So, another in a series of posts where I package up some code I often use into a reusable library, let me introduce a simple PHP library for creating virtual pages.

Virtual pages are pages on a website that are generated in code, and are sent to the client’s browser, but don’t correspond directly to a physical file. This process requires mod_rewrite on Apache, but similar functionality exists in other web servers.

Defining your endpoint

You must specify your endpoint, and then a handling function. This function can be anything callable; functions, methods or an enclosure.

Writing your endpoint handler

You then trigger the handled pages by writing a page handler, and then directing Apache to redirect unhandled requests to this endpoint.

Example endpoint:

And your redirect code:

Hopefully this’ll be useful to someone!

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Following from a similar post, where I packaged up my standard web services libraries to avoid repeating myself, I decided to do the same for Events and triggers.

Events provide a very powerful, flexible and simple way of providing hooks for other code to attach to, in a loosely coupled way. I’ve been using event driven development in my PHP code for years, way back since the first days of Elgg. In Elgg, events and triggers proved to be one of the frameworks most powerful, and a major factor in its success, allowing plugin developers to easily change core functionality without changing a line of core code.

Anyway, I’ve used Events in one form or another in pretty much every framework since, and I’ve found myself increasingly cutting and pasting code around, so I figured it’d be sensible to package this up into a reusable library as well. Although it is designed to be simple, the library is pretty powerful.

One particularly useful feature is that event listeners can include regexp!

Triggering an event…

If you were writing a framework that had users for example, and you wanted to allow plugin authors to hook in and do something when a new user is created, you might do something like this in your registration code…

Listening to an event…

So, if you wanted to listen to the user creation event inside your plugin…

You can replace any part of the $namespace or $event string in Events::register (‘user‘ and ‘create‘ respectively in the example above) with regular expression. So, you could, for example, replace ‘user‘ with ‘*‘ to listen with any create event.

Code on GitHub, have fun!

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I have been involved in a whole bunch of projects, both professionally and personally, which require interacting with third party APIs by calling web service endpoints.

I had to do this a lot, and essentially I found myself cutting and pasting the same bits of code about from project to project. This is obviously bad, so I took the time one morning to wrap up the code into a reusable library, and as a good open source citizen, I stuck it on Github.

Example usage

The library lets you specify an web service object, and bind it to an endpoint. You can then talk to this object and get various PHP data structures back.

Currently I’ve only written a JSON endpoint object, but it’d be easy enough to define classes to handle other formats.

e.g.

Enjoy!

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