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PHP-SFW is an Object-Oriented PHP framework. It provide lot of utilities for a powerfull databases managing. Since 1.1.0 work with routes and had default pages, prototype access and more !

This README is currently written for version v1.2.0.


  1. Install SFW
  2. Default working directory
  3. Understanding Resources Handling
  4. Routes
  5. Pages & Templates
  6. Config
  7. Languages
  8. Database
  9. Prototype website

1) Install SFW

This framework can only work using the composer PHP package manager, check here for more informations about it.

Once you've learned the basics of composer, install the PHP-SFW package using composer require mindstorm38/php-sfw ^1.1.0.

Then, you can initialize the default website document root (also named 'working directory' in this doc) by adding a script in your composer configuration named - for example - sfw-website-init and executing the PHP method SFW\Composer::composer_init_wd. If you don't know how to do that, check out that. The script entry must be - using the name previously chosen - (in 'scripts' object) "sfw-website-init" : "SFW\\Composer::composer_init_wd".

Run the installer with composer run-script sfw-website-init, it is interactive. Just for information, the "application path" that is requested is the document root of Apache (or NGINX).

2) Default working directory

The extracted working directory contains by default :

  • langs : Languages files used by the Lang module.
  • src/lib : All php classes for your project, you must add a PSR-4 (or other type of SPL class loading) section pointing to it in your composer.json
  • src/pages/ : All pages of your website.
  • src/templates/ : All base templates of your website.
  • .htaccess The apache configuration file, not valid for NGINX but the contribution of NGINX developers would be welcome.
  • common.php The file that load composer autoloader and starting application at each client request (if using default 'routes' system).

The generated common.php is pre-configurated using informations given to the interactive installer. You can now register all needed routes and pages/templates.

By default this file start the application by initalizing all directories and ResourceHandlers, after this method you can register all you customized pages and routes.

The main namespace of the framework is SFW\.

3) Understanding Resources Handling

Understanding the notion of resource or resource directory is very important for understanding the rest of the documentation.

The Core class has a list of ResourceHandler, an handler contains a base directory and have two methods to get directories and files rela paths if they exists relatively to the base directory.

By default there is a resource handler pointing to the base directory of your application (given in 'start_application' parameters) and one pointing to the mindstorm38/php-sfw package directory in vendor. This allows SFW to create defaults pages, templates and static resources.

The last added resource handler has priority and, depending on the used method, overwrite SFW sources.

4) Routes

In most web frameworks, there is a notion of route, routes are used to execute a controller according to the requested URL path.

There is two types of routes, normal routes, and filter routes. If a normal route is validated, then all filters routes are tested in registering order and can know what kind of normal route have been validated, they can stop it action and execute another normal controller, or just do nothing.

To add route, use Core::add_route. To optimize a maximum, create your own routes extending Route or FilterRoute class.

• ExactRoute

An ExactRoute just check if the given path at instantiation correspond to the request path.

By default an ExactRoute with empty path / route to default home page.

• TemplateRoute

TemplateRoute is used to create custom path with blank value for passing arguments to the route callback.

Blank pattern are defined like this {<type>[idx]} where type defined accepted character category and idx the index of the parsed variable in the callback variales array.

Pattern types :

  • a : For letters and numerals
  • n : For numerals
  • z : For letters only

If no index specified, index is equals to the last pattern index + 1.

You can use only one pattern for each path directory with a string before and after it. For exemple dir/test{n0}/{n} is valid but dir/ok/{a0}test{n1} is invalid.

• StaticRoute

A StaticRoute is used to access resources. For example if base path is static and static/styles/foo.css requested, the variables array given to the callback contains the path styles/foo.css.

By default a StaticRoute with base path of static is added (and mandatory to default SFW pages).

• QueryRoute

The QueryRoute just avoid using a TemplateRoute <base_dir>/{a}.

By default a query route with base directory query is created.

5) Pages and Templates

Pages and templates are stored in src/pages and src/templates under resource handlers base paths. Place their files inside a directory named by their identifier.

Templates can be used as base for multiple pages and defined using Core::set_page_template method.

In both pages and templates scripts, a variable $page is defined to a Page instance and can be used to require template or page part.

By default, SFW provide a template sfw and two pages error & home associated to them.

6) Config

Configuration of SFW website is stored on config.json under application root directory. This use the Config class and the method Config::get to get a value (learn more in the documented code).

7) Languages

Languages use the Lang class and stored in langs directory under each resource handlers. Each language is defined by a file following the pattern <lang>_<contry>.lang. A language file is a collection of language entry, an entry must follow the pattern <name>=<text> and lines starting with a # are not took into account.

Only language defined in the langs.json file are computed and registered, take a look at SFW sources for understanding this file.

Languages are not overwritten if defined in both application and SFW resource handler but merged.

8) Database

Database managing is one of the main utilities in SFW. Currently, it is only possible to connect to one MySQL database. Configuration for database connection are configurable in config.json.

You can use the following classes for managing your tables :

  • Database : Main class used to prepare request, fetch... (more information in documented code)
  • UIDBaseClass : An abstract class to implement in classes if you have a uid field in your table class (see before).
  • UIDLazyInstance : A lazy loading value to get or set an other object that implement UIDBaseClass from an uid stored in another table class.

It is recommended to use the class fetching system, to do that you have to create table class where all needed table column are represented by property of the same name. To manage that, you can create static class (named for example 'Manager') where you put all SQL request method you need.

In earlier versions, it was not possible to easily create your own SQL queries. It was mandatory to uses classes SQLManager, SQLSerializable, TableDefinition & TableManager.

Now these classes are depreciated.

9) Prototype website

Framework configuration allows you to make your site a prototype by restricting its access using prototype:enabled configuration value.

If you enable prototyping, access credentials will then be requested to access the entire site, these are specified in the prototype:users configuration section. In this section, keys are usernames and values their password, passwords can be left empty, but otherwise the password must be encoded in SHA-256.