The 1.4 release of the Yocto Project removed the Templates functionality from Hob. We did it because, as they were implemented, Templates mixed information that is normally part of an image recipe file with configuration information that is usually set in configuration files (for example, the MACHINE for which the image recipe had been built).
There was no way to select which configuration information should be stored in those Templates. There was no way to use another Yocto Project interface to build those Templates. Templates were a Hob-only concept, a kind of hybrid construct, neither recipe nor configuration file, but somewhere in between. Templates were in no man's land. No wonder some found them confusing.
The old Hob Templates functionality
Templates should just be recipes
That's the conclusion we reached after some discussion in the mailing list. Hob Templates should reuse the core Yocto Project concepts: layers and recipes. Layers seemed a bit too powerful for the job, so we settled for recipes.
When you build with Hob, you start by selecting a machine and one of the image recipes provided by the Yocto Project. You can then customise that image recipe to suit your needs. If we were to allow you to save those customisations in a new image recipe, you could then reuse them, and not only within Hob, but also with a command line interface or any other kind of interface that might be used in the future.
And so we did
After our classic design-development back and forth, which you can enjoy in the corresponding Bugzilla feature, a first version of the "Save image recipe" functionality is now merged to the Yocto Project master branch.
The new "Save image recipe" feature in Hob
We are still polishing some rough edges, but feel free to try it. If you do, let us know what you think with a comment here or an email to the mailing list.