Best way to start with views/controllers

Did most people here use the CRUD generator to create skelton apps and customize them or just generate models and learn to code the controllers and views from scratch?

The way gii generates views with the ‘_’ subviews is both genius and almost too magic for my presently-feeble brain to digest.

I am tempted to bite the bullet and code things in Yii the ‘codeigniter’ way where you use a lot of html in the views versus generating it with helpers… and in the controllers manually assigning data to views.

I guess what I’m asking is as you learn Yii how does your workflow change?

Another thing I need to mentally tackle is the best way to apply a change in view style across all views - I’m thinking I should change what Gii generates (I want a tabular format for the admin views vs. what gii makes now).

When I was working with CI I felt a lot of discomfort repeating HTML over and over again and wrote View extension and nested views helper. When I started learning Yii I was happy it supports layouts and nested views.

When I first started with Yii I used yiic to create the skeleton part, and then do the models, controllers and views my self in order to understand every single step. The problem with automated steps is that when you encounter a problem you do not know where those issues come from if you haven’t gone through the steps yourself previously.