DotKernel controller like middleware component with plugin support

3.4.3 2023-11-30 10:04 UTC

This package is auto-updated.

Last update: 2024-03-01 00:05:56 UTC


This package contains controller like middleware to be used inside a DotKernel or Mezzio application. It provides base classes for action based controllers similar to Laminas controller component. It is more lightweight though, but supports controller plugins.

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Run the following composer command in your project directory

$ composer require dotkernel/dot-controller

Merge the ConfigProvider to your configuration aggregate.


Middleware controllers act as a handler for multiple routes. Some conventions were made:

  • register controllers in the routes array just like any mezzio middleware. The requirement is that you should define an action route parameter(possibly optional) anywhere inside the route(e.g /user[/{action}])
  • action parameter value is converted to a method name inside the controller. Underscore, dot and line characters are removed and the action name is converted to camel-case suffixed by the string Action. For example a route and action pair like /user/forgot-password will be converted to method forgotPasswordAction.
  • the default action value, if not present in the URI is index, so you should always define an indexAction within your controllers for displaying a default page or redirecting.

In order to create your action based controllers, you must extend the abstract class DotKernel\DotController\AbstractActionController

Example 1

Creating a UserController with default action and a register action. Will handle routes /user and /user/register

use DotKernel\DotController\AbstractActionController;

class UserController extends AbstractActionController
    public function indexAction()
    public function registerAction()

Then register this controller as a routed middleware in file RoutesDelegator.php just like a regular middleware.

Multiple controllers for the same route

Use case: You have defined a controller inside some package, with default actions. You want to add actions that fall into the same controller name(or route name more exactly). You want to do this without extending the controller provided by the package. In this case you can do the following

  • create your own controller, independent of the package's controller which adds more actions
  • Mezzio lets you define an array of middleware for a route, so you can register this controller before the package's controller

Now when a request for this route comes in, your controller will run first. DotKernel controllers are designed to ignore requests that cannot be matched to one of its methods, so if no action matches, it will call the next middleware, in our case, the second controller. If this is the last controller, and action does not match here, it will go to the default 404 Not found page(handled by NotFoundDelegate)

Controller plugins

Controllers support controller plugins, much like controllers in a Laminas application. The module comes packed with a few common plugins, but you can extend controller functionality with your own plugins too.


Controller plugins must implement Dot\Controller\Plugin\PluginInterface. You can add them to the config file, at key ['dk_controller']['plugin_manager']. The design pattern uses the AbstractPluginManager provided by Laminas service manager component. So, registration of a plugin under the aforementioned config key looks the same as the declaration of regular dependencies, as AbstractPluginManager actually extends ServiceManager.

Once registered, a plugin can be directly accessed in any controller, by calling a method with the plugin's name(the service name or the key at which the plugin is registered inside the manager)

Controller plugins offer the advantage of globally accessible functionality in any controller without to manually inject dependencies. Plugins should be used for functions that are common to any controller. Do not clutter controller's code with unnecessary plugins.

//inside a controller
//assume we've already registered a plugin called testPlugin
$this->testPlugin(); //will return the TestPlugin class so you can call any public defined method on it

Built-in plugins

Note: Each of these plugins requires the associated Mezzio packages to be installed and available in your project. Although these are optional, if a package is missing, the controller will not have the associated functionality available

  • template wraps TemplateInterface provided by Mezzio, to make template engine accessible to any controller
  • url wraps the UrlHelper class provided by Laminas helpers package. Used to generate URIs from routes