We’re glad that you are considering MasterView for your template solution, we feel that is one of the most productive ways to develop sites and also allows non-programmer designers to have an active role in the development process. In addition to the current feature set, we have some exciting functionality in the pipeline which will wrap lots of functionality into simple to use directives (namely ajax’d sortable pageable grids, calendars, menu widgets, …), so things are going to get even more fun in the coming year!
As to the question is it good to convert from rhtml to html, you can use rhtml and MasterView html templates side by side in the same project, however to be able to take advantage of the WYSIWYG features across all your pages, you would most likely want to convert some or all of your pages into MasterView html. There’s been a suggestion by one of our users to automate this process further and it is on the todo list for future enhancements.
As for the safety of moving to MasterView, this is a safe transition and you can easily go back to pure rhtml if you ever want to discontinue use of MasterView. MasterView currently processes the html templates and creates the corresponding rhtml files at runtime (layouts, partials, etc). By default it doesn’t generate to the file system, but that is easlily changed in a configuration option. You can also manually invoke the parser (vie rake command) to have it generate the rhtml files. These rhtml files do not depend on anything in the MasterView system, so you can even deploy these (without MasterView) to any rails server. My point is that even though you are starting with MasterView html templates, you are not locked in and you can easily get out the rhtml files and use them directly (even without MasterView) if at anytime you want to go back to the pure rhtml way.
We have designed MasterView to allow custom directives to be added and developed by the community so you the project can be enhanced in what ever ways the community takes it. We’ll be putting up a site later this year to make it easy for users to share directives.
To the question of support, in addition to the support of fellow MasterView users, Deb Lewis and I are the primary core developers and support team for MasterView project. We try to support and help our users through our mailing lists on Rubyforge http://rubyforge.org/mail/?group_id=1290
Note that MasterView is an open source project so all the source is available for your use from Rubyforge.
If you desire commercial support for MasterView, contact Deb or me and we would be happy to set up a support contract for your company. Deb’s company, Glaivestone Software, provides consulting and services in a variety of technologies including MasterView. My company, Inspired Horizons, performs training, mentoring, and consulting specializing in Ruby on Rails / MasterView. Links to our sites are below.
As additional questions come up, feel free to post them to our masterview-users mailing list or of course you may contact us directly. We’ll do our best to help you.
Deb’s company, Glaivestone Software - http://glaivestone.com/
Jeff’s company, Inspired Horizons Ruby on Rails training and consultancy - http://inspiredhorizons.com/
Jeff Barczewski, MasterView development team