Templates variables are the "dynamic" part of a dynamic Vine Type website. In other words, without variables, there content never changes. Template variables represent a number of different dynamic content, from the article contents and comment comments to Gravatar images and search boxes.
The vinetype.config file variables can be used in template files where applicable, as well as additional Vine Type variables. Vine Type template variables begin with $_.
That Aggravating Ampersand
Template files are XML, and XML is quite particular about the ampersand & character. Oftentimes, you will need to place an ampersand into a URL within a template file.
If you need to put an ampersand into a URL as it will likely happen, Vine Type will complain -- with the frustrating error7 "Template File is not well-formed" error message. Ampersands must be escaped in XML even within attribute values.
(escape your ampersands in your template file...) <a href="http://somewhere.com/default.aspx?blog=15&post=22323">Hints & Tips</a>
An alternative solution is to place $amp into the attribute value where the ampersand belongs, and add an entry $amp:& into the vinetype.config file. This will keep your template well-formed, while getting an ampersand into the URL as it should be.
(in template file...) <a href="http://somewhere.com/default.aspx?blog=15$amppost=22323">Hints $amp Tips</a> (in vinetype.config file...) $amp:&
This example shows how you can create a user variable of your own in the vinetype.config file, and reference it within the template file.