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Template fragments - when even partials are too much

For the record, partials are wonderful. Self-sustained pieces of gui code, with access to all the symfony templating tools you need.

Sometimes however, even partials tend to be overkill. And sometimes, too, you have an annoying little piece of gui code that ought to go into your main template (indexSuccess.php or what have you), but you can't bear to put it there, because it would disturb the flow of an otherwise beautifully crafted template.

The truth is, every reuseable piece of gui code that isn't a full blown template really fits the partial paradigm, but sometimes it's just too much overhead, too much trouble, or just not necessary. Consider the following:

Example 1

<table>
  <?php foreach ($vars as $key => $value): ?>
    <tr>
      <th><?php include(fragment_name('label')) ?></th>
      <td><?php include(fragment_name('input')) ?></td>
    </tr>
  <?php endforeach; ?>
</table>

Example 2

<table>
  <?php foreach ($vars as $key => $value): ?>
    <tr>
      <th><?php include(fragment_path('somemodule/label')) ?></th>
      <td><?php include(fragment_path('anothermodule/input')) ?></td>
    </tr>
  <?php endforeach; ?>
</table>

The _label.php file could contain a few if statements... enough to generate the label for our input. It would look quite a bit uglier to place the code right in the th tag, but that's what we're really going for. _label.php would immediately have access to $key and $value, and any other variables already in scope, including typical templating variables provided by symfony. Additionally, there's no overhead to deal with, which helps if that foreach loop will execute 200 times (well, maybe that's a stretch). Finally, it just looks symfony-esque (at least to me)!

The code

<?php
 
/**
 * Get the path to a fragment.
 * The syntax is similar to that of include_partial.
 * To be used in conjunction with php's include function.
 * Variables in scope in the caller will be available in the execution of the fragment.
 * 
 * <strong>Example</strong>
 * <code>
 *  include(fragment_path('mypartial'))
 * </code>
 * 
 * <strong>Example</strong>
 * <code>
 *  include(fragment_path('mymodule/mypartial'))
 * </code>
 * 
 * @param   string fragment name
 * @return  string path to the fragment
 * @see     get_fragment, include_fragment, include_partial
 */
function fragment_path($templateName)
{
    // partial is in another module?
    if (false !== ($sep = strpos($templateName, '/')))
    {
        $moduleName   = substr($templateName, 0, $sep);
        $templateName = substr($templateName, $sep + 1);
    }
    else
    {
        $moduleName = sfContext::getInstance()->getActionStack()->getLastEntry()->getModuleName();
    }
    $fragmentName = fragment_name($templateName);
    // test for global fragment
    if ($moduleName === 'global')
    {
        $path = sfConfig::get('sf_app_template_dir');
    }
    // if not global, or the global fragment doesn't exist
    if ($moduleName !== 'global' || !is_readable($path.'/'.$fragmentName))
    {
        // get the full path to the file
        $path = sfConfig::get('sf_app_module_dir').'/'.$moduleName.'/'.sfConfig::get('sf_app_module_template_dir_name');
    }
    // return the full path to the partial
    return $path.'/'.$fragmentName;
}
 
/**
 * Translates a nice fragment name into the filename adhering to the naming convention for partials.
 * 
 * <strong>Example</strong>
 * <code>
 *  include(fragment_name('mypartial'))
 * </code>
 * 
 * @param   string fragment name
 * @return  string fragment filename
 * @see     fragment_path
 */
function fragment_name($templateName)
{
    return '_'.$templateName.'.php';
}

Remember: you can place this in myproject/apps/myapp/lib/helper/PartialPlusHelper.php

Then you can use it with <?php use_helper('PartialPlus') ?>

by Stephen Riesenberg on 2006-12-16, tagged helper  template  view 

Comments on this snippet

gravatar icon
#1 Jeremie Engel on 2007-04-03 at 05:10

Pretty cool ! It seems very powerfull if you need to control dynamicly the template/layout structure.