Lithium PHP alternative (fast) model implementation

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0.2.2 2015-01-07 15:16 UTC

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Last update: 2020-09-14 10:21:50 UTC


For those times when you don't want a real one

Build Status

This library is for the PHP Lithium Web Framework and provides an alternative to its built-in data models.

It doesn't do much, but that's kinda the point. Here's a comparison:

Lithium Models Fake Models
Dirty Attributes yes no
Filterable (AOP) yes no
Schema Definition yes no
Uses LI3 Data Sources yes yes [1]
Works with SQL and Mongo yes maybe [2]
Model-level Relationships no yes

[1] Sort of. We wrap the native LI3 data source in our own to avoid the Document/DocumentSet madness.

[2] I've only tested with MongoDB, but Fake Models could be adjusted to work with a SQL data source if someone wants to make the effort.

Then why would I use this?

You probably shouldn't. I mean, Fake Models do basically nothing! No one in their right mind would make the switch.

OK, to be honest, Lithium Models are bloated and they're slow. They store lots of redundant data, and all the filterable methods (I suspect) contribute to their slowness.

Here are some benchmarks...

Count Lithium Models Fake Models
first() 1 76ms 32ms
all() 100 2863ms 78ms

Each test was with 100 iterations (divide each by 100 to get true timing).


Lithium models support relationships at the data source layer, which works fine for relational databases, but not for MongoDB.

Fake models support relationships at the model level and efficiently eager-loads related records by issuing extra queries. Here's how you use it:

1. Define your model relationships.

class Posts extends Model {

  public $hasMany = array(
    'Comments' => array(
      'to'        => 'Comments',  // The model
      'key'       => array('_id' => 'comment_id'), // or, you can use an array of foreign keys, e.g. array('comment_ids' => '_id')
      'fieldName' => 'comments',  // The key it's on
      // `order`, `limit`, `conditions` can also be used


2. Query your model and tell it which relationships to fetch.

$posts = Posts::all(array(
  'with' => array('Comments')

The above query will:

  1. query and fetch all the posts
  2. issue a second query to get all the comments
  3. connect the child comments onto the appropriate parent posts

Relationships can also provide deep query logic:

$posts = Posts::all(array(
  'with' => array(
    'comments' => array(
      'order' => array('date' => 'asc'),
      'limit' => 10,
      'conditions' => array(
        'flagged' => false,

Relationships can also be nested further, e.g.:

$posts = Posts::all(array(
  'with' => array(
    'Comments' => array('Author')

This method call still only issues 3 total queries to the Mongo database, yipee!

Copyright and License

Fake model is licensed under the MIT License - see the LICENSE file for details