Toro is a PHP router for developing RESTful web applications and APIs.

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dev-master 2015-04-15 21:01 UTC


Toro is a PHP router for developing RESTful web applications and APIs. It is designed for minimalists who want to get work done.

Quick Links


  • RESTful routing using strings, regular expressions, and defined types (number, string, alpha)
  • Flexible error handling and callbacks via ToroHook
  • Intuitive and self-documented core (Toro.php)
  • Tested with PHP 5.3 and above

"Hello, world"

The canonical "Hello, world" example:


class HelloHandler {
    function get() {
        echo "Hello, world";

    "/" => "HelloHandler",

Routing Basics

Routing with Toro is simple:


    "/" => "SplashHandler",
    "/catalog/page/:number" => "CatalogHandler",
    "/product/:alpha" => "ProductHandler",
    "/manufacturer/:string" => "ManufacturerHandler"

An application's route table is expressed as an associative array (route_pattern => handler). This is closely modeled after Tornado (Python). Routes are not expressed as anonymous functions to prevent unnecessary code duplication for RESTful dispatching.

From the above example, route stubs, such as :number, :string, and :alpha can be conveniently used instead of common regular expressions. Of course, regular expressions are still welcome. The previous example could also be expressed as:


    "/" => "SplashHandler",
    "/catalog/page/([0-9]+)" => "CatalogHandler",
    "/product/([a-zA-Z0-9-_]+)" => "ProductHandler",
    "/manufacturer/([a-zA-Z]+)" => "ManufacturerHandler"

Pattern matches are passed in order as arguments to the handler's request method. In the case of ProductHandler above:


class ProductHandler {
    function get($name) {
        echo "You want to see product: $name";

RESTful Handlers


class ExampleHandler {
    function get() {}
    function post() {}
    function get_xhr() {}
    function post_xhr() {}

From the above, you can see two emergent patterns.

  1. Methods named after the HTTP request method (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE) are automatically called.

  2. Appending _xhr to a handler method automatically matches JSON/XMLHTTPRequest requests. If the _xhr method is not implemented, then the given HTTP request method is called as a fallback.

ToroHook (Callbacks)

As of v2.0.0, there are a total of five Toro-specific hooks (callbacks):


// Fired for 404 errors; must be defined before Toro::serve() call
ToroHook::add("404",  function() {});

// Before/After callbacks in order
ToroHook::add("before_request", function() {});
ToroHook::add("before_handler", function() {});
ToroHook::add("after_handler", function() {});
ToroHook::add("after_request",  function() {});

before_handler and after_handler are defined within handler's constructor:


class SomeHandler {
    function __construct() {
        ToroHook::add("before_handler", function() { echo "Before"; });
        ToroHook::add("after_handler", function() { echo "After"; });

    function get() {
        echo "I am some handler.";

Hooks can also be stacked. Adding a hook pushes the provided anonymous function into an array. When a hook is fired, all of the functions are called sequentially.


Grab a copy of the repository and move Toro.php to your project root.

Using Composer

Install composer in your project:

$ curl -s | php

Caution: The above command requires you to place a lot of trust in the composer team to not get hacked and have a backdoor installed in their installer script. If secuity is a concern, consider doing the following:

$ curl -s > installer.php
$ less installer.php
$ # When you're certain it's safe...
$ php installer.php

Create a composer.json file in your project root:

    "require": {
        "torophp/torophp": "dev-master"

Install via composer:

$ php composer.phar install

Server Configuration


You may need to add the following snippet in your Apache HTTP server virtual host configuration or .htaccess file.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteCond $1 !^(index\.php)
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /index.php/$1 [L]

Alternatively, if you’re lucky enough to be using a version of Apache greater than 2.2.15, then you can instead just use this one, single line:

FallbackResource /index.php

For IIS you will need to install URL Rewrite for IIS and then add the following rule to your web.config:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
          <rule name="Toro" stopProcessing="true">
            <match url="^(.*)$" ignoreCase="false" />
              <conditions logicalGrouping="MatchAll">
                <add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchType="IsFile" ignoreCase="false" negate="true" />
                <add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchType="IsDirectory" ignoreCase="false" negate="true" />
                <add input="{R:1}" pattern="^(index\.php)" ignoreCase="false" negate="true" />
            <action type="Rewrite" url="/index.php/{R:1}" />

Under the server block of your virtual host configuration, you only need to add three lines.

location / {
  try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$args;


Contributions to Toro are welcome via pull requests.


ToroPHP was created by Kunal Anand and released under the MIT License.