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What is RTML?

Templates are programs that are run when you publish your store to generate the final HTML for your store pages. Templates are written using RTML, which is a proprietary language used by the Yahoo Store software.

RTML is a language for describing websites. Though designed to be easy for merchants with no programming experience, it's quite a powerful language.

Every object (like an item or section) has an RTML template that describes what its web page should look like. An RTML template outputs HTML, 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 features

  • 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 structured 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's impossible to create an ill-formed RTML template.
  • RTML outputs HTML, so anything you can express in RTML can be viewed in a browser.

In the Store Editor, you can find documentation for RTML by clicking the "RTML Doc" link on the Controls page in the Advanced Editor.

Note: The Advanced Editor is designed for programmers. In the Advanced mode, all protection against damaging your store is turned off. You can easily damage your store beyond repair. For that reason we recommend it only for experienced programmers.

+Further resources

While Yahoo Merchant Solutions Customer Support can't offer assistance with debugging or creating RTML and templates for merchants, Yahoo remains committed to the RTML development platform. For merchants and Yahoo Store developers, we can offer the following resources:

3rd party RTML resources

Please note that Yahoo isn't affiliated with the above-listed third-party sites and doesn't guarantee the accuracy of the information available from those websites or books.

Yahoo Merchant Solutions Developer Network

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Last updated: April 25, 2014