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A Silex bootstrap project.

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1.0.1 2013-08-23 01:27 UTC

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Last update: 2021-12-07 01:37:01 UTC


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This is a pre-made web application built on the Silex micro-framework and the Bootstrap front-end framework. The web application is ready to launch and requires minor alterations to get a new project up and running. I suggest acquiring a solid understanding of Silex and Bootstrap before proceeding.

To create a new project, run:

$ composer create-project herrera-io/silex-bootstrap myProject/



First, you need to know that parameters, services, and routes are configured by using YAML configuration files. These files are loaded through the WiseServiceProvider service provider in the default environment, prod:

If you know how the service provider works, you will also know that you can completely change the file format used. Instead of using YAML, you can use JSON, XML, INI, or just plain PHP. YAML was used since most of this bootstrap project is already based on Symfony, which heavily uses YAML.

What Where
parameters app/config/parameters.yml
services app/config/services.yml
routes app/config/routes.yml

For all other environments that are not named prod, configuration files will have the name of their environment appended to the end of them, but before the file extension:

What Where
parameters app/config/parameters_*.yml
services app/config/services_*.yml
routes app/config/routes_*.yml


The active environment is controlled by the APP_MODE environment variable. When the variable is not set, the default value of prod is used. Currently, the web application only recognizes three environments:

  • prod — Used for live, production web applications.
  • dev — Used for debugging the web application.
  • test — Used for running PHPUnit test suites.

If you intend to use dev, test, or any other mode intended for debugging or testing, you will also want to set the APP_DEBUG variable to 1 (one). This will enable debugging mode in Silex.


The parameters.yml file defines the application-wide parameters that are set directly in the Silex instance. Because of how parameters are set in Silex, you must be careful not to accidentally replace services that use the same name as one or more of your parameters.

Once the application-wide parameters have been loaded and set, services are registered from services.yml, followed by the routes in routes.yml. To understand how these are configured, you must read up on the documentation for the WiseServiceProvider.


These are the services registered by default:

  • Silex\Provider\FormServiceProvider
  • Silex\Provider\MonologServiceProvider
  • Silex\Provider\SessionServiceProvider
  • Herrera\Silex\Provider\TranslationServiceProvider
  • Silex\Provider\TwigServiceProvider
  • Silex\Provider\UrlGeneratorServiceProvider
  • Silex\Provider\ValidatorServiceProvider

The following services are also registered when the dev environment is used:

  • Silex\Provider\ServiceControllerServiceProvider
  • Silex\Provider\WebProfilerServiceProvider

The test environment will actually unregister the WebProfilerServiceProvider.


The Herrera\Silex\Application class uses three methods for loading parameters, services, and routes. These methods can be replaced or extended if configuring through files is found to be inadequate.

  • registerDefaultParameters() — Loads the parameters.
  • registerDefaultServices() — Loads the services.
  • registerDefaultRoutes() — Loads the routes.

It is likely that you will find that you cannot properly register one or more services through a configuration file. For cases such as these, you will want to do something like the following in your own Application subclass:

use Herrera\Silex\Application;

 * My custom version of the bootstrap application class.
 * @author Example User <example@user.com>
class MyApplication extends Application
     * {@override}
    protected function registerDefaultServices()

        // my custom registrations

You may also just modify the application class in src/lib/Herrera/Silex/Application, instead of creating a new subclass. This may be more convenient for you, but it could complicate maintenance when updates are released to this project.

If you create your own subclass, you will need to modify a few instances where the original class is used:

  1. In src/lib/Herrera/Silex/Test/TestCase.php, you will need to modify the TestCase->createApplication() method so that it returns an instance of your class, instead of the default one.
  2. In web/index.php, you will need to modify the call to the method Herrera\Silex\Application::create() so that it calls the same method on your class: Example\Subclass::create()


The web application provides console support through the Go build tool. You can add, edit, and remove your own tasks by editing the Gofile in the root directory.

These are the default tasks:

Command Description
app:clear Removes the contents of app/cache and app/logs.
app:clear:cache Removes the contents of app/cache.
app:clear:logs Removes the contents of app/logs.
app:generate:docs Uses Sami to generate API documentation.
app:minify Uses Minify to minify JS and CSS assets.
app:run Runs your web application using the built-in server.
app:test Uses PHPUnit to execute the test suite.


By default, the Sami settings are in app/config/docs.php. Sami is configured so that the parsed data is stored in app/cache/docs, while the final rendered result is stored in docs/ in the root directory.

To generate the API documentation:

$ bin/go app:docs


By default, the list of assets to minify is in app/config/assets.yml. The file is organized as an associative array. The key is the path where the minified file will be saved, and the value is an array of paths that will be minified.

To minify assets:

$ bin/go app:minify


By default, the test cases are kept in src/tests. PHPUnit is also configured to automatically load classes from that directory if they are not present in the src/lib directory.

To launch PHPUnit:

$ bin/go app:test

To generate code coverage, simply pass the option --coverage (or -c). The task will take care of configuring PHPUnit so that the generated HTML coverage report is stored in app/cache/coverage.


By default, translation files are stored in app/translations. Also by default, the following translation files are registered with the translation service provider:

  • example.de.yml
  • example.en.yml
  • example.fr.yml

To use your own translation files, I recommend reading the documentation on the TranslationServiceProvider service provider. The service provider will allow you do other things such as specify which loader class you need to register in order to load your translation files. This means you can use other formats, such as XLIFF, instead of YAML.


The front-end is built using the following:

A custom form theme has also been supplied to make using the horizontal form design very simple to use. All form types recognized by Bootstrap are supported by the theme.

{% extends "layout.html.twig" %}

{% form_theme myForm "form.html.twig" %}

{% block content %}
    <div class="container">
      <div class="row-fluid">
        <div class="span5 pull-both">
          <h1 class="page-header">Example Form</h1>
          {{ form(form) }}
{% endblock %}