the number of applications we work on and the endless customization done for clients. As changes accumulate, mockup families have to be updated, one mockup at a time. I need some kind of local, DRY templating system where I can make a single change that cascades to all relevant mockups, but one that allows me to deliver standalone, production ready HTML documents for the backend guys.

I've looked around and haven't found any real solutions. There's Dreamweaver, but that's a nightmare in a shiny wrapper that requires as much work or more to clean up template exported HTML, ...every time I export. It might be trainable, but I can already write the stuff as it should be without the interference it offers. I've considered some kind of 'mockup server' using PHP or some such for templating, but that seems like the long way to China. So far some kind of homebrew XML/XSL templating seems like my best bet.

Surely somebody has suffered this problem and solved it nicely.