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Format Listener

The Request format listener attempts to determine the best format for the request based on the Request's Accept-Header and the format priority configuration. This way it becomes possible to leverage Accept-Headers to determine the request format, rather than a file extension (like foo.json).

The priorities define the order of media types as the application prefers. Note that if a format is provided instead of a media type, the format is converted into a list of media types matching the format. The algorithm iteratively examines the provided Accept header first looking at all the options with the highest q. The first priority that matches is returned. If none match the next lowest set of Accept headers with equal q is examined and so on until there are no more Accept headers to check. In this case fallback_format is used.

Note that if _format is matched inside the route, then a virtual Accept header setting is added with a q setting one lower than the lowest Accept header, meaning that format is checked for a match in the priorities last. If prefer_extension is set to true then the virtual Accept header will be one higher than the highest q causing the extension to be checked first. Setting priorities to a non-empty array enables Accept header negotiations.

        enabled: true
            # setting fallback_format to json means that instead of considering the next rule in case of a priority mismatch, json will be used
            - { path: '^/', host: 'api.%domain%', priorities: ['json', 'xml'], fallback_format: json, prefer_extension: false }
            # setting fallback_format to false means that instead of considering the next rule in case of a priority mismatch, a 406 will be caused
            - { path: '^/image', priorities: ['jpeg', 'gif'], fallback_format: false, prefer_extension: true }
            # setting fallback_format to null means that in case of a priority mismatch the next rule will be considered
            - { path: '^/admin', methods: ['GET', 'POST'], priorities: ['xml', 'html'], fallback_format: ~, prefer_extension: false }
            # you can specifically target the exception controller
            - { path: '^/api', priorities: ['xml', 'json'], fallback_format: xml, attributes: { _controller: FOS\RestBundle\Controller\ExceptionController }, prefer_extension: false }
            # setting a priority to */* basically means any format will be matched
            - { path: '^/', priorities: ['text/html', '*/*'], fallback_format: html, prefer_extension: true }

For example using the above configuration and the following Accept header:


And the following route:

    path:  /foo.{_format}
    defaults: { _controller: foo.controller:indexAction, _format: ~ }

When calling:

  • /foo.json will lead to setting the request format to json
  • /foo will lead to setting the request format to html

Furthermore the listener sets a media_type attribute on the request in case the listener is configured with a MediaTypeNegotiatorInterface instance, which is the case by default, with the matched media type.

// f.e. text/html or application/vnd.custom_something+json etc.
$mediaType = $request->attributes->get('media_type');

The priorities should be configured carefully, especially when the controller actions for specific routes only handle necessary security checks for specific formats. In such cases it might make sense to hard code the format in the controller action.

public function getAction(Request $request)
    $view = new View();
    // hard code the output format of the controller action

    // ...

Note that if you use custom mime types, they need to be added using the :doc:`Mime Type Listener <3-listener-support>`.

Disabling the Format Listener via Rules

Often when integrating this Bundle with existing applications, it might be useful to disable the format listener for some routes. In this case it is possible to define a rule that will stop the format listener from determining a format by setting stop to true as a rule option. Any rule containing this setting and any rule following will not be considered and the Request format will remain unchanged.

        enabled: true
            - { path: '^/api', priorities: ['json', 'xml'], fallback_format: json, prefer_extension: false }
            - { path: '^/', stop: true } # Available for version >= 1.5