I am trying to be a more conforming civicrm coder.
Smarty used by civicrm for pages (and forms?)
I have never used Smarty.. Is it going to be part of civicrm going forward? And are there any tips for writing good future proof smarty?
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Going forward, much of the Civi UI will be written in Angular. However at least 95% of the application uses Smarty and it's still a perfectly acceptable way to mark up a form or page.
Depending on your use case you may be able to create an Angular page for what you want.
If you are writing an extension, you can try both. Use
civix generate:page or
civix generate:form to create traditional smarty-based pages & forms. Or try the newer
civix generate:angular-* commands for the alternatives.