Request routing

v5.0.0 2021-05-29 23:16 UTC

This package is auto-updated.

Last update: 2023-09-30 12:34:40 UTC


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The icanboogie/routing package handles URL rewriting in native PHP. A Request is mapped to a Route, which in turn is mapped to a Responder. If the process is successful a response is returned. Events are emitted along the way to allow listeners to alter the request or the response, or recover from failure.

The following example is an overview of a request processing. The routing components are part of the stack of responder providers.


namespace ICanBoogie\HTTP;

/* @var ResponderProvider $responder_provider */

// The request is usually created from the $_SERVER super global.
$request = Request::from($_SERVER);

// The Responder Provider matches a request with a Responder
$responder = $responder_provider->responder_for_request($request);

// The Responder responds to the request with a Response, it might also throw an exception.
$response = $responder->respond($request);

// The response is sent to the client.


composer require icanboogie/routing

A route

A route is represented with a Route instance. Two parameters are required to create an instance: pattern and action. pattern is the pattern to match or generate a URL. action is an identifier for an action, which can be used to match with a Responder.

The route pattern

A pattern is used to match a URL with a route. Placeholders may be used to match multiple URL to a single route and extract its parameters. Three types of placeholder are available:

  • Relaxed placeholder: Only the name of the parameter is specified, it matches anything until the following part. e.g. /articles/:id/edit.

  • Constrained placeholder: A regular expression is used to match the parameter value. e.g. /articles/<id:\d+>/edit where <id:\d+> is the placeholder for the id parameter which value must matches /^\d+$/.

  • Anonymous constrained placeholder: Same as the constrained placeholder, except the parameter has no name but an index e.g. /articles/<\d+>/edit where <\d+> in a placeholder which index is 0.

Additionally, the joker character *—which can only be used at the end of a pattern—matches anything. e.g. /articles/123* matches /articles/123 and /articles/123456 as well.

Finally, constraints RegExp are extended with the following:

You can use them in any combination:

  • /blog/:year-:month-:slug
  • /blog/<year:\d{4}>-<month:\d{2}>-:slug
  • /images/<uuid:{:uuid:}>/<size:\d+x|x\d+|\d+x\d+>*

Route providers

Route providers are used to find the route that matches a predicate. Simple route providers are often decorated with more sophisticated ones that can improve performance.

Here's an overview of a route provider usage, details are available in the Route Providers documentation.


namespace ICanBoogie\Routing;

use ICanBoogie\HTTP\RequestMethod;
use ICanBoogie\Routing\RouteProvider\ByAction;
use ICanBoogie\Routing\RouteProvider\ByUri;

/* @var RouteProvider $routes */

$routes->route_for_predicate(new ByAction('articles:show'));
$routes->route_for_predicate(new ByUri('/articles/123', RequestMethod::METHOD_GET));
$routes->route_for_predicate(fn(Route $route) => $route->action === 'articles:show');

Responding to a request

A request can be dispatched to a matching Responder provided a route matches the request URI and method.


use ICanBoogie\HTTP\Request;
use ICanBoogie\HTTP\RequestMethod;
use ICanBoogie\HTTP\Responder;
use ICanBoogie\Routing\RouteProvider;

$routes = new RouteProvider\Immutable([

    new Route('/articles/<id:\d+>', 'articles:delete', RequestMethod::METHOD_DELETE)


$request = Request::from([

    Request::OPTION_URI => "/articles/123",
    Request::OPTION_METHOD => RequestMethod::METHOD_DELETE,


/* @var Responder $responder */

$response = $responder->respond($request);


Previous examples demonstrated how closures could be used to handle routes. Closures are perfectly fine when you start building your application, but as soon as it grows you might want to use controller classes instead to better organize your application. You can map each route to its Controller class, or use the ActionTrait to group related HTTP request handling logic into a single controller.

Controller response

When invoked, the controller should return a result, or null if it can't handle the request. The result of the action() method is handled by the __invoke() method: if the result is a Response instance it is returned as is; if the Response instance attached to the controller has been initialized (through the $this->response getter, for instance), the result is used as the body of the response; otherwise, the result is returned as is.

Before the action is executed

The event ICanBoogie\Routing\Controller::action:before of class Controller\BeforeActionEvent is fired before the action() method is invoked. Event hooks may use this event to provide a response and thus cancelling the action. Event hooks may also use this event to alter the controller before the action is executed.

After the action is executed

The event ICanBoogie\Routing\Controller::action:before of class Controller\ActionEvent is fired after the action() method was invoked. Event hooks may use this event to alter the result of the method.

Basic controllers

Basic controllers extend from Controller and must implement the action() method.

Note: The action() method is invoked from within the controller, by the __invoke() method, and should be defined as protected. The __invoke() method is final, thus cannot be overridden.


namespace App\Modules\Articles\Routing;

use ICanBoogie\HTTP\Request;
use ICanBoogie\Routing\Controller;

class DeleteController extends Controller
    protected function action(Request $request)
        // Your code goes here, and should return a string or a Response instance

Although any class implementing __invoke() is suitable as a controller, it is recommended to extend Controller as it makes accessing your application features much easier. Also, you might benefit from prototype methods and event hooks attached to the Controller class, such as the view property added by the icanboogie/view package.

The following properties are provided by the Controller class:

  • name: The name of the controller, extracted from its class name e.g. "articles_delete".
  • request: The request being dispatched.
  • route: The route being dispatched.

Action controllers

Here's an example of an action controller, details are available in the Action controllers documentation.


use ICanBoogie\Routing\ControllerAbstract;
use ICanBoogie\Routing\Controller\ActionTrait;

final class ArticleController extends ControllerAbstract
    use ActionTrait;

    private function list(): string
        // …

    private function show(): string
        // …


The exceptions defined by the package implement the ICanBoogie\Routing\Exception interface, so that they are easy to recognize:


    // …
catch (\ICanBoogie\Routing\Exception $e)
    // a routing exception
catch (\Exception $e)
    // another type of exception

The following exceptions are defined:

  • ActionNotDefined: Thrown when an action is not defined, for instance when a route handled by a controller using ActionTrait has an empty action property.
  • InvalidPattern: Thrown when trying to define a route without pattern.

Continuous Integration

The project is continuously tested by GitHub actions.

Tests Static Analysis Code Style

Code of Conduct

This project adheres to a Contributor Code of Conduct. By participating in this project and its community, you are expected to uphold this code.


Please see CONTRIBUTING for details.


icanboogie/routing is released under the BSD-3-Clause.