Automatic detection of locales for Laminas

1.1.0 2023-07-10 06:50 UTC


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Created by Jurian Sluiman


SlmLocale is a Laminas module to automatically detect a locale for your application. It uses a variety of pluggable strategies to search for a valid locale. SlmLocale features a default locale, a set of supported locales and locale aliases.

SlmLocale supports out of the box several strategies to search for a locale. Through interfaces, other strategies could be created. The set of default stragies is:

  1. The HTTP Accept-Language header
  2. A cookie to store the locale between several sessions of one visitor
  3. A query parameter to easily switch from locale
  4. The first segment of the path of an uri
  5. A part of the domain name (either the TLD or a subdomain)

Furthermore, it provides a set of additional localisation features:

  1. A default locale, used as fallback
  2. A set of aliases, so you can map .com as "en-US" in the host name strategy
  3. Redirect to the right domain/path when a locale is found
  4. View helpers to create a localised uri or a list of language switches


Add "slm/locale" to your composer.json file and update your dependencies. Enable SlmLocale in your application.config.php.

If you do not have a composer.json file in the root of your project, copy the contents below and put that into a file called composer.json and save it in the root of your project:

    "require": {
        "slm/locale": ">=0.1.0,<1.2.0-dev"

Then execute the following commands in a CLI:

curl -s | php
php composer.phar install

Now you should have a vendor directory, including a slm/locale. In your bootstrap code, make sure you include the vendor/autoload.php file to properly load the SlmLocale module.


Set your default locale in the configuration:

'slm_locale' => [
    'default' => 'nl-NL',

Set all your supported locales in the configuration:

'slm_locale' => [
    'supported' => ['en-US', 'en-GB'],

And enable some strategies. The naming is made via the following list:

  • cookie: SlmLocale\Strategy\CookieStrategy
  • host: SlmLocale\Strategy\HostStrategy
  • acceptlanguage: SlmLocale\Strategy\HttpAcceptLanguageStrategy
  • query: SlmLocale\Strategy\QueryStrategy
  • uripath: SlmLocale\Strategy\UriPathStrategy
  • asset: SlmLocale\Strategy\AssetStrategy

You can enable one or more of them in the strategies list. Mind the priority is important! You usually want the acceptlanguage as last for a fallback:

'slm_locale' => [
    'strategies' => ['uripath', 'acceptlanguage'],

At this moment, the locale should be detected. The locale is stored inside php's Locale object. Retrieve the locale with Locale::getDefault(). This is also automated inside Laminas translator objects and i18n view helpers (so you do not need to set the locale yourself there).

Set the locale's language in html

It is common to provide the html with the used locale. This can be set for example in the html tag:

<html lang="en">

Inject the detected language here with the following code:

<html lang="<?= $this->primaryLanguage()?>">

Disable UriPathStrategy in PHPUNIT

This is necessary (at the moment) if you want to use this->dispatch('my/uri'); in your AbstractHttpControllerTestCase unit tests. Otherwise, if you check for responseCode you will get 302 where it should be 200.


$this->assertResponseStatusCode(200); // this will be 302 instead of 200

$this->assertResponseStatusCode(200); // this will be 302 instead of 200

To fix add the following to your phpunit config.


        <server name="DISABLE_URIPATHSTRATEGY" value="true" />

Or set $_SERVER['DISABLE_URIPATHSTRATEGY'] = true; in your bootstrap file of phpunit.

Create a list of available locales


Read more about usage and the configuration of all the strategies in the documentation.