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* Lithium: the most rad php framework
* @copyright Copyright 2011, Union of RAD (
* @license The BSD License
namespace lithium\action;
use lithium\util\Inflector;
use lithium\action\DispatchException;
* The `Controller` class is the fundamental building block of your application's request/response
* cycle. Controllers are organized around a single logical entity, usually one or more model
* classes (i.e. `lithium\data\Model`) and are tasked with performing operations against that
* entity.
* Each controller has a series of 'actions' which are defined as class methods of the `Controller`
* classes. Each action has a specific responsibility, such as listing a set of objects, updating an
* object, or deleting an object.
* A controller object is instantiated by the `Dispatcher` (`lithium\action\Dispatcher`), and is
* given an instance of the `lithium\action\Request` class, which contains all necessary request
* state, including routing information, `GET` & `POST` data, and server variables. The controller
* is then invoked (using PHP's magic `__invoke()` syntax), and the proper action is called,
* according to the routing information stored in the `Request` object.
* A controller then returns a response (i.e. using `redirect()` or `render()`) which includes HTTP
* headers, and/or a serialized data response (JSON or XML, etc.) or HTML webpage.
* For more information on returning serialized data responses for web services, or manipulating
* template rendering from within your controllers, see the settings in `$_render` and the
* `lithium\net\http\Media` class.
* @see lithium\net\http\Media
* @see lithium\action\Dispatcher
* @see lithium\action\Controller::$_render
class Controller extends \lithium\core\Object {
* Contains an instance of the `Request` object with all the details of the HTTP request that
* was dispatched to the controller object. Any parameters captured in routing, such as
* controller or action name are accessible as properties of this object, i.e.
* `$this->request->controller` or `$this->request->action`.
* @see lithium\action\Request
* @var object
public $request = null;
* Contains an instance of the `Response` object which aggregates the headers and body content
* to be written back to the client (browser) when the result of the request is rendered.
* @see lithium\action\Response
* @var object
public $response = null;
* Lists the rendering control options for responses generated by this controller.
* - The `'type'` key is the content type that will be rendered by default, unless another is
* explicitly specified (defaults to `'html'`).
* - The `'data'` key contains an associative array of variables to be sent to the view,
* including any variables created in `set()`, or if an action returns any variables (as an
* associative array).
* - When an action is invoked, it will by default attempt to render a response, set the
* `'auto'` key to `false` to prevent this behavior.
* - If you manually call `render()` within an action, the `'hasRendered'` key stores this
* state, so that responses are not rendered multiple times, either manually or automatically.
* - The `'layout'` key specifies the name of the layout to be used (defaults to `'default'`).
* Typically, layout files are looked up as
* `<app-path>/views/layouts/<layout-name>.<type>.php`. Based on the default settings, the
* actual path would be `app/views/layouts/default.html.php`.
* - Though typically introspected from the action that is executed, the `'template'` key can be
* manually specified. This sets the template to be rendered, and is looked up (by default) as
* `<app-path>/views/<controller>/<action>.<type>.php`, i.e.:
* `app/views/posts/index.html.php`.
* - To enable automatic content-type negotiation (i.e. determining the content type of the
* response based on the value of the
* [HTTP Accept header](, set the
* `'negotiate'` flag to `true`. Otherwise, the response will only be based on the `type`
* parameter of the request object (defaulting to `'html'` if no type is present in the
* `Request` parameters).
* Keep in mind that most of these settings may be passed to `Controller::render()` as well. To
* change how these settings operate (i.e. template paths, default render settings for
* individual media types), see the `Media` class.
* @var array
* @see lithium\action\Controller::render()
* @see lithium\net\http\Media::type()
* @see lithium\net\http\Media::render()
protected $_render = array(
'type' => null,
'data' => array(),
'auto' => true,
'layout' => 'default',
'template' => null,
'hasRendered' => false,
'negotiate' => false
* Lists `Controller`'s class dependencies. For details on extending or replacing a class,
* please refer to that class's API.
* @var array
protected $_classes = array(
'media' => 'lithium\net\http\Media',
'router' => 'lithium\net\http\Router',
'response' => 'lithium\action\Response'
* Auto configuration properties.
* @var array
protected $_autoConfig = array('render' => 'merge', 'classes' => 'merge');
public function __construct(array $config = array()) {
$defaults = array(
'request' => null, 'response' => array(), 'render' => array(), 'classes' => array()
parent::__construct($config + $defaults);
protected function _init() {
$this->request = $this->request ?: $this->_config['request'];
$this->response = $this->_instance('response', $this->_config['response']);
if (!$this->request || $this->_render['type']) {
if ($this->_render['negotiate']) {
$this->_render['type'] = $this->request->accepts();
$this->_render['type'] = $this->request->type ?: 'html';
* Called by the Dispatcher class to invoke an action.
* @param object $request The request object with URL and HTTP info for dispatching this action.
* @param array $dispatchParams The array of parameters that will be passed to the action.
* @param array $options The dispatch options for this action.
* @return object Returns the response object associated with this controller.
* @todo Implement proper exception catching/throwing
* @filter This method can be filtered.
public function __invoke($request, $dispatchParams, array $options = array()) {
$render =& $this->_render;
$params = compact('request', 'dispatchParams', 'options');
return $this->_filter(__METHOD__, $params, function($self, $params) use (&$render) {
$request = $params['request'];
$dispatchParams = $params['dispatchParams'];
$options = $params['options'];
$action = isset($dispatchParams['action']) ? $dispatchParams['action'] : 'index';
$args = isset($dispatchParams['args']) ? $dispatchParams['args'] : array();
$result = null;
if (substr($action, 0, 1) == '_' || method_exists(__CLASS__, $action)) {
throw new DispatchException('Attempted to invoke a private method.');
if (!method_exists($self, $action)) {
throw new DispatchException("Action `{$action}` not found.");
$render['template'] = $render['template'] ?: $action;
if ($result = $self->invokeMethod($action, $args)) {
if (is_string($result)) {
$self->render(array('text' => $result));
return $self->response;
if (is_array($result)) {
if (!$render['hasRendered'] && $render['auto']) {
return $self->response;
* This method is used to pass along any data from the controller to the view and layout
* @param array $data sets of <variable name> => <variable value> to pass to view layer.
* @return void
public function set($data = array()) {
$this->_render['data'] = (array) $data + $this->_render['data'];
* Uses results (typically coming from a controller action) to generate content and headers for
* a `Response` object.
* @see lithium\action\Controller::$_render
* @param array $options An array of options, as follows:
* - `'data'`: An associative array of variables to be assigned to the template. These
* are merged on top of any variables set in `Controller::set()`.
* - `'head'`: If true, only renders the headers of the response, not the body. Defaults
* to `false`.
* - `'template'`: The name of a template, which usually matches the name of the action.
* By default, this template is looked for in the views directory of the current
* controller, i.e. given a `PostsController` object, if template is set to `'view'`,
* the template path would be `views/posts/view.html.php`. Defaults to the name of the
* action being rendered.
* The options specified here are merged with the values in the `Controller::$_render`
* property. You may refer to it for other options accepted by this method.
* @return void
public function render(array $options = array()) {
$media = $this->_classes['media'];
$class = get_class($this);
$name = preg_replace('/Controller$/', '', substr($class, strrpos($class, '\\') + 1));
$key = key($options);
if (isset($options['data'])) {
$defaults = array(
'status' => null,
'location' => false,
'data' => null,
'head' => false,
'controller' => Inflector::underscore($name)
$options += $this->_render + $defaults;
if ($key && $media::type($key)) {
$options['type'] = $key;
$this->_render['hasRendered'] = true;
$this->response->headers('Location', $options['location']);
if ($options['head']) {
$data = $this->_render['data'];
$data = (isset($data[0]) && count($data) == 1) ? $data[0] : $data;
$media::render($this->response, $data, $options + array('request' => $this->request));
* Creates a redirect response by calling `render()` and providing a `'location'` parameter.
* @see lithium\net\http\Router::match()
* @see lithium\action\Controller::$response
* @param mixed $url The location to redirect to, provided as a string relative to the root of
* the application, a fully-qualified URL, or an array of routing parameters to be
* resolved to a URL. Post-processed by `Router::match()`.
* @param array $options Options when performing the redirect. Available options include:
* - `'status'` _integer_: The HTTP status code associated with the redirect.
* Defaults to `302`.
* - `'head'` _boolean_: Determines whether only headers are returned with the
* response. Defaults to `true`, in which case only headers and no body are
* returned. Set to `false` to render a body as well.
* - `'exit'` _boolean_: Exit immediately after rendering. Defaults to `false`.
* Because `redirect()` does not exit by default, you should always prefix calls
* with a `return` statement, so that the action is always immediately exited.
* @return object Returns the instance of the `Response` object associated with this controller.
* @filter This method can be filtered.
public function redirect($url, array $options = array()) {
$router = $this->_classes['router'];
$defaults = array('location' => null, 'status' => 302, 'head' => true, 'exit' => false);
$options += $defaults;
$params = compact('url', 'options');
$this->_filter(__METHOD__, $params, function($self, $params) use ($router) {
$options = $params['options'];
$location = $options['location'] ?: $router::match($params['url'], $self->request);
$self->render(compact('location') + $options);
if ($options['exit']) {
return $this->response;
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