Tag Archives: zend framework

Using ‘VC’ portion of ‘MVC’ in Zend Framework vs Lithium

Although I’ve been playing with Lithium for a few weeks, I haven’t needed to touch the view at all and barely looked at the Controller, so I didn’t really pay attention to this difference until just now…

In Zend, you set the vars in the controller for the view thusly.

Whereas in Lithium, you do it thusly.

Then in the view, to access those vars, here’s how Zend Framework does it.

With Lithium, if you use the same notation as the PHP short open tag, it will automatically escape the output. Which is great, although keep in mind that when you don’t want an htmlspecialchars escape, be sure to escape the var yourself as appropriate. Here’s the Lithium example.

I’m not sure how Zend Framework 2.0 will work yet. Been too busy to keep up to date.

I think the Lithium way is quite elegant. It’s a lot easier to explain to front end people who are mostly but not 100% in the view. There’s a variable, it’s the same in the controller and the view and you just access it.

It’s always good to check out different frameworks and learn what you can from each of them.

Aside: I love how people in the PHP community are for the most part really good about listening to the good and less good with an open mind and not making it personal. Matthew Weierophinney’s recent article about Filters and Nate Abele’s response is a classic example of the class acts in our community. I’ve learned much from all of you.

How to integrate HtmlPurifier with Zend Framework

It looks like I’m inadvertently starting a series on how to integrate some external libraries with Zend Framework. So be it. Next on the list is HTMLPurifier.

Like with the Amazon AWS SDK, I’m just starting the process as I write this. I have no idea how hard it will be. So let’s start with a Unit Test again and try to make it pass.

The Unit test is located at /project/tests/application/models/PurifyTest.php and contains this.

Obviously, the test will fail at this point

phpunit –configuration phpunit_local.xml –group purify

So let’s do a couple things. First, download the latest version (my link might be stale by the time you read this. So just find the latest release).

Next, if you set it up the same way I do, you’ll have a share folder in your filesystem, where you’ll put the htmlpurifier-4.2.0 folder. Then in your project/library/ folder, you’ll symlink this folder: Htmlpurifier to the location of that directory. Now if you upgrade to a later version of the purifier, you just change the symlink. Then if there’s a problem, you downgrade in two seconds…

Now open the INSTALL file in purifier. What’s this?

These optional extensions can enhance the capabilities of HTML Purifier:

* iconv : Converts text to and from non-UTF-8 encodings
* bcmath : Used for unit conversion and imagecrash protection
* tidy : Used for pretty-printing HTML

OK, well that would be nice. As I recall, tidy these days comes with PHP so if you have a recent version, you should be OK. But just in case, I’m going to fire up phpinfo.

Whew. I’ve got all three, so I’m good to go. If you don’t, then I’d suggest you install it. If you don’t know how, no better time to learn than now. Don’t be scared. It’s a breeze after the first time and you will have learned a very valuable skill that you can use in project after project.

OK let’s continue.

Having read an article or two from Juozas and Paddy, I suspect we won’t need a model or anything, but let’s not get bogged down in details. We just want to see if we can talk to HTMLPurifier, not architect an application.

So without further ado, let’s create a model called Purify.php (in the /project/applications/models/Purify.php file). Here are the contents.

Running the Unit test shows an error…ah I pointed to the wrong location. This is the correct include file:

require_once APPLICATION_PATH . ‘/../library/Htmlpurifier/library/HTMLPurifier.auto.php’;

OK, now there’s no error on the Unit Test, but we still need to make sure we can purify something.

In my case I’ve got APC opcode cache installed, so I’m going to add this include as well:

require_once APPLICATION_PATH . ‘/../library/Htmlpurifier/library/HTMLPurifier.includes.php’;

Then I’m going to create some evil html, and try to purify it. Here’s the new code:

Now let’s run the unit test:

phpunit –configuration phpunit_local.xml –group purify
OK (1 test, 1 assertion)

So it looks like we’re good. However, I’m still not satisfied. There are small differences between running PHPUnit and running code on the webserver. What concerns me is that HTMLPurifier has an autoloader and I want to be sure it won’t clash with Zend Framework’s autoloader.

So this will be easy to test. It’s very similar to the PHP Unit test. We’ll just create a test controller…skip the view and just see if it errors out or not. Here’s the code.

And Bingo! Job done. Easier than I expected it. But I still hope someone finds it helpful.

P.S. From past experience, I want to add a comment. Before you nitpick about details like requiring a file in a constructor or other practices, don’t forget it’s just an attempt to prove we have no errors. I’m not trying to paint the Mona Lisa here.

Setting up a Zend Framework project on Mac OS X Leopard

I’m about to do my first start to finish project on a Mac OS X Leopard. Although I’ve previously moved a project over from an XP, it’s never quite as nice as working on a fresh project with a brand new laptop, so I figured I’d document the procedure as I go through it.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to document the process of getting PHP/MySQL/Zend Framework /PHP Unit/Eclipse (as well as Python, Django and Mod WSGI for the CMS) et. al. on the Mac. It wasn’t all that easy, but I will say that in the end I opted for using Zend Server CE, and that part of it was really quite smooth.

It wasn’t my first choice because if there are bugs in a stack, you wind up debugging the stack rather than the components. The experience is not quite as useful. And the more layers between you and the tools you’re using, the less you tend to understand. But ZCE solved too many problems I had that it was well worth using as far as the Mac is concerned.

The scope of this post is to get the browser to display the index view without error and set up a PHPUnit test that looks for the client’s logo in the header, so you may want to get your logo ready.

NOTE: I uses {braces} throughout where you need to replace your own values for mine.

OK let’s get started… First you need a project home. I like to use this:


This can be created manually and “used” by Eclipse when creating a new PHP Project, or you can create the directory by just starting a new PHP project from Eclipse and naming it.

Next you need the location of your media files. Essentially this is your public_html (otherwise known as www) folder. I like to use this location:


You will need to add this location to your PHP include path in Eclipse. (Right click on “PHP Include Path”, go to “Include Path->Configure Include Path”). Add it to the “libraries” tab, click on “Add external source folder”.

Good. Now we’ll use a symbolic link to map your public folder to your media (i.e. public_html) folder. Type the following, replacing your username and client name where appropriate of course:

ln -s /Users/{yourname}/Sites/{clientsname}  /Users/{yourname}/Workspace/{clientsname}/public

Next step I like to keep my own code in the library folder, and have the controllers extend from my base controller. Even if I don’t put anything in my base controller at first, this will save a lot of time later in case I find that something gets called over and over again from many controllers, I can just add it to my base and not worry that the controllers won’t have it available. So create a directory in Library with your name, I use Joed, you pick something else…


You need to add the library directory to your php include path. I did this through php.ini at first. But multiple projects clashed of course and I had to modify this later. If you plan to have more than one project on this machine, skip the next step.

~php.ini step~
If you are also set up with Zend Server CE, the location is /usr/local/Zend/etc/php.ini. Look for the line that says “include_path” and add a colon to the existing path along w/ your library location. E.g.


~END php.ini step~

The Zend Framework code will also live in the Library. The best way to handle upgrading and downgrading Zend Framework is to pick a directory, put all versions of ZF there without overwriting each other (e.g. /path/to/ZF/zf1.50, /path/to/ZF/zf1.75 etc…) and then symlink the version you want to run, to your library.

Since I’m using Zend Server CE, I’ll just go with whatever version is already installed. So we need to find the Zend directory, which is located here: “/usr/local/Zend/share/ZendFramework/library/Zend” and create a symlink as follows:

ln -s /usr/local/Zend/share/ZendFramework/library/Zend  /Users/{yourname}/Workspace/{clientsname}/library/Zend

Note that on my installation, ZCE already included the Zend Framework library in the php.ini. So your dev box won’t have the most performant php.ini setup. But no matter, you just need to avoid extra includes where possible on the server.

Now to set up your directory structure, you can save a couple steps by using the new Zend Tool. Although we have a couple of the directories already set up, I just tried creating a project and it installed the files correctly in the directories I wanted…so without further ado, type the following, making sure the path to your installation is correct:

/usr/local/Zend/share/ZendFramework/bin/zf.sh create project {clientname}

Great! Now let’s start to configure things a bit to our liking. In the “/application/Bootstrap.php”, I don’t really like how the modules work by default, so I don’t use it. I just put these lines inside the Zend_Application_Bootstrap_Bootstrap class:

protected function _initAutoload()
	$autoloader = new Zend_Application_Module_Autoloader(array(
		'namespace' => '',
		'basePath'  => dirname(__FILE__),
	return $autoloader;
protected function _initDoctype()
	$view = $this->getResource('view');
protected function _initActionHelpers()

This way I can autoload the models without having to add prefixes to them. There are other approaches, do what works for you. I will link to a couple other ideas for you to consider:

Zend Framework Modules

Another #ZF Module config

Now open “config/application.ini”. IF AND ONLY IF you’ve added the library to the php.ini, you can remove the includes line from here:

;;includePaths.library = APPLICATION_PATH "/../library"

Now let’s register our custom code directory “/Users/{yourname}/Workspace/{clientsname}/library/{Joed}” into the namespace with the following:

;; custom library
autoloadernamespaces.{joed} = "{Joed}_" ;remove braces and use your custom library directory on this line

Add the layout and view:

resources.layout.layout = "layout"
resources.layout.layoutPath = APPLICATION_PATH "/layouts/scripts"
resources.view[] =

And now the database info. Default adapter is if you only have one, it will save you a bit of code when calling your dbAdapter:

;; dB configs
resources.db.adapter = {PDO_MYSQL}
resources.db.params.host = {localhost}
resources.db.params.username = {username}
resources.db.params.password = {password}
resources.db.params.dbname = {clientdb}
resources.db.params.driver_options.PDO::MYSQL_ATTR_USE_BUFFERED_QUERY = true
resources.db.isDefaultTableAdapter = true
resources.db.params.profiler = true

Read my previous post on why I have have MYSQL_ATTR_USE_BUFFERED_QUERY on. And only turn on the profiler if you’re using it.

The rest of the settings in “application.ini” will do for now…

Open your “HOSTS” file, and point to whatever hostname you want to use (e.g. {yourname.clientname.com} ).

Open your “httpd.conf” and add directory specific info if needed…e.g.:

<Directory "/Users/{yourname}/Sites/{clientsname}">
    # Possible values for the Options directive are "None", "All",
    # or any combination of:
    #   Indexes Includes FollowSymLinks SymLinksifOwnerMatch ExecCGI MultiViews
    # Note that "MultiViews" must be named *explicitly* --- "Options All"
    # doesn't give it to you.
    # The Options directive is both complicated and important.  Please see
    # http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/mod/core.html#options
    # for more information.
    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks Includes ExecCGI
    #Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
    # AllowOverride controls what directives may be placed in .htaccess files.
    # It can be "All", "None", or any combination of the keywords:
    #   Options FileInfo AuthConfig Limit
    AllowOverride All

    # Controls who can get stuff from this server.
    Order allow,deny
    Allow from all


Then in the extras folder, open httpd-vhosts.conf and add your VirtualHost info, which should look something like this:

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerAdmin {yourname}@{yrmailserver}.com
    ServerName {nameYouChoseInHostsFile}
    DocumentRoot "/Users/{yourname}/Sites/{clientsname}"
    ErrorLog "/usr/local/Zend/apache2/{client}-error_log"
    CustomLog "/usr/local/Zend/apache2/{client}-access_log" common

Restart apache.

BTW, as a tip, in Eclipse, .htaccess files are hidden by default. Assuming you have a PHP project, you should have your directories and files in an explorer-like tree under a tab called “PHP Project”. There is an arrow in that box, select it and on the dropdown click on “Filters”. Then uncheck *.resources. This will enable viewing .htaccess files, although you may see a few Eclipse related system files…which I’d advise ignoring.

It’s up to you where you want to set the APPLICATION_ENV constant. I like to put it in “/public/index.php”, so in .htaccess, I comment it out of “public/.htaccess”. Then in “public/index.php” I change the following line to match the aforementioned setup on the Mac:

|| define('APPLICATION_PATH', realpath(dirname(__FILE__) . '/../application'));


|| define('APPLICATION_PATH', realpath(dirname(__FILE__) . '/../../Workspace/{clientname}/application'));

If you’ve done everything right and try to load up your browser to your client’s location, you will get an error about a missing layout file. So let’s create a layout now. Underneath your “applications” directory, create a “scripts” directory and then a “layout.phtml” file with the following contents:


echo $this->doctype() ?>
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"> 
  <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" /> 
  <title>Hello World!</title>
  <?php echo $this->headLink()->appendStylesheet('/css/global.css') ?>
<div id="header" style="background-color: #EEEEEE; height: 30px;">
    <div id="header-logo" style="float: left">
        <b>Yay it works!</b>
    <div id="header-navigation" style="float: right">

<?php echo $this->layout()->content ?>


and the error should be gone.

Now let’s create a PHPUnit Test. This post does not cover installing PHPUnit. So before you do the next step, make sure it’s installed by typing “phpunit” from the terminal. If that fails, you need to get it working…

Now inside your tests directory (created by Zend Tool earlier), there should be an empty file called “phpunit.xml”. Open it. Put this there with your changes for {clientname} of course:

<phpunit bootstrap="./application/bootstrap.php" colors="true">
	<testsuite name="{clientname}">
			<directory suffix=".php">../application/</directory>
				<directory suffix=".phtml">../application/</directory>
		<log type="coverage-html" target="./log/report" charset="UTF-8"
		yui="true" highlight="true" lowUpperBound="50" highLowerBound="80" />
		<log type="testdox" target="./log/textdox.html" />

Now we need to create a bootstrap for PHPUnit to use. It should exist already under ‘tests/application/bootstrap.php’, but empty. Add this:


// Define path to application directory
define('APPLICATION_PATH', realpath(dirname(__FILE__) . '/../../application'));

// Testing env has the mock database
define('APPLICATION_ENV', 'testing');

/** Zend_Application */
require_once 'Zend/Application.php';
require_once 'ControllerTestCase.php';

Note that the APPLICATION_ENV = ‘testing’. This lets you send different configuration directives when testing, so be sure and keep that in mind for the “application.ini” as you build your app.

Now create ‘ControllerTestCase.php’ in the ‘tests/application’ directory and put this in it, changing the clientname of course:

require_once 'Zend/Test/PHPUnit/ControllerTestCase.php';
abstract class ControllerTestCase
	extends Zend_Test_PHPUnit_ControllerTestCase
	 * @var Zend_Application
	protected $application;

	public function setUp()
		$this->bootstrap = array($this, 'appBootstrap');
		// setup the host var
		$_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] = '{clientname}';//this can probably be done on phpunit command line
	public function appBootstrap()
		$this->application = new Zend_Application(APPLICATION_ENV,
											  APPLICATION_PATH . '/configs/application.ini');

I’ve set the $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] here because in my previous project it helped me test certain things that were expecting the HTTP_HOST that I would get when visiting the page through the browser but wasn’t appearing through PHPUnit. I later found out that there’s a switch in the command line to provide this functionality, so if you feel like digging through the manual and using that instead, you can remove that line.

Now under ‘/tests/application’ create a directory called ‘controllers’ and create a file in there called ‘IndexControllerTest.php’ with these contents:

 * @group controllers
 * @group indexcontroller
 * @author {Joe Devon}
class IndexControllerTest extends ControllerTestCase

	public function setUp()
		/* Setup Routine */

	public function tearDown()
		/* Tear Down Routine */

	public function testCanDoUnitTestInIndexController()

	 * @group index
	 * @return void
	public function testIndexAction()

	public function testErrorURL()

	public function testIndexLoadsDefaultHeaderSuffix()
		$this->assertQueryContentContains('div#navigation', 'logo.jpg');

Now from a terminal window, run:

$ phpunit --verbose

You should see 4 tests, 9 assertions and 1 failure. The failure is caused by the lack of a logo in the view. If you aren’t clear on why, make sure to read the code above. We will need to create a view for index and a div id=”navigation” inside the view, and put ‘logo.jpg’ inside the div.

If you don’t know why we created a test before the code to make the test pass, it’s because we’re doing what’s called Test Driven Development. TDD is beyond the scope of this post, but look it up if you aren’t familiar with it. You will definitely learn something interesting…

We’re almost done. We just need to clean up a couple of things and we’ll get this last test to pass.

Remember we created a “/Users/{yourname}/Workspace/{clientsname}/library/{Joed}” directory? In there, create a file called ‘Controller.php’ with these contents:

 * Class: {Joed}_Controller
 * Base controller
class {Joed}_Controller extends Zend_Controller_Action

     * Pre-dispatch routines
     * Called before action method. If using class with
     * {@link Zend_Controller_Front}, it may modify the
     * {@link $_request Request object} and reset its dispatched flag in order
     * to skip processing the current action.
     * @return void
	public function preDispatch()

     * Post-dispatch routines
     * Called after action method execution. If using class with
     * {@link Zend_Controller_Front}, it may modify the
     * {@link $_request Request object} and reset its dispatched flag in order
     * to process an additional action.
     * Common usages for postDispatch() include rendering content in a sitewide
     * template, link url correction, setting headers, etc.
     * @return void
	public function postDispatch()
} // end class

I’ve got a couple of methods I used for my last project in here that I should publish, but I got to make it more generalized and reusable first. Needless to say, you need your own name in the code and you will use this file to put in custom code that you will need your controllers to extend from.

Now open /Users/{yourname}/Workspace/{clientsname}/application/controllers/IndexController.php and change ‘class IndexController extends Zend_Controller_Action’ to read ‘class IndexController extends {Joed}_Controller’.

Finally, open /Users/{yourname}/Workspace/{clientsname}/application/views/scripts/index.phtml and point to your logo with a minimum of this sprinkled somewhere in your view:

<div id="navigation">
<img src="logo.jpg">

Now you should get no failures on your tests and you are ready to begin!

If you enjoyed this post and want to follow my posts in the world of Zend Framework, MySQL & the web, consider “following” me on twitter @joedevon.

Important to note that Zend Framework _redirect defaults to 302

From the Zend Framework Manual:

_redirect($url, array $options = array()): redirect to another location. This method takes a URL and an optional set of options. By default, it performs an HTTP 302 redirect.

Now you can argue about what the 302 header code SHOULD do. It’s spelled out in W3C:

10.3.3 302 Found

The requested resource resides temporarily under a different URI. Since the redirection might be altered on occasion, the client SHOULD continue to use the Request-URI for future requests. This response is only cacheable if indicated by a Cache-Control or Expires header field.

The temporary URI SHOULD be given by the Location field in the response. Unless the request method was HEAD, the entity of the response SHOULD contain a short hypertext note with a hyperlink to the new URI(s).

If the 302 status code is received in response to a request other than GET or HEAD, the user agent MUST NOT automatically redirect the request unless it can be confirmed by the user, since this might change the conditions under which the request was issued.

Note: RFC 1945 and RFC 2068 specify that the client is not allowed to change the method on the redirected request. However, most existing user agent implementations treat 302 as if it were a 303 response, performing a GET on the Location field-value regardless of the original request method. The status codes 303 and 307 have been added for servers that wish to make unambiguously clear which kind of reaction is expected of the client.

But in the past 302′s have been royally borked by search engines.

For some history, I was peripherally involved in documenting and tracking down the initial cause of these problems when a popular directory app (more or less correctly) used 302 redirects to link to resources. The creator of the program felt that he wasn’t doing anything wrong, but it turned into massive threads in the Search Engine forums.

Due to a glitch, a 302 on these directory sites gave all users of the program the SERPs of sites it linked to. Along with the ire of indignant site owners everywhere. Honest people were called spammers, fights broke out. It was ugly.

It also took a long time for the search engines to fix. Really long. And just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, it broke again.

Eventually it seems the major problems got fixed for good. There have been countless discussions about this topic. Although I haven’t read the latest, in my opinion, 302s hurt your ranking. Just last week a friend of mine asked me to check out her potential client’s low ranked corporate website (they are a household name), and lo and behold, their homepage has a 302 redirect!

The purpose of this post is mostly to alert Zend Framework developers in case they assumed, as did I, that a redirect would send a 301 header code. Used in the wrong place, the results can be costly!

Therefore, make it a habit to pass in the code you desire each time you use _redirect().

In my opinion, the redirect should either default to 301, or, since the ramifications of an incorrect redirect can be harmful to search engine rankings, a valid code should be required to be passed in. This will engender good habits.

I’d love to hear comments on this issue. In particular, to answer these questions:

  1. What do you think the default in Zend Framework should be and why?
  2. Does W3C’s definition of the 302 work in the real world?
  3. Should W3C’s make any changes to redirect codes and if so, what should they change?
  4. What code should you send to redirect pages in various situations? After logging in… Accessing a page when not logged in (it could be a valid page for a logged in user)… etc..

For those who are curious, the default is set in /path/to/ZendFramework1.84pl1/library/Zend/Controller/Action/Helper/Redirector.php, right after the class statement:
protected $_code = 302;

How to pull your mail configuration from application.ini for Zend Framework 1.8.0+

I’m working on Zend Framework 1.8.0 on a dev box and needed to configure Zend_Mail_Transport_Smtp for testing purposes to hit a gmail account. The manual wants you to do this:

$config = array('auth' => 'login',
                'username' => 'myusername',
                'password' => 'password');

$transport = new Zend_Mail_Transport_Smtp('mail.server.com', $config);

but who wants to put passwords and config data in code? Naturally it belongs in the application.ini. Some users may find it tricky from the manual to figure out how to get it from application.ini in version 1.8.0 into their controller, so I thought I’d offer this tip out there.

This is how I do it, assuming you are connecting to gmail. In your application.ini, put these lines in the correct section (I put in the dev section), replacing your username and password in the appropriate fields of course:

email.server     = smtp.gmail.com
email.username   = yrusername@gmail.com
email.password   = yrpass
email.ssl        = ssl
email.port       = 465

Then in your controller, after defining the controller class:

private $_aMailConfig;
private $_strSmtp;

then in your preDispatch function (if you don’t have one, create one and) add this:

public function preDispatch()
	$bootstrap = $this->getInvokeArg('bootstrap');
	$aConfig = $bootstrap->getOptions();
	$this->_aMailConfig = array(
	 'auth' => 'login'
	,'username' => $aConfig['email']['username']
	,'password' => $aConfig['email']['password']
	,'ssl' => $aConfig['email']['ssl']
	,'port' => $aConfig['email']['port']);
	//echo '<pre>' . print_r($this->_aMailConfig,1);exit;
	$this->_strSmtp = $aConfig['email']['server'];

then whenever you need it in your controller, type this:

$mailTransport = new Zend_Mail_Transport_Smtp($this->_strSmtp,$this->_aMailConfig);

I haven’t tested this outside my own environment, which does some funky stuff, so I can’t guarantee it will work on yours, but I believe it should.

Hope this helps someone!