Sprockets for PHP
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What is Sprockets-PHP

Sprockets-PHP is a port of Sprockets, the well-known Asset Manager for Rails. Sprockets-PHP allows you to manage your assets by taking care of preprocessors, dependencies, minification and caching. The Asset Pipeline will read your main file (usually "application.js" or "application.css"), read directives, and apply filters for all the files. This is an example usage


 * (see the "directive syntax" section below)
 *= require jquery
 *= require lib/form
 *= require lib/inputs/{text,password}
 *= require_directory lib/loaders


class @Form
  @Inputs = {}
  constructor: ->
//= require /base-input


class @Form.BaseInput


class @Form.Inputs.Text extends @Form.BaseInput
  @type: 'Text'


class @Form.Inputs.Password extends @Form.BaseInput
  @type = 'Password'
  -> console.log <[base password]>

It's primarily meant to deal with JS and CSS but can as well be used for HTML (HAML, Twig, Slim...). You can add your own filters in a very flexible way (see below).

How can I use it ?!

You have to create an instance of Sprockets\Pipeline. The argument is the array of "base paths" from where the Pipeline has to search files.

If you want to call directly the Pipeline, you can then do $pipeline($asset_type). For example $pipeline('css');. The framework will load application.css in one of the base paths. This file must contain "directives", like Sprockets's one.

// require your autoloader

// read paths.json - see below
// you can of course pass a normal array !
$paths = str_replace('%template%', 'MyTemplate', file_get_contents('paths.json'));
$paths = json_decode($paths, true);

// create a pipeline
$pipeline = new Sprockets\Pipeline($paths);

// finds `application.css` in the paths
echo $pipeline('css');

// uses `layout.css`
echo $pipeline('css', 'layout');

// same as the first example, but will cache it into a file
$cache = new Sprockets\Cache($pipeline, 'css', $vars = array(), $options = array());
// $options you can pass :
// `minify` whether you want to minify the output or not
// - `.js` : Minified through [Esmangle](https://github.com/Constellation/esmangle)
// - `.css` : Minified through [Clean-CSS](https://github.com/GoalSmashers/clean-css)
$content = $cache->getContent();
$filename = (string) $cache;
$filename = $cache->getFilename();

Asset Paths

The asset paths are divided by "modules" to be as flexible as it can :

  "template": {
    "directories": [
    "prefixes": {
      "js": "javascripts",
      "css": "stylesheets",
      "img": "images",
      "font": "fonts"
  "external": {
    "directories": [

You have 2 keys in each modules : the directories, which list directories where the Pipeline must search files, and prefixes, which will append the path for the extension to the directory (ie a js file will get javascripts/ appended to its paths).

For example, if we run $pipeline('js'), the pipeline will try to find the following files :

  • app/themes/%template%/assets/javascripts/application.js (%template% being replaced in the example above)
  • app/themes/_shared/assets/javascripts/application.js
  • lib/assets/javascripts/application.js
  • vendor/assets/javascripts/application.js
  • vendor/bower/application.js
  • vendor/components/application.js

This example file, allowing to use a Rails-like javascripts/ directory for js file gracefully, also supports //= require jquery/jquery to find vendor/bower/jquery/jquery.js

Only the "meaningful" extension matters (using a whitelist).

 * for example
 *= require datatables/js/jquery.dataTables
 * will find correctly the file named
 * "vendor/bower/datatables/js/jquery.dataTables.js.coffee"
 * and the "coffee" filter will be correctly applied.


Here are the options and their default values :

      'NODE_PATH' => 'node',
      'NPM_PATH' => __DIR__ . '/../../node_modules/',
      'CACHE_DIRECTORY' => 'cache/',

Just pass them along in paths.


Something to note : even if you're not using Sprockets\Cache, the asset pipeline will keep a file list cache in your cache directory, to speed up path lookups.

Directive Syntax

There are three supported syntaxs at this moment.

//= only for js
#= only for js
 *= for any

Supported Directives

The directives disponibles are : require, require_directory, require_tree and depends_on


Requires a file directly, from the relative path OR one of the base path. You can also give a directory name, if this directory has a file named "index.$type" (here, "index.css") in. This directive supports bracket expansion.


Requires each file of the directory. Not recursive.


Recursively requires each file of the directory tree.


Adds the file to the dependencies, even if the file isn't included. For example, in application.css

//= depends_on image.png
//= depends_on layout

If this file change, the whole stylesheet (and the dependencies) will be recompiled (this is meant for inlining of some preprocessors).


The available filters are :

Languages :

JavaScript :

Stylesheet :

Html :

  • .haml : Haml (through MtHaml, upon which you can build a Twig version, for example)

Adding filter is very easy (to create a .twig filter or a .md, for example). Just add it to the pipeline :

$pipeline->registerFilter('md', 'My\Markdown\Parser');

You must implement an interface like \Sprockets\Filter\Interface :

interface Interface
	 * @return string processed $content
	public function __invoke($content, $file, $dir, $vars);

You can also inherit Sprockets\Filter\Base which gives you access to :

  • $this->pipeline current pipeline instance
  • $this->processNode() passing an argument array, auto-quoted, like this : array('modulename/bin/mod', '-c', $file)) Note that the first argument gets the NODE_MODULES_PATH prepended automatically.

Running Tests

To run the tests you need to first install the dependencies. You do this via composer with the following command:

php composer.phar install

Once that is done you just need to run the "index.php" file in the test directory. The easiest way to do this is to use the built-in PHP webserver.

cd test
php -S localhost:5000

Then in your web browser visit:


Alternatively you can just run the tests from the command line although the output will contain a few HTML tags:

cd test
php index.php