Posts tagged 'zf'

Honeypot for Zend Framework

published on April 21, 2010.

I just hacked up a little code snippet based on Matthew’s Honeypot Wordpress plugin. It’s basically just a Validator for a Zend Form element which is hidden from the user via CSS. Cause it’s hidden, users won’t see it, but spambots will, well, cause they are bots.

If the element is left empty, it’s valid, otherwise it’s not.

So, here’s the code:

class App_Validate_Honeypot extends Zend_Validate_Abstract
    const SPAM = 'spam';

    protected $_messageTemplates = array(
        self::SPAM => "I think you're a spambot. Sorry."

    public function isValid($value, $context=null)
        $value = (string)$value;

        if(is_string($value) and $value == ''){
            return true;

        return false;

I add the element to the form like this:

        'label' => 'Honeypot',
        'required' => false,
        'class' => 'honeypot',
        'decorators' => array('ViewHelper'),
        'validators' => array(
                'validator' => 'Honeypot'

There. Done.

Happy hackin’!

Chaining routes in Zend Framework

published on November 27, 2009.

On a forum, there was a question today, about adding language “support” to the routes using Zend Framework. The guy wanted routes like /en/foo/bar or /de/baz. I wrote there an example for that using Zend_Router_Routes_Chain, so just posting that example here, too :)

For what chains are for, is described in the manual, so I won’t be covering that :P

Basically, we’re prepending the language route to the other routes. This way, we have defined the route for the languages in one place only, plus, the other routes don’t have to worry about the language, too.

// this goes in the bootstrap class
public function _initRoutes()
    $this->_frontController = $this->getResource('FrontController');
    $router = $this->_frontController->getRouter();

    $langRoute = new Zend_Controller_Router_Route(
            'lang' => 'en'
    $contactRoute = new Zend_Controller_Router_Route_Static(
        array('controller'=>'index', 'action'=>'contact')
    $defaultRoute = new Zend_Controller_Router_Route(

    $contactRoute = $langRoute->chain($contactRoute);
    $defaultRoute = $langRoute->chain($defaultRoute);

    $router->addRoute('langRoute', $langRoute);
    $router->addRoute('defaultRoute', $defaultRoute);
    $router->addRoute('contactRoute', $contactRoute);

Assuming that we have an Index controller, with actions index and contact and a Foo controller with actions index and bar, paired with the routes from the above example, we could do requests like:

/ => /index/index/lang/en
/de => /index/index/lang/de
/sr/contact => /index/contact/lang/sr
/en/foo => /foo/index/lang/en
/fr/foo/bar => /foo/bar/lang/fr

Requesting a page like, e.g. /de/baz, would give us a 404 page, cause we don’t have a Baz controller.

HTH :)

Happy hacking!

Zend Framework bug hunt days

published on November 22, 2009.

On the 19th and 20th of this month, the third Zend Framework Bug Hunt days were held. I joined the party for the first time and I say, it was a jolly good one!

It was announced on Zend DevZone after which Pádraic wrote a nice and detailed Guide To Zend Framework Bug Hunt Days (I think I read on IRC that there’ll be a Bug Hunt Day FAQ, too). I decided to try and give back to the community as much as I can. OK, it wasn’t much - submitted a patch for an issue and closed another which was lacking information - but hey! I think it was pretty good for a noob bug hunter like me :P The only downside for me is it that it’s held on Thursdays and Fridays, which means I can join up only after work. Blah.

All in all - more than 130 closed issues - w00t!

So yep, see you all in December on the fourth Bug Hunt days ;)

Happy hacking!

Tags: bug, framework, hunt, zend, zf.
Categories: Development, Programming.

Zend Framework 1.8 Web Application Development book review

published on November 17, 2009.

A few days ago I finished reading Keith Pope's book titled “Zend Framework 1.8 Web Application Development”, so, after letting it “rest” in my mind for a while, here are my thoughts on it…

First, I must point out the “language” of the book - I was expecting a text that’s hard to follow, that’s full of words and sentences requiring at least two dictionaries by my side to help me out (hey, English is not my first language!), but, it was quite an easy and, if I may add, an enjoyable read.

If you think, that you’re just gonna sit down, read the book and know all about Zend Framework, boy you’re wrong! Yes, the book explains a lot, but you’ll still need to follow the example codes along the way and play with them to get really familiar with ZF.

The book starts off with a basic application (yep, “Hello world!"), explains the bootstrapping, configuring, working with action controllers, views and handling errors… The second chapter continues with explaining the MVC architecture, the front controller, router, dispatcher… It even has a nice flowchart about the whole dispatch process, great stuff.

From chapter 3 to chapter 12, the author is taking you through a process of building a web application – from creating the basic directory structure, over the hardcore programming stuff to the optimizing/testing part. Chapter 4 gives a rather good explanation on the “Fat Model Skinny Controller” concept; chapter 8 deals with authentication and authorization; chapter 11 takes care of the optimization.

At last, my favourite part of the book is when the author has several “ways out of a problem”, he tells the good and the bad sides of each, picks out the best one and explains why did he choose that particular one. I hate it when an author just simply says: “This is the right way, trust me.", without caring to explain why.

So, would I recommend this book to a friend who wants to start working with ZF? Absolutely.

Also, be sure to check out what Jani, Raphael, Rob and Sudheer have to say about this book (Jani’s and Rob’s reviews are not up yet, so I’m linking to their feeds!), too.

Happy reading! :)

Edit 2009., November 23rd: Added a link Sudheer’s post :)

Tags: book, framework, php, review, zend, zf.
Categories: Development, Programming.

Playing with Zend_Navigation and routes

published on August 09, 2009.

O hai. First things first - someone should slap me for being such a lazy blogger. Somehow I lost all the motivation I had in the beginning, but looks like it’s back now :) I finally had the time to play around with the latest Zend Framework version (v 1.9 now). I managed to skip the whole 1.8.x version, so this whole Zend_Application stuff is quite new to me. I spent a few days poking around the manual and the code to make it work. And it works! Yey for me! And yey for Rob Allen for his post on Bootstrapping modules in ZF 1.8!

Zend_Tool is an awesome tool. Creating a new project is like “zf create project project_name” :) And the new bootstrapping process with the Bootstrap class is somehow much clearer to me now… Anyways, lets skip to the code.

The goal

I wanted to set up routes in such way that when a user requests a page, all requests for non-existing controllers/modules are directed to a specific controller (not the error controller). In other words, if we have controllers IndexController, FooController and PageController, anything but and is directed to the PageController. This can be useful for CMSs or blogs to make pretty links. Here’s where the Zend_Controller_Router_Route_Regex stuff comes in:

$route = new Zend_Controller_Router_Route_Regex(
        'controller' => 'page',
        'action' => 'view',
        'slug' => null
        1 => 'slug',

$router->addRoute('viewPage', $route);

Basically the regex does the following: if it’s index or foo don’t match anything, thus calling up those controllers, in any other case match what’s requested and pass it to the PageController’s viewAction as the slug parameter. The fourth parameter, the ‘%s’, is needed so that ZF can rebuild the route in components like the Zend_Navigation.

Now, when the PageController, viewAction get’s called up, we can check, for example, if a page with that slug exists (like, in a database). If it exists, show the content, otherwise call up a 404 page with the error controller. In this fancy and sexy way we can call up pages without passing ID’s or even letting the user know what part of the website is working on his request. He just request’s and kaboom! he get’s the content :)

Page navigation

Oh the joy when I saw Zend_Navigation in the library! And it even includes view helpers to help us render links and menus and breadcrumbs! Yey! There are a several blog posts which go in details about Zend_Navigation, so I won’t be bothering with that. What I wanted to make with Zend_Navigation is to have a menu of all the pages rendered everywhere. Here’s where action helpers kick in. I made an action helper which makes up the structure of the links/pages. Something like this:

class Zend_Controller_Action_Helper_LinkStructure extends
function direct(){
$structure = array(
         'label'=>'Home page',
                                  'label'=>'Article 1',
                                  'label'=>'Article 2',
return new Zend_Navigation($structure);

This is a simple example of the structure; I’m actually making it out from the database, with all the categories, subcategories and pages.

Links everywhere

To have this menu on all pages, we need to render it in the layout.phtml. Rendering is quite simple:

// somewhere in layout.phtml
<?php echo $this->navigation()->menu(); ?>

Of course, we need to pass the menu to the navigation helper somehow. To avoid doing $this->navigation($this->_helper->linkStructure()); in all the controllers, we could do that once in the bootstrap (any other ways to make it happen?):

// in Bootstrap.php somewhere in the Bootstrap class
function _initView(){

        $view = new Zend_View();
        $view->headMeta()->appendHttpEquiv('Content-Type', 'text/html; charset=UTF-8');

        // our helper is in app/controllers/helpers folder, but ZF doesn't know that, so tell him
        // now get the helper
        $linkStructure = Zend_Controller_Action_HelperBroker::getStaticHelper('LinkStructure');
        // and assign it to the navigation helper

        $viewRenderer = Zend_Controller_Action_HelperBroker::getStaticHelper('ViewRenderer');

        return $view;

There. Now we have our menu rendered on all pages. Sexy isn’t it? :)

That’s it for now. Hope someone will find this useful :) Now I gotta go, need to get ready for a punk rock concert tonight!

Happy hacking!

Robert Basic

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