Yahoo Merchant Solutions and RTML
Before the introduction of Yahoo Merchant Solutions – which combines Yahoo Store with Yahoo web hosting and email – the only way to create a custom site was to use the template editor and RTML. Since then Yahoo has introduced Store Tags and catalog manager, which are tools that allow designers to create custom sites with a regular HTML editor such as Dreamweaver. It is great to have a choice of technologies for building Yahoo storefronts, but I was under the impression that RTML would be grandfathered in and lose significance over time to Store Tags/catalog manager. Certainly, there would be no new development of the RTML language…
Well, lo and behold, a few but very useful RTML operators have quietly made their way into the Yahoo Store platform. Even some new templates have been added, such as sort-items-by-name. and sort-items-by-price. Of course, those templates cannot be used right now unless you know how to use custom templates and RTML, nor has Yahoo officially told anybody about these developments, but nevertheless they are useful if you know what you are doing.
I guess the bigger picture is that through its many customers Yahoo acknowledges the continued importance of the store editor, RTML and the template system. The fact is that the store editor is still the better choice in most cases for building and managing a Yahoo Merchant Solutions site. I bet that most established Yahoo Store designers – those with more than 50 Yahoo Store projects to their credit – would agree with this assertion and in fact keep churning out RTML-based sites.