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SDL Tridion restricts names (titles) within the context of folders, similar to how file systems work. You can have multiple templates called "summary," but in different folders. Although we can, is it a good idea to create component templates with the same name?

I have the following schema:

  • Article News
  • Article Blog
  • Person

For these I can have separate templates:

  • News Full
  • News Summary
  • Blog Full
  • Blog Summary
  • Biography Full
  • Biography Summary

I could reduce this to the following:

  • Full
  • Full
  • Summary
  • Summary
  • Full Bio
  • Summary Bio

Functionally this could simplify template selection. But what's the technical catch in terms of maintenance or development? Should all the "full" templates be combined in this case?

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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I would keep separate names, not for a technical reason, but to improve maintainability.

2 years from now, if there are 3 templates named "Full", it needlessly adds to the complexity of going back to update someone else's code.

Edit: I accidentally a word.

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Though we could technically use "Where Used" to see the relationship, yeah I'm thinking this is the biggest concern. Saving a bit of characters in a drop-down is helpful to authors, but your point is well taken. I'd imagine this would come up in 2 weeks if not 2 years. –  Alvin Reyes May 10 '12 at 20:51
    
You can use "Where Used", but naming them properly makes it intuitive. –  JRW May 10 '12 at 21:34
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I would keep the template names separate as well. I usually put all the component templates in one folder and page templates in another, and don't nest any deeper than that. Therefore keeping separate template names is necessary.

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I think this is generally a poor idea to only use one folder - Some templates are only used by small groups, and as such should be hidden from other users using folder security. As such you will need multiple folders for storing your CTs and PTs. –  Chris Summers May 10 '12 at 14:41
    
The single template folder would work when 1) schema are separated in subfolders for different authoring groups and 2) it's okay for an author to see all related templates. But yeah if you re-use a schema across groups but each need different templates, definitely break out those templates into different folders. –  Alvin Reyes May 10 '12 at 20:43
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This technique might help to keep the names short, which can help with usability when people are selecting these from a drop-down list. Real-life examples can often require longer names than the example you've given, so this can be a useful improvement. (Although I don't think you need a name as short as "Full".)

Since modular templating was introduced, the trade-off between developer convenience and content-worker convenience has shifted, and now it is much easier to have a very maintainable system while still putting some focus on usability.

Chris's point about security/hiding is a good one. Keeping the number of visible choices down is important too.

So - yes - use separate folders, and reduce the length of the template names if this is helpful, but don't get carried away!

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