As a standalone component,
Zend_Layout does not offer nearly as
many features or as much convenience as when used with the MVC.
However, it still has two chief benefits:
Scoping of layout variables.
Isolation of layout view script from other view scripts.
When used as a standalone component, simply instantiate the layout object, use the various accessors to set state, set variables as object properties, and render the layout:
$layout = new Zend_Layout();
// Set a layout script path:
// set some variables:
$layout->content = $content;
$layout->nav = $nav;
// choose a different layout script:
// render final layout