A basic MVC system to use and extend easily.

dev-dev 2016-01-02 12:46 UTC

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Last update: 2024-02-17 15:04:42 UTC


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An easy-to-use and light-weight (around 1Mo with default dependencies) MVC system to build simple web-apps.


Add the package to your Composer requirements:

"require": {
    "your/depdencies": "*",
    "atelierspierrot/mvc-fundamental": "dev-master"

Please note that this application requires PHP version 5.4 or higher.


The idea of this package is to build a simple web-app easily and quickly, with as few lines of code as possible on a robust basic architecture.

The default system embeds all basic "MVC web-app" objects: a FrontController receives a Request and ask to a Router the action to launch matching a specific Route ; the action is often a Controller's method (but not necessary) that generates an output using a TemplateEngine ; finally, the FrontController returns a Response.

All of these objects are overwritable but the whole application is designed to use some API interfaces defined in the \MVCFundamental\Interfaces namespace. Your custom objects MUST implement one of these interfaces (a good practice could be to extend the default objects).

Quick start

The front controller

The entry point is to create a FrontController object with a set of options (if wanted):

$app = \MVCFundamental\FrontController::getInstance( array $options );

See the options section below for a full review of possible options.

The front controller creates an AppKernel instance to handle all the app core logic such as a dependencies container, the error management etc. Some shortcut aliases are defined in the front controller itself to let you retrieve a dependency using:

$route = $app->get( 'router' );
$route = $app->set( 'request' , new Request );

Once your configuration and routing are defined, just call the run() method to let the front controller distribute the request:



Your real application logic resides in the routes you define and corresponding callbacks. The internal Router will try to fetch the correct callback according to the request and your routes definition, or with an automatic system to fetch a controller's action.

To define a route, you can use:

// direct callback
$app->addRoute('/my-route', function(){ return 'This is my route content';  })

// to use the front controller in your callback, write
$app->addRoute('/my-route', function() use ($app){ return 'This is my route content';  })

// a controller's method - this will try to call MycontrollerController::methodAction()
$app->addRoute('/my-route', array( 'mycontroller' , 'method' ))

// a method of the default controller if so
$app->addRoute('/my-route', 'method')

// a direct view file path - the path must exists
$app->addRoute('/my-route', 'my-view-file.html')

The automatic system will try to find a match of current URI first parts as a array( controller , method ) correspondence, or as a simple method of the default controller:

  • a route like /mycontroller/mymethod will call MycontrollerController::mymethodAction()
  • a route like /myaction will call DefaultController::myactionAction().

For each kind of route (defined or automatic), any URI arguments will be fetched as callback parameters. For instance, a route like /mycontroller/myaction/name/my-name will call MycontrollerController::myactionAction( 'my-name' ). You can "ask" for a parameter to be kept from a route writing:

// fetch a $name argument as a string (default)
$app->addRoute('/my-route/{name}', function($name){ 
    return "Hello $name";  

// fetch a $name argument as a string (default) and an ID argument as an integer
$app->addRoute('/my-route/{name}/{id:\d+}', function($name, $id){ 
    return "Hello $name, I got ID $id";  

As the callback's arguments are rearranged, you can write them in any order:

// arguments order usage does not matter
$app->addRoute('/my-route/{name}/{id:\d+}', function($id, $name){ 
    return "Hello $name, I got ID $id";  

You can always use the arguments below if necessary:

  • the FrontController itself as \MVCFundamental\Interfaces\FrontControllerInterface $arg
  • the Request as \MVCFundamental\Interfaces\RequestInterface $arg
  • the Response as \MVCFundamental\Interfaces\ResponseInterface $arg
  • the TemplateEngine as \MVCFundamental\Interfaces\TemplateEngineInterface $arg
  • a data array with all request arguments as array $data
    function( RequestInterface $arg1, ResponseInterface $arg2, FrontControllerInterface $app ){
        // ....
        return "Hello world";  

Callback return

A routing callback can return various types of things:

  • a simple string, that will be used as the final response content
  • an array like array ( string $view_file , array $view_parameters ) to construct the final content calling the $view_file template with the $view_parameters arguments
  • a full \MVCFundamental\Interfaces\ResponseInterface object to replace actual response.

Inside a callback, you can:

  • render as many templates as required using:
$app->render( $view_file, array $params = array() ) : string
  • use a layout calling:
$app->getNew('layout' , $view_file, array $options = array() ) : string
  • "include" another controller's method using:
$app->callControllerAction( $controller = null, $action = null, array $arguments = array() ) : string
  • call another route using:
$app->callRoute( $route, array $arguments = array(), $method = 'get' ) : string
  • make a redirection or a forward to a new route using:
$app->redirect( $route, $follow = false ) : string
  • trigger an event with an optional observable object:
$app->trigger( '' , object ) : void
  • do any PHP other stuff ...

Templating system

The templates construction is handled by the TemplateEngine object that creates and aggregates some instances of Template and Layout objects.

$template_engine = $app->get( 'template_engine' ) : object

$new_template = $template_engine->getNewTemplate( $view_file , array $arguments ) : string

$new_layout = $template_engine->getNewLayout( $layout_file , array $arguments , array $options ) : string

The template engine works in couple with two kind of objects: the simple Template and the Layout. A Template is a simple view file included with parameters while a Layout is a kind of "full page" canvas handling predefined page parts, its child, which can default to a specific template file, and can be overwritten in the layout object.

Event management

The front controller is designed to be able to register and unregister some event listeners and trigger an event:

// register a callback for an event
$app->on( , callback )

// unregister a callaback
$app->off( , callback )

// trigger an event
$app->trigger( )

// trigger an event with an observable content
$app->trigger( , observable_object )

Error & exceptions

The package embeds a (quite) full set of custom exceptions in the \MVCFundamental\Exceptions namespace and an internal handler to handle them. Try to always use one of these objects when you throw an exception. If you have a doubt, a shortcut can be used writing:

$app->error( $message, $status = 500 )

App options

The following options can be defined when constructing the front controller to build a custom application:

$options = array(

    // the application mode in "dev , test , production"
    // you can test it with $app->isMode('dev')
    'mode'                      => 'production',

    // all these will overwrite the default app objects
    'router'                    => '\MVCFundamental\Basic\Router',
    'route_item'                => '\MVCFundamental\Basic\Route',
    'response'                  => '\MVCFundamental\Basic\Response',
    'request'                   => '\MVCFundamental\Basic\Request',
    'template_engine'           => '\MVCFundamental\Basic\TemplateEngine',
    'template_item'             => '\MVCFundamental\Basic\Template',
    'layout_item'               => '\MVCFundamental\Basic\Layout',
    'locator'                   => '\MVCFundamental\Basic\Locator',
    'error_controller'          => '\MVCFundamental\Basic\ErrorController',
    'event_item'                => '\MVCFundamental\Basic\Event',
    'event_manager'             => '\MVCFundamental\Basic\EventManager',

    // this can be a callback to retrieve a controller class: function ($name) {}
    'controller_locator'        => null,

    // this can be a callback to retrieve a view file: function ($view_name) {}
    'view_file_locator'         => null,

    // the controllers name mask
    'controller_name_finder'    => '%sController',

    // the actions name mask
    'action_name_finder'        => '%sAction',

    // name of the default controller
    'default_controller_name'   => 'default',

    // name of the default controller's action
    'default_action_name'       => 'index',

    // the default template file
    // you can use it with $template_engine->renderDefault()
    'default_template'          => 'default.php',
    // the default layout view file
    'default_layout'            => 'layout.php',
    // the default layout class
    // you can use it with $template_engine->getgetDefaultLayout()
    'default_layout_class'      => '\MVCFundamental\Commons\DefaultLayout',

    // the default response content type
    'default_content_type'      => 'html',

    // the default response charset
    'default_charset'           => 'utf8',

    // the routes definition array
    'routes'                    => array(),

    // the errors messages
    '500_error_info'            => 'An internal error occurred :(',
    '404_error_info'            => 'The requested page cannot be found :(',
    '403_error_info'            => 'Access to this page is forbidden :(',

    // set to `true` to transform errors in exceptions (with app rendering)
    // this is automatically enabled in 'production' mode
    'convert_error_to_exception'=> false,

    // a temporary directory - the server user MUST have writing rights
    // this will fallback to a system temporary directory
    'temp_dir'                  => dirname($_SERVER['SCRIPT_FILENAME']).'/tmp/',

    // application logger system:
        // one of the \Library\Logger levels
    'minimum_log_level'         => null,
        // must implement PSR\Logger\Interface
    'app_logger'                => 'Library\Logger',



When the system boots, all the following required components are created and stored in the container:

  • the router, which must implement the \MVCFundamental\Interfaces\RouterInterface
  • the request, which must implement the \MVCFundamental\Interfaces\RequestInterface
  • the response, which must implement the \MVCFundamental\Interfaces\ResponseInterface
  • the template_engine, which must implement the \MVCFundamental\Interfaces\TemplateEngineInterface
  • the locator, which must implement the \MVCFundamental\Interfaces\LocatorInterface
  • the error_controller, which must implement the \MVCFundamental\Interfaces\ErrorControllerInterface
  • the event_manager, which must implement the \MVCFundamental\Interfaces\EventManagerInterface

More, any controller must implement the \MVCFundamental\Interfaces\ControllerInterface and the router must handle a collection of routes implementing the \MVCFundamental\Interfaces\RouteInterface.

The template engine can handle some templates which must implement the \MVCFundamental\Interfaces\TemplateInterface and some layouts which must implement the \MVCFundamental\Interfaces\LayoutInterface.

The event manager will create and trigger events implementing the \MVCFundamental\Interfaces\EventInterface.

They all default to their implementation in the \MVCFundamental\Basic namespace but you can overwrite all of them.

App life-cycle

The life-cycle of a runtime is fully handled by the front controller, which calls some methods of the kernel. The basic life-cycle schema is something like:

// creation of the front controller instance with options
$app = FrontController::getInstance( $options );
// this will create the AppKernel object and call:

// loading of app settings: routes or other options
    ->addRoute( ... )
    ->on( event , ... )

// launch the app work
// this will distribute the request
$response = $app->handle( $request );
// then send the response
$app->send( $response );
// and finally terminate the runtime

Author & License

PHP MVC Fundamental

Copyright (c) 2013-2016 Pierre Cassat and contributors

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0.

Les Ateliers Pierrot - Paris, France -