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Front-end developer's guide
front-end, views, layouts, chtml, CClientScript
This wiki is a work in progress.

This wiki is targeted at developers that are new to Yii and are focusing on
developing the front-end of a Yii application using languages such as HTML, CSS
and JavaScript.  Perhaps there are different developers working on the backend,
but you are focused on the front-end.  There are certain things you need to do
to keep your code manageable for those backend developers.  This article is
meant to teach you those things.

As a front-end developer, you will be focusing mainly on implementing views. 
Views are simply *.php files that contain mostly html which is sent to the
browser.  They may be embedded in layouts, which is very similar to a view
itself.  Layouts generally define the outside framework of a website, while the
views define the content on the individual pages.  View are contained in the
`protected/views``protected/view` directory, and are
organized by `controller` (`controllers` are like categories that views with
similar purposes reside - for instance a blog post list and blog post create
view may be in a `blog` controller).  Layouts are contained in the
directory.  Layouts may even be embedded in other layouts.

For instance, the `view` file for the front page is likely at
`/protected/views/site/index.php`, as the front page is the `index` action in
the `site` controller by default.

You can use the CHtml helper to render certain html elements. This should
especially be done for links and forms.  Please [read
this](http://www.yiiframework.com/wiki/48/by-example-chtml "CHtml
examples") for code examples of CHtml.

You may find that explicitly a link such as:

<a href="/site/index">Home Page</a>

will only work if the application is installed on the root level of the server
(for instance `www.example.com`).  If the application was installed at
`www.example.com/foo`, the above link would not work, as it would direct the
user to `www.example.com/site/index` instead of
`www.example.com/foo/site/index`.  To write links that work independently of
where the application is installed, one should use the
[CHtml::link()](http://www.yiiframework.com/wiki/48/by-example-chtml "CHtml
examples") function.

To include a css file in say the `/css` directory, put this in the view:


Or for JS file in say the `/js` directory, put this in the view:


These code snippets will automatically generate the html inclusion in the HEAD
section of the final html document to be returned to the user's browser

Here is more reading you may be interested in reading, depending on your
interest and php level:

1. [Views](http://www.yiiframework.com/doc/guide/1.1/en/basics.view
2. [Forms](http://www.yiiframework.com/doc/guide/1.1/en/form.view
3. [MVC
"MVC basics")