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!

» Visit the project on Github...

One thought on “Simple PHP virtual page framework

  1. As with the code I’ve released previously, I have found myself cutting and pasting this code about the place again and again, so I’ve packaged up my simple PHP template framework and stuck it on github.
    This library comes complete with a basic HTML5, JSON, and JSONP templates, that you can extend and override, making the development of web applications (hopefully) slightly easier. It does for me at any rate, because I really hate repeating myself!
    The default template engine provided by this library – the Basic template – should be fairly familiar to anyone who’s used Elgg or similar systems.
    You initialise it with a set of template base paths (“base” provides a basic HTML5 hierachy). If you pass an array to the constructor, each array overrides the one preceding it, and so you can replace some functionality (for example providing a bootstrap layout) without having to replace everything.
    Views are in a file hierarchy off of [basepath]/[template_type]/path/to/view.php, and are named simply as the path without the base gumph (in the example I give in the docs, this view would be ‘path/to/view’).
    HTML5 versions of pages are in the /default/ template type branch, but the basic template comes with json and jsonp encoding of the pages, you can specify which template to use at runtime by passing the _vt=[branch] variable on the GET line, or from within your program code.
    The basic template also makes a call to the simple event dispatcher before and after a given view is generated, passing “view:[viewname with colons instead of slashes]” as the namespace and either “prepend” or “extend” as the event, together with an array of all the variables passed to the view.
    So, to listen to my documented example, you’d listen for events on “view:path:to:view” and either “prepend” or “extend”, echoing any extra stuff you want.
    Anyway, hopefully this’ll be useful to someone!
    » Visit the project on Github…

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