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A simple stateless production rules engine for PHP 5.3+
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README.markdown Consistent capitalization in README



Ruler is a simple stateless production rules engine for PHP 5.3+

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Ruler has a fairly straightforward DSL

... provided by the RuleBuilder:


$rb = new RuleBuilder;
$rule = $rb->create(
    function() {
        echo 'YAY!';

$context = new Context(array(
    'minNumPeople' => 5,
    'maxNumPeople' => 25,
    'actualNumPeople' => function() {
        return 6;

$rule->execute($context); // "Yay!"

Of course, if you're not into the whole brevity thing

... you can use it without a RuleBuilder:


$actualNumPeople = new Variable('actualNumPeople');
$rule = new Rule(
    new Operator\LogicalAnd(array(
        new Operator\LessThanOrEqualTo(new Variable('minNumPeople'), $actualNumPeople),
        new Operator\GreaterThanOrEqualTo(new Variable('maxNumPeople'), $actualNumPeople)
    function() {
        echo 'YAY!';

$context = new Context(array(
    'minNumPeople' => 5,
    'maxNumPeople' => 25,
    'actualNumPeople' => function() {
        return 6;

$rule->execute($context); // "Yay!"

But that doesn't sound too fun, does it?

Things you can do with your Ruler

Compare things


// These are Variables. They'll be replaced by terminal values during Rule evaluation.

$a = $rb['a'];
$b = $rb['b'];

// Here are bunch of Propositions. They're not too useful by themselves, but they
// are the building blocks of Rules, so you'll need 'em in a bit.

$a->greaterThan($b);          // true if $a > $b
$a->greaterThanOrEqualTo($b); // true if $a >= $b
$a->lessThan($b);             // true if $a < $b
$a->lessThanOrEqualTo($b);    // true if $a <= $b
$a->equalTo($b);              // true if $a == $b
$a->notEqualTo($b);           // true if $a != $b

Combine things


// Create a Rule with an $a == $b condition
$aEqualsB = $rb->create($a->equalTo($b));

// Create another Rule with an $a != $b condition
$aDoesNotEqualB = $rb->create($a->notEqualTo($b));

// Now combine them for a tautology!
// (Because Rules are also Propositions, they can be combined to make MEGARULES)
$eitherOne = $rb->create($rb->logicalOr($aEqualsB, $aDoesNotEqualB));

// Just to mix things up, we'll populate our evaluation context with completely
// random values...
$context = new Context(array(
    'a' => rand(),
    'b' => rand(),

// Hint: this is always true!

Combine more things


$rb->logicalNot($aEqualsB);                  // The same as $aDoesNotEqualB :)
$rb->logicalAnd($aEqualsB, $aDoesNotEqualB); // True if both conditions are true
$rb->logicalOr($aEqualsB, $aDoesNotEqualB);  // True if either condition is true
$rb->logicalXor($aEqualsB, $aDoesNotEqualB); // True if only one condition is true

evaluate and execute Rules

evaluate() a Rule with Context to figure out whether it is true.


$context = new Context(array('userName', function() {
    return isset($_SESSION['userName']) ? $_SESSION['userName'] : null;

$userIsLoggedIn = $rb->create($rb['userName']->notEqualTo(null));

if ($userIsLoggedIn->evaluate($context)) {
    // Do something special for logged in users!

If a Rule has an action, you can execute() it directly and save yourself a couple of lines of code.


$hiJustin = $rb->create(
    function() {
        echo "Hi, Justin!";

$hiJustin->execute($context);  // "Hi, Justin!"

Even execute a whole grip of Rules at once

$hiJon = $rb->create(
    function() {
        echo "Hey there Jon!";

$hiEveryoneElse = $rb->create(
        $rb->logicalNot($rb->logicalOr($hiJustin, $hiJon)), // The user is neither Justin nor Jon
        $userIsLoggedIn                                     // ... but a user nonetheless
    function() use ($context) {
        echo sprintf("Hello, %s", $context['userName']);

$rules = new RuleSet(array($hiJustin, $hiJon, $hiEveryoneElse));

// Let's add one more Rule, so non-authenticated users have a chance to log in
$redirectForAuthentication = $rb->create($rb->logicalNot($userIsLoggedIn), function() {
    header('Location: /login');


// Now execute() all true Rules.
// In this case, all of our Rules are mutually exclusive so at most one of them will execute...

Dynamically populate your evaluation Context

Several of our examples above use static values for the context Variables. While that's good for examples, it's not as useful in the Real World. You'll probably want to evaluate Rules based on all sorts of things...

You can think of the Context as a ViewModel for Rule evaluation. You provide the static values, or even code for lazily evaluating the Variables needed by your Rules.


$context = new Context;

// Some static values...
$context['reallyAnnoyingUsers'] = array('bobthecow', 'jwage');

// You'll remember this one from before
$context['userName'] = function() {
    return isset($_SESSION['userName']) ? $_SESSION['userName'] : null;

// Let's pretend you have an EntityManager named `$em`...
$context['user'] = function() use ($em, $context) {
    if ($userName = $context['userName']) {
        return $em->getRepository('Users')->findByUserName($userName);

$context['orderCount'] = function() use ($em, $context) {
    if ($user = $context['user']) {
        return $em->getRepository('Orders')->findByUser($user)->count();

    return 0;

Now you have all the information you need to make Rules based on Order count or the current User, or any number of other crazy things. I dunno, maybe this is for a shipping price calculator?

If the current User has placed 5 or more orders, but isn't "really annoying", give 'em free shipping.

But that's not all...

Check out the test suite for more examples (and some hot CS 320 combinatorial logic action).

Ruler is plumbing. Bring your own porcelain.

Ruler doesn't bother itself with where Rules come from. Maybe you have a RuleManager wrapped around an ORM or ODM. Perhaps you write a simple DSL and parse static files.

Whatever your flavor, Ruler will handle the logic.

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