Deleting the View and Controller..

Published 2011-12-15 00:00:00
This is NOT a post for people who do not use MVC, Please delete your code, and write it properly.. Anyway, as anybody who has used or written a reasonable framework in PHP knows, MVC is pretty much the golden rule for implementation. There are a dozen frameworks out their based around the principles, with different levels of complexity.

My own framework was designed around those principles, and for many years worked perfectly for those classic display a crap load of HTML pages using information from a database. The Model (DB_DataObject's), View (HTML_Template_Flexy) and Controller (classes that extend HTML_FlexyFramework_Page) delivered pages. Designing sites basically involved gluing all these pieces together. As the sites grew over time, shared code usually ended up in the Models, and each page had a controller which might render the share templates. All was well, and code was reasonably easy to maintain and extend.

Now however almost all the projects I've worked on in the last few years use the Roo Javascript library (the ExtJS fork), and are built ontop of the Pman components (originally a project management tool, that grew into a whole kit of parts).  One of the key changes in the way the code is written, is how little code is now done to get the information from the database to the end user.

Obviously the whole HTML templating is been thrown out the window, (other than the first primary HTML page), the whole user interface is built with Javascript, and generated by User interface builder tools. The interaction of the interface is handled by signals (listeners) on the Roo Javascript components. These in turn call the Back end (PHP code) and almost always retrieve JSON encoded data, and that is rendered using the UI toolkit.

When I first started moving to this development model, I tended to retain the previous idea of having multiple controllers to handle the Select/Create/Update/Delete  actions, as time went rather than have multiple controllers for each of those actions, I would use a single controller to manage a single Model entity (like Product). POST would always update/modify the model, and GET would always just view and query the data.

Eventually I realized that since all these controllers where essentially doing the same thing, a single generic controller should be able to do everything that all these single controllers where doing. And so was born the Pman_Roo class.

So Basically {index.php}/Roo/{TableName} provides generic database access, for the whole application. Most code development on the PHP side is now contained within the DataObject Models. This greatly enhances code reuse as similar code ends up closer together, Unlike before where shared code was moved from the controllers to the model when necessary, now most of the code starts off in the model. This speed project development up considerably not to mention the huge savings of not having to try and manipulate data into HTML.

How does it work.


A GET or POST request is recieved by the server either from Roo's Form/Grid/Tree or directly by Pman.Request(), a handy wrapper arround Roo.Ajax, that handles error messages nicely.

The  request {index.php}/Roo/{TableName} checks that the tablename is valid, then goes on to do the following actions depending on the params supplied. The documentation in the Pman_Roo class is the most up-to-date documentation. and details what calls are made (if available) on the relivant dataobject.

Using the class, it is now possible to handle pretty much any Database related query without implement any controller, and easily managing data permissions.

Snapshot of current documentation is in the extended view.. (latest will be in the source)

 
     /**
     * GET method   Roo/TABLENAME
     *
     * Generally for SELECT or Single SELECT
     *
     * Single SELECT:
     *    _id=value          single fetch based on primary id.
     *    lookup[key]=value  single fetch based on a single key value lookup.
     *                       multiple key/value can be used. eg. ontable+onid..
     *    _columns           what to return.
     *
     *    
     * Search SELECT
     *    COLUMNS to fetch
     *      _columns=a,b,c,d     comma seperated list of columns.
     *      _distinct=name        a distinct column lookup.
     *
     *    WHERE 
     *       !colname=....                 => colname != ....
     *       !colname[0]=... !colname[1]=... => colname NOT IN (.....) ** only supports main table at present..
     *       colname[0]=... colname[1]=... => colname IN (.....) ** only supports main table at present..
     *
     *    ORDER BY
     *       sort=name          what to sort.
     *       sort=a,b,d         can support multiple columns
     *       dir=ASC            what direction
     *       _multisort ={...}  JSON encoded { sort : { row : direction }, order : [ row, row, row ] }
     *
     *    LIMIT
     *      start=0         limit start
     *      limit=25        limit number 
     * 
     * 
     *    Simple CSV support
     *      csvCols[0] csvCols[1]....    = .... column titles for CSV output
     *      csvTitles[0], csvTitles[1] ....  = columns to use for CSV output
     *
     *  Depricated  
     *      _toggleActive !:!:!:! - this hsould not really be here..
     *      query[add_blank] - add a line in with an empty option...  - not really needed???
     *
     * DEBUGGING
     *  _post      = simulate a post with debuggin on.
     *  _delete    = delete a list of ids element. (depricated.. this will be removed...)
     *
     *
     *
     * CALLS methods on dataobjects if they exist
     *   checkPerm('S' , $authuser)
     *                      - can we list the stuff
     *                      - return false to disallow...
     *   applySort($au, $sortcol, $direction, $array_of_columns, $multisort)
     *                     -- does not support multisort at present..
     *   applyFilters($_REQUEST, $authUser, $roo)
     *                     -- apply any query filters on data. and hide stuff not to be seen.
     *                     -- can exit by calling $roo->jerr()
     *   postListExtra($_REQUEST) : array(extra_name => data)
     *                     - add extra column data on the results (like new messages etc.)
     *   postListFilter($data, $authUser, $request) return $data
     *                      - add extra data to an object
     * 
     *   toRooSingleArray($authUser, $request) : array
     *                       - called on single fetch only, add or maniuplate returned array data.
     *   toRooArray($request) : array
     *                      - called if singleArray is unavailable on single fetch.
     *                      - always tried for mutiple results.
     *   autoJoin($request) 
     *                      - standard DataObject feature - causes all results to show all
     *                        referenced data.
     */


  /**
     * POST method   Roo/TABLENAME  
     * -- INSERTs, UPDATEs, or DELETEs data.
     *
     * INSERT
     *    if the primary key is empty, this happens
     *    will automatically set these to current date and authUser->id
     *        created, created_by, created_dt
     *        updated, update_by, updated_dt
     *        modified, modified_by, modified_dt
     *        
     *   will return a GET request SINGLE SELECT (and accepts same)
     *    
     * DELETE
     *    _delete=1,2,3     delete a set of data.
     * UPDATE
     *    if the primary key value is set, then update occurs.
     *    will automatically set these to current date and authUser->id
     *        updated, update_by, updated_dt
     *        modified, modified_by, modified_dt
     *        
     *
     * Params:
     *   _delete=1,2,3   causes a delete to occur.
     *   _ids=1,2,3,4    causes update to occur on all primary ids.
     *  
     *  RETURNS
     *     = same as single SELECT GET request..
     *
     *
     *
     * DEBUGGING
     *   _debug=1    forces debug
     *   _get=1 - causes a get request to occur when doing a POST..
     *
     *
     * CALLS
     *   these methods on dataobjects if they exist
     * 
     *   checkPerm('E' / 'D' , $authuser)
     *                      - can we list the stuff
     *                      - return false to disallow...
   
     *   toRooSingleArray($authUser, $request) : array
     *                       - called on single fetch only, add or maniuplate returned array data.
     *   toRooArray($request) : array
     *                      - Called if toSingleArray does not exist.
     *                      - if you need to return different data than toArray..
     *
     *   toEventString()
     *                  (for logging - this is generically prefixed to all database operations.)
     *
     *  
     *   onUpload($roo)
     *                  called when $_FILES is not empty
     *
     *                  
     *   setFromRoo($ar, $roo)
     *                      - alternative to setFrom() which is called if this method does not exist
     *                      - values from post (deal with dates etc.) - return true|error string.
     *                      - call $roo->jerr() on failure...
     *
     * CALLS BEFORE change occurs:
     *  
     *     beforeDelete($dependants_array, $roo)
     *                      Argument is an array of un-find/fetched dependant items.
     *                      - jerr() will stop insert.. (Prefered)
     *                      - return false for fail and set DO->err;
     *                      
     *      beforeUpdate($old, $request,$roo)
     *                      - after update - jerr() will stop insert..
     *      beforeInsert($request,$roo)
     *                      - before insert - jerr() will stop insert..
     *
     * CALLS AFTER change occured
     * 
     *      onUpdate($old, $request,$roo)
     *               - after update // return value ignored
     *
     *      onInsert($request,$roo)
     *                  - after insert
     * 
     *
     * 
     */                     
     

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