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Plugin to add namespaces and REST routing to CFWheels

branch: develop
README.markdown

ColdRoute

Purpose

To bring Rails 3 route features and syntax to CFWheels, making namespaces and resources easy to use.

Installation

Just download the latest .zip file from the Downloads section of the project. Copy this file into the /plugins directory of your CFWheels project and reload your application.

Optionally, include jQuery 1.4.4+ and the jQuery UJS scripts to get data-method, data-confirm, and data-remote links working in your application: https://github.com/rails/jquery-ujs

You can also turn off CFWheels default wildcard routes by placing set(loadDefaultRoutes=false) in your settings.cfm file.

Note: I have just posted the latest .zip file for the plugin. I am making no guarantees on the stability of the code. Also, none of the namespace() features will work until I submit a patch to CFWheels to enabled complex controller paths.

Basics

ColdRoute enables HTTP verbs, scopes, namespaces, and resources in your routes.

  • HTTP Verbs are the method of each request sent over HTTP (i.e. GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE). They can be used to restrict route matches.
  • Scopes are routing settings that automatically apply to multiple routes.
  • Namespaces are scopes that force a prepended path to your routes and look for controllers in sub-folders
  • Resources are common routes for managing creation, update, and removal of an entity. They use paths combined with HTTP verbs to match routes.

Routes that are specified with HTTP verbs allow the a path to correspond to more than one route, depending on the verb used in the request.

Building Routes

After reloading your application, ColdRoute will be available to use in your /config/routes.cfm file. The route drawing process is triggered by calling drawRoutes(), chaining method calls, and then ending with a call to .end();

Simple routes

For simple routes you can use the match() method to define basic patterns that map to controllers and actions. By using the get(), post(), put(), or delete() helpers, you can create routes that only match specific HTTP verbs. If you prefer, you can just pass a list of HTTP verbs to the methods parameter of the match() method to have the same effect.

The root() method will create a route that matches an empty string (or the root of the site). By default, this route will match all HTTP verbs.

Common arguments for route creation functions:

  • name - a name for the created route. Will be used in path and URL view helpers. Does not have to be unique.
  • pattern - the pattern to match against a request's path. May use variables in square brackets per CFWheels documentation. Defaults to hyphenized name.
  • methods - list of HTTP verbs to be allowed for the route. method is an alias.
  • module - CFC path to be appended to controller name. Uses dot notation.
  • controller - controller that this route will map to.
  • action - action that this route will map to. Defaults to name.
  • to - shorthand way to specify controller and action separated by # character. (eg. items##index)

The wildcard() helper will create a set of routes that match any controller, action, or key. They are identical to the default CFWheels routes:

  • /[controller]/[action]/[key]
  • /[controller]/[action]
  • /[controller]

Scoping

When a set of routes share common arguments, it makes sense to use the family of scoping methods. The most basic scope is started by passing arguments to scope(), which will then take effect until end() is called. All routes nested between the opening and closing method calls will have the scoped arguments applied to them. The following arguments are allowed:

  • name - a route name prefix. Most of the time, it will be prepended to the name route argument.
  • path - a pattern string to be prepended to the pattern route argument.
  • module - a module to be prepended (through dot notation) to the module route argument.
  • controller - the controller to use in the nested routes. Can still be overridden.

Two common use cases are setting up many routes for a single controller, and creating a namespace with a sub-folder of controllers. Note that none of the scoping operations actually create routes. They just set up common arguments for routes created within the scope.

Controllers

The controller() scope helper allows for the controller, name, and path parameters to be set in a single call. The method takes controller as the first parameter, and defaults path and name to hyphenized and non-hyphenized values of controller, respectively.

So, calling controller("favoriteSites") is the same as calling scope(controller="favoriteSites", name="favoriteSites", pattern="favorite-sites").

Namespaces

The namespace() scope helpers allows for the module, name, and path parameters to be set in a single call. The method takes module as the first parameter, and defaults path and name to hyphenized and non-hyphenized values of module, respectively.

So, calling namespace("admin") is the same as calling scope(module="admin", name="admin", pattern="admin").

Remember that the module argument will be appended to the controller name used in nested routes. This means that if you create a route against the item controller, it will actually map to the admin.item controller. You would need to store this controller CFC at /controllers/admin/Item.cfc.

Resources

Documentation will be available soon.

View Helpers

Using the standard linkTo and urlFor link helpers will find the appropriate route for the controller and action passed in. However, another option is to use the ColdRoute path and URL helpers.

For each named route in your application, there will be two methods generated to assist you in using that route. For example, if a route is named items, then there will be itemsPath() and itemsUrl() methods generated for you. They will return relative and absolute URLs for that route, respectively.

Parameters

Any valid urlFor parameters may be passed into the path helpers, except route and onlyPath. There is an added bonus of automatically mapping unnamed arguments to the variables required for the route.

If you had a named route like get(name="editItemComment", pattern="/items/[itemKey]/comments/[key]/edit") in your routes file, then you could call editItemCommentPath(237, 15) to generate /items/237/comments/15/edit.

You do not even have to pass static values to the helpers. In fact, you can just as easily pass model objects: editItemCommentPath(item, comment). The path helper will call toParam() on any model objects that are passed in. toParam() defaults to calling the CFWheels key() method, but can be overridden in your model CFCs as needed.

HTTP verbs

Remember that routes can also require specific HTTP verbs to be correctly matched. You may notice that the path and URL helpers above only generate paths for routes. It is up to the developer to specify the correct HTTP method to use for forms and links.

However, most web browsers do not support the PUT or DELETE methods. There is special logic used in ColdRoute for determining the HTTP verb of the request which will allow a _method form parameter to override the HTTP verb, as long as the actual request is a POST.

For forms, you just have to pass a hidden field to override the method:

<form action="#updateItemPath(item)#" method="post">
    <input type="hidden" name="_method" value="put" />
    <!-- form fields -->
</form>

Links are a little more complex, since they cannot be forced to be POST requests. A good way to handle special links is to set a data-method attribute, and then bind the click action of the link to generate and submit a form with a hidden _method field. The jQuery UJS script will do this automatically for you.

<a href="#deleteItemPath(item)#" data-method="delete" data-confirm="Delete This Item?" rel="nofollow">Delete</a>

Or, using the ColdRoute linkTo overrides:

#linkTo(text="Delete", href=deleteItemPath(item), method="delete", confirm="Delete This Item?")# 

Example Routes

Note: This can be greatly improved through the use of resources, which will be covered in the future.

drawRoutes()

    // administration side
    .namespace("admin")
        .controller("blog")
            .get("new")
            .post("create")
            .get(name="show", pattern="show/[key]")
            .get(name="edit", pattern="edit/[key]")
            .put(name="update", pattern="update/[key]")
            .delete(name="delete", pattern="delete/[key]")
            .root(action="index")
        .end()
    .end()

    // public side
    .controller("blog")
        .get(name="show", pattern="[key]")
        .root(action="index")
    .end()

    // default routes
    .wildcard()
    .root(to="blog##index")
.end();

This would create the following routes:

  • GET /admin/blog/new => admin.blog#new
  • POST /admin/blog/create => admin.blog#create
  • GET /admin/blog/show/[key] => admin.blog#show
  • GET /admin/blog/edit/[key] => admin.blog#edit
  • PUT /admin/blog/update/[key] => admin.blog#update
  • DELETE /admin/blog/delete/[key] => admin.blog#delete
  • /admin/blog => admin.blog#index
  • GET /blog/[key] => blog#show
  • GET /blog => blog#index
  • /[controller]/[action]/[key] => [controller]#[action]
  • /[controller]/[action] => [controller]#[action]
  • /[controller] => [controller]#index
  • / => blog#index

More documentation to come...

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