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A fast and full-fleged routing library for PHP

2.0.0 2016-08-26 02:10 UTC

This package is not auto-updated.

Last update: 2020-01-24 16:10:12 UTC


PLEASE USE phoole/route library instead

Build Status Code Quality Code Climate PHP 7 ready HHVM Latest Stable Version License

phossa2/route is a fast, full-fledged and feature-rich application level routing library for PHP.

It requires PHP 5.4, supports PHP 7.0+ and HHVM. It is compliant with PSR-1, PSR-2, PSR-3, PSR-4, and the proposed PSR-5.

Why another routing library ?


Install via the composer utility.

composer require "phossa2/route"

or add the following lines to your composer.json

    "require": {
       "phossa2/route": "2.*"


Inject route definitions (pattern, handler, default values etc.) into the dispatcher and then call either match() or dispatch().

use Phossa2\Route\Route;
use Phossa2\Route\Dispatcher;

// dispatcher with default collector & resolver
$dispatcher = (new Dispatcher())
        function($result) {
            $params = $result->getParameters();
            echo "action is " . $params['action'];
    )->addRoute(new Route(
        ['id' => '1'] // default values

// diaptcher (match & execute controller action)
$dispatcher->dispatch('GET', '/blog/list/2016/05/01');

Or load routes from an array,

$routes = [
    '/user/{action:xd}/{id:d}' => [
        'GET,POST',               // methods,
        function ($result) {
            $params = $result->getParameters();
            echo "user id is " . $params['id'];
        },                        // handler,
        ['id' => 1]               // default values
    // ...
$dispatcher = (new Dispatcher())->loadRoutes($routes);
$dispatcher->dispatch('GET', '/user/view/123456');

Route syntax

  • {Named} parameters

    A route pattern syntax is used where {foo} specifies a named parameter or a placeholder with name foo and default regex pattern [^/]++. In order to match more specific types, you may specify a custom regex pattern like {foo:[0-9]+}.

    // with 'action' & 'id' two named params
    $dispatcher->addGet('/user/{action:[^0-9/][^/]*}/{id:[0-9]+}', 'handler1');

    Predefined shortcuts can be used for placeholders as follows,

    ':d}'   => ':[0-9]++}',             // digit only
    ':l}'   => ':[a-z]++}',             // lower case
    ':u}'   => ':[A-Z]++}',             // upper case
    ':a}'   => ':[0-9a-zA-Z]++}',       // alphanumeric
    ':c}'   => ':[0-9a-zA-Z+_\-\.]++}', // common chars
    ':nd}'  => ':[^0-9/]++}',           // not digits
    ':xd}'  => ':[^0-9/][^/]*+}',       // no leading digits

    The previous pattern can be rewritten into,

    // with 'action' & 'id' two named params
    $dispatcher->addGet('/user/{action:xd}/{id:d}', 'handler1');
  • [Optional] segments

    Optional segments in the route pattern can be specified with [] as follows,

    // $action, $year/$month/$date are all optional
    $pattern = '/blog[/{action:xd}][/{year:d}[/{month:d}[/{date:d}]]]';

    where optional segments can be NESTED. Unlike other libraries, optional segments are not limited to the end of the pattern, as long as it is a valid pattern like the [/{action:xd}] in the example.

  • Syntax limitations

    • Parameter name MUST start with a character

      Since {2} has special meanings in regex. Parameter name MUST start with a character. And the use of {} inside/outside placeholders may cause confusion, thus is not recommended.

    • [] outside placeholder means OPTIONAL segment only

      [] can not be used outside placeholders as part of a regex pattern, IF YOU DO NEED to use them as part of the regex pattern, please include them INSIDE a placeholder.

    • Use of capturing groups () inside placeholders is not allowed

      Capturing groups () can not be used inside placeholders. For example {user:(root|phossa)} is not valid. Instead, you can use either use {user:root|phossa} or {user:(?:root|phossa)}.

  • Default Values

    Default values can be added to named parameters at the end in the form of {action:xd=list}. Default values have to be alphanumeric chars. For example,

    // $action, $year/$month/$date are all optional
    $pattern = '/blog[/{action:xd=list}][/{year:d=2016}[/{month:d=01}[/{date:d=01}]]]';
    $dispatcher->addGet($pattern, function($result) {
        $params = $result->getParameters();
        echo $params['year'];
    })->dispatch('GET', '/blog');


  • Defining routes with dispatcher

    You may define routes with dispatcher. But, it is actually defining routes with the first route collector in the dispatcher.

    // a new route collector will be added automatically if not yet
    $dispatcher = (new Dispatcher())->addPost('/blog/post', 'handler2');

    addGet() and addPost() are wrappers of addRoute(RouteInterface).

  • Multiple routing collectors

    Routes can be grouped into different collections by using multiple collectors.

    use Phossa2\Route\Collector\Collector;
    // '/user' related
    $collector_user = (new Collector())
        ->addGet('/user/list/{id:d}', 'handler1')
        ->addGet('/user/view/{id:d}', 'handler2')
        ->addPost('/user/new', 'handler3');
    // '/blog' related
    $collector_blog = (new Collector())
        ->addGet('/blog/list/{user_id:d}', 'handler4')
        ->addGet('/blog/read/{blog_id:d}', 'handler5');
  • Path prefix matching

    Collectors may set a path prefix using setPathPrefix() to indicate the exact URI path prefix is handling. Any non-matching prefix found will skip the collector entirely.

    // '/user/' prefix
    $collector_user = (new Collector())
        ->addGet('/user/list/{id:d}', 'handler1')
        ->addGet('/user/view/{id:d}', 'handler2')
        ->addPost('/user/new', 'handler3');
  • Same route pattern

    User can define same route pattern with different http methods.

        ->addGet('/user/{$id}', 'handler1')
        ->addPost('/user/{$id}', 'handler2');


  • Dispatch with dispatcher's dispatch()

    $dispatcher->dispatch('GET', '/user/view/123');
  • Match instead of dispatching

    Instead of executing handler by default in dispatch(), more control by user if using the match() method

    if ($dispatcher->match('GET', '/user/view/1234')) {
        $result = $dispatcher->getResult();
        switch($result->getStatus()) {
            case 200:
              // ...
            case 404:
              // ...
              // ...
    } else {
        // no match found
        // ...


  • Route handler

    Route is defined with a handler for status 200 OK only.

    use Phossa2\Route\Route;
    use Phossa2\Route\Status;
    $route = new Route(
        function($result) { // handler for Status::OK
            // ...
  • Default handlers

    Dispatcher and collectors can have multiple handlers corresponding to different result status.

    If the result has no handler set (for example, no match found), then the collector's handler(same status code) will be retrieved. If still no luck, the dispatcher's handler (same status code) will be used if defined.

    Dispatcher-level handlers,

    use Phossa2\Route\Status;
        function($result) {
            echo "method " . $result->getMethod() . " not allowed";

    Collector-level handlers,

        function($result) {
            // ...

    When addHandler() with status set to 0 will cause this handler be the default handler for other status.

    use Phossa2\Route\Status;
        function($result) {
            echo "no other handler found";
        0 // <-- match all other status
  • Handler resolving

    Most of the time, matching route will return a handler like [ 'ControllerName', 'actionName' ]. Handler resolver can be used to resolving this pseudo handler into a real callable.

    use Phossa2\Route\Collector\Collector;
    use Phossa2\Route\Resolver\ResolverSimple;
    // dispatcher with default resolver
    $dispatcher = new Route\Dispatcher(
        new Collector(),
        new ResolverSimple() // the default resolver anyway

    Users may write their own handler resolver by implementing Phossa2\Route\Interfaces\ResolverInterface.


Extensions are callables dealing with the matching result or other tasks before or after certain dispatching stages.

Extensions can be added to Dispatcher, Collector or even Route.

  • Use of extensions

    Extensions MUST return a boolean value to indicate wether to proceed with the dispatching process or not. FALSE means stop and returns to top level.

    Extensions can be either a Phossa2\Event\EventableExtensionAbstract and added with addExtension() or addExt(), or a callable with signature of callableName(Phossa2\Event\EventInterface $event): bool which can be added as extension via addExt(callable, eventName, priority).

    use Phossa2\Route\Status;
    use Phossa2\Route\Dispatcher;
    use Phossa2\Route\Extensions\RedirectToHttps;
    // create dispatcher
    $dispatcher = new Dispatcher();
    // direct any HTTP request to HTTPS port before any routing
        ->addExtension(new RedirectToHttps())
        ->addHandler(function() {
              echo "redirect to https";
          }, Status::MOVED_PERMANENTLY)
        ->dispatch('GET', '/user/view/123');

    Force authentication for any '/user/' prefixed URL,

    use Phossa2\Route\Status;
    use Phossa2\Route\Dispatcher;
    use Phossa2\Route\Extensions\UserAuth;
    $dispatcher = new Dispatcher();
      // add handler for unauthorized routing
          function() {
              echo "need auth";
          }, Status::UNAUTHORIZED)
      // add a route
      ->addGet('/user/view/{id:d}', function() {
              echo "AUTHED!";
      // add extension to force auth routes under '/user/'
      ->addExt(function($event) {
              $result = $event->getParam('result');
              $path = $result->getPath();
              if (!isset($_SESSION['authed']) && '/user/' === substr($path, 0, 6)) {
                  return false;
              return true;
          }, Dispatcher::EVENT_BEFORE_MATCH);
    // try a not authed route
    $dispatcher->dispatch('GET', '/user/view/123');
    // try a authed route
    $_SESSION['authed'] = 1;
    $dispatcher->dispatch('GET', '/user/view/123');
  • Examples of extension

    Validation of a parameter value on a route,

    use Phossa2\Route\Status;
    use Phossa2\Route\Dispatcher;
    use Phossa2\Route\Extensions\IdValidation;
    $dispatcher = new Dispatcher();
    // add extension to a route
    $route = (new Route('GET', '/user/{id:d}', null))
      ->addExtension(new IdValidation());
    // will fail
    $dispatcher->addRoute($route)->dispatch('GET', '/user/1000');
  • Extension events

    Three types of events, dispatcher level, collector level and route level. List of all events in the order of execution.

    • Dispatcher::EVENT_BEFORE_MATCH before matching starts

      • Collector::EVENT_BEFORE_MATCH before matching in a collector

      • Collector::EVENT_AFTER_MATCH after a successful match in the collector

    • Dispatcher::EVENT_AFTER_MATCH after a successful match at dispatcher level

    • Dispatcher::EVENT_BEFORE_DISPATCH after a sucessful match, before dispatching to any handler

      • Route::EVENT_BEFORE_HANDLER before executing handler(route's or collector's) for this route

      • Route::EVENT_AFTER_HANDLER after handler successfully executed

    • Dispatcher::EVENT_AFTER_DISPATCH back to dispatcher level, after handler executed successfully

    • Dispatcher::EVENT_BEFORE_HANDLER match failed or no handler found for the matching route, before execute dispatcher's default handler

    • Dispatcher::EVENT_AFTER_HANDLER after dispatcher's default handler executed


Sometimes, you need to know what went wrong.


Where $logger is a PSR-3 compatible logger implmenting the interface Psr\Log\LoggerInterface. The dispatcher will send logs of dispatching process to the logger.

Routing strategies

There are a couple of URL based routing strategies supported in this library. Different strategy collectors can be combined together into one dispatcher.

  • Parameter Pairs Routing (PPR)

    Using parameter and value pairs for routing,


    Parameters order can be arbitary, but have to appear in pairs. Advantage of this scheme is fast and web crawler friendly. If URL rewriting is used, the above can be written into the following,


    Instead of using '/' as the parameter seperator, any URL valid characters except for the '?' and '&' can be used as a seperator.


    This strategy is implemented in Phossa2\Route\Collector\CollectorPPR class.

  • Query Parameter Routing (QPR)

    The routing info is directly embedded in the URL query. The advantage of this scheme is fast and clear.


    This strategy is implemented in Phossa2\Route\Collector\CollectorQPR class.

  • Regular Expression Routing (RER)

    Regular expression based routing is the default routing strategy for this library and implemented in Phossa2\Route\Collector\Collector class.

    // created with default RER collector
    $dispatcher = (new Dispatcher())
        ->addCollector(new Collector())     // regex based routing first
        ->addCollector(new CollectorQPR()); // support for legacy QPR

Regex matching algorithms

Different regex matching algorithms can be used with the RER collector.

  • FastRoute algorithm

    This Group Count Based algorithm is implemented in Phossa2\Route\Parser\ParserGcb class and explained in detail in this article "Fast request routing using regular expressions".

    phossa-route uses this algorithm by default.

  • Standard algorithm

    This algorithm is developed by phossa2/route and a little bit slower than the fastRoute GCB algorithm. It is implemented in Phossa2\Route\Parser\ParserStd class.

    Use this standard algorithm,

    use Phossa2\Route\Dispatcher;
    use Phossa2\Route\Parser\ParserStd;
    use Phossa2\Route\Collector\Collector;
    // use standard algorithm
    $dispatcher = new Dispatcher(new Collector(new ParserStd));
  • Comments on routing algorithms

    • It does NOT matter that much as you may think.

      If you are using routing library in your application, different algorithms may differ only 0.1 - 0.2ms for a single request, which seems meaningless for an application unless you are using it as a standalone router.

    • If you DO care about routing speed

      Use different routing strategy like Parameter Pairs Routing (PPR) which is much faster than the regex based routing. Also by carefully design your routes, you may achieve better results even if you are using a slower algorithm.

    • Try network routing or server routing if you just CRAZY ABOUT THE SPEED.

Change log

Please see CHANGELOG from more information.


$ composer test


Please see CONTRIBUTE for more information.


  • PHP >= 5.4.0

  • phossa2/event >= 2.1.5

  • phossa2/shared >= 2.0.27


MIT License


  • Performance

    • Worst-case matching

      This benchmark matches the last route and unknown route. It generates a randomly prefixed and suffixed route in an attempt to thwart any optimization. 1,000 routes each with 8 arguments.

      This benchmark consists of 14 tests. Each test is executed 1,000 times, the results pruned, and then averaged. Values that fall outside of 3 standard deviations of the mean are discarded.

      "Parameter Pairs Routing (PPR)" is fastest and used as baseline.

      Test Name Results Time + Interval Change
      Phossa PPR - unknown route (1000 routes) 998 0.0000724551 +0.0000000000 baseline
      Phossa PPR - last route (1000 routes) 993 0.0000925307 +0.0000200755 28% slower
      Symfony2 Dumped - unknown route (1000 routes) 998 0.0004353616 +0.0003629065 501% slower
      Phroute - last route (1000 routes) 999 0.0006205601 +0.0005481050 756% slower
      Phossa - unknown route (1000 routes) 998 0.0006903790 +0.0006179239 853% slower
      FastRoute - unknown route (1000 routes) 1,000 0.0006911943 +0.0006187392 854% slower
      FastRoute - last route (1000 routes) 999 0.0006962751 +0.0006238200 861% slower
      Phroute - unknown route (1000 routes) 998 0.0007134676 +0.0006410125 885% slower
      Symfony2 Dumped - last route (1000 routes) 993 0.0008066097 +0.0007341545 1013% slower
      Phossa - last route (1000 routes) 998 0.0009104498 +0.0008379947 1157% slower
      Symfony2 - unknown route (1000 routes) 989 0.0023998006 +0.0023273455 3212% slower
      Symfony2 - last route (1000 routes) 999 0.0025880890 +0.0025156339 3472% slower
      Aura v2 - last route (1000 routes) 981 0.0966411463 +0.0965686912 133281% slower
      Aura v2 - unknown route (1000 routes) 992 0.1070026719 +0.1069302168 147581% slower
    • First route matching

      This benchmark tests how quickly each router can match the first route. 1,000 routes each with 8 arguments.

      This benchmark consists of 7 tests. Each test is executed 1,000 times, the results pruned, and then averaged. Values that fall outside of 3 standard deviations of the mean are discarded.

      Note Both FastRoute and Phroute implement a static route table, so they are fast at the first route matching (which is a static route)

      Test Name Results Time + Interval Change
      FastRoute - first route 999 0.0000403543 +0.0000000000 baseline
      Phroute - first route 998 0.0000405911 +0.0000002368 1% slower
      Symfony2 Dumped - first route 999 0.0000590617 +0.0000187074 46% slower
      Phossa PPR - first route 977 0.0000678727 +0.0000275184 68% slower
      Phossa - first route 999 0.0000898475 +0.0000494932 123% slower
      Symfony2 - first route 998 0.0003983802 +0.0003580259 887% slower
      Aura v2 - first route 986 0.0004391784 +0.0003988241 988% slower
  • URL rewrite

    Setup URL rewriting to do routing with index.php

    • Apache .htaccess with mod_rewrite engine is on

      DirectorySlash Off
      Options -MultiViews
      DirectoryIndex index.php
      RewriteEngine On
      RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
      RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
      RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-l
      RewriteRule ^ index.php [QSA,L]

      and in your httpd.conf file to enable using of .htaccess

      <VirtualHost *:80>
        DocumentRoot "/path/"
        <Directory "/path/">
          Options -Indexes +FollowSymLinks +Includes
          AllowOverride All
          Order allow,deny
          Allow from all
    • Nginx configration in nginx.conf

      server {
          listen       80;
          root         /path/;
          try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php$is_args$args;
          location /index.php {
              fastcgi_connect_timeout 3s;
              fastcgi_read_timeout 10s;
              include fastcgi.conf;
  • Routing issues

    Base on the request informations, such as request device, source ip, request method etc., service provider may direct request to different hosts, servers, app modules or handlers.

    • Network level routing

      Common case, such as routing based on request's source ip, routes the request to a NEAREST server, this is common in content distribution network (CDN), and is done at network level.

    • Web server routing

      For performance reason, some of the simple routing can be done at web server level, such as using apache or ngix configs to do simple routing.

      For example, if your server goes down for maintenance, you may replace the .htaccess file as follows,

      DirectorySlash Off
      Options -MultiViews
      DirectoryIndex maintenance.php
      RewriteEngine On
      RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
      RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
      RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-l
      RewriteRule ^ maintenance.php [QSA,L]
    • App level routing

      It solves much more complicated issues, and much more flexible.

      Usually, routing is done at a single point index.php. All the requests are configured to be handled by this script first and routed to different routines.