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Writing Your Own Helpers

Action helpers extend Zend_Controller_Action_Helper_Abstract, an abstract class that provides the basic interface and functionality required by the helper broker. These include the following methods:

  • setActionController() is used to set the current action controller.

  • init(), triggered by the helper broker at instantiation, can be used to trigger initialization in the helper; this can be useful for resetting state when multiple controllers use the same helper in chained actions.

  • preDispatch(), is triggered prior to a dispatched action.

  • postDispatch() is triggered when a dispatched action is done -- even if a preDispatch() plugin has skipped the action. Mainly useful for cleanup.

  • getRequest() retrieves the current request object.

  • getResponse() retrieves the current response object.

  • getName() retrieves the helper name. It retrieves the portion of the class name following the last underscore character, or the full class name otherwise. As an example, if the class is named Zend_Controller_Action_Helper_Redirector, it will return Redirector; a class named FooMessage will simply return itself.

You may optionally include a direct() method in your helper class. If defined, it allows you to treat the helper as a method of the helper broker, in order to allow easy, one-off usage of the helper. As an example, the redirector defines direct() as an alias of goto(), allowing use of the helper like this:

// Redirect to /blog/view/item/id/42
$this->_helper->redirector('item''view''blog', array('id' => 42));

Internally, the helper broker's __call() method looks for a helper named redirector, then checks to see if that helper has a defined direct() method, and calls it with the arguments provided.

Once you have created your own helper class, you may provide access to it as described in the sections above.

Zend Framework