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I undersand getChildHtm() is used for rendering child blocks which are connected in layout xml files, but I can not find any template or block named 'top' or 'bottom'. Also both of them are empty strings. Why are those there in the first place and from where and how is the content eventually attached to them?

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There are a lot of getChildHtml() calls throughout a lot of templates to give you the possibility to add new blocks.

If there is no child block, there is nothing rendered.

If you add a child block - tada - it gets rendererd :-)

  • so these are just placeholders and I can delete those without worrying about closing a channel for some valuable data :) ? – ruuter Apr 17 '13 at 1:13
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    I think so, but why do you want this? There is no need, and better don't delete them, if you are wrong and there is a child block somewhere defined, e.g. in an extension you install later ;-) – Fabian Blechschmidt Apr 17 '13 at 1:15
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    because I'm creating a custom theme and I would not like this unknown data to potentially break my layout, but I guess better idea would be to leave a possible place for those in layout. – ruuter Apr 17 '13 at 1:18

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