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If you follow MVC design pattern then only your view files should have HTML in them to begin with. Using the braceless syntax in these files only further separates them thematically from the rest of the code. The major advantage of braceless syntax is that braces get lost while jumping into and out of php mode, especially if you use php short tags (which contrary to what is stated elsewhere, if you are using htaccess to deploy mod_rewrite in your application it is safe to use short tags in your application. The server admins CANNOT deny short tags to you while simultaneously granting mod_rewrite (and why they would even try is beyond me). Another thing I've noted in the examples above - it is safe to omit the ending semicolon prior to a script close tag, and it's slightly easier to read. than