A basic decorator library for CodeIgniter
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This place is disgusting... you need a decorator up in here!

What It Is

A simple decorator library which allows you to remove a lot of data retrieval from your controllers and unnecessary logic from your views. It gives you one place to retrieve and prep data which drastically cleans up your controllers and views. This means:

  • No more mucking up your controllers with calls to your model to retrieve data.
  • No more conditionals in your views to see if certain attributes are set or not.

How It Works

Create the directory application/decorators and place a file in there for each data type you want to create a decorator for. Chances are you will want to have a decorator for each model. Make sure to add the _decorator extension to the file name.

File Name: application/decorators/users_decorator.php

Inside the decorator, add methods for retrieving and prepping data.

class Users_decorator extends CI_Decorator {

	public function __construct()

	public function info($user_id)
		$user = $this->user_model->find($user_id);

		if ($user->name == '') $user->name = 'N/A';
		if ($user->email == '') $user->email = 'None';
		if ($user->phone == '') $user->phone = 'None';

		$view_data->user = $user;

In this decorator you can see that we have removed the data retrieval from the controller ($user = $this->user_model->find()) and the conditionals from the view (if ($user->name == '') $user->name = 'N/A').

You also probably noticed that we aren't returning any data and are just setting our prepped data to the user attribute of the view_data variable. $view_data is a class var of CI_Decorator which is automatically returned to the decorate() method. You can return data manually (i.e. return $view_data) or just set it and forget it!

In your controller, just make a call to the library. I usually call it where I load my views.

$this->load->view('users/view', $this->decorator->decorate('users', 'info', $user_id));

Tip: You may pass a single value as the 3rd argument as a parameter to be passed to the decorator, or you can pass an array of params.

The library will try to guess what decorator you want to call by using the controller and method requested, otherwise you can specify the decorator you want to use in the first parameter and the method in the second parameter of decorate() (i.e. $this->decorator->decorate('users', 'info', $params) will call the info method from the users decorator).

Now in your views you can just call the user attributes without having to clutter it up with conditionals for prepping your data. This is very basic example, but you could do a lot more with this.

That's all there is to it!

Future Development

If you find a bug or would like to request a feature, please submit them in the issue tracker. I haven't contributed much to the CodeIgniter community, so I'm very open to suggestions on how to improve this code.

Right now this is kind of a half-baked idea that I threw together mostly because I wanted to try creating a spark. I've been using it on a couple of my projects and it has really helped clean up my code, but I know there is a lot of room for improvement.