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View Helpers

In your view scripts, often it is necessary to perform certain complex functions over and over: e.g., formatting a date, generating form elements, or displaying action links. You can use helper classes to perform these behaviors for you.

A helper is simply a class. Let's say we want a helper named 'fooBar'. By default, the class is prefixed with 'Zend_View_Helper_' (you can specify a custom prefix when setting a helper path), and the last segment of the class name is the helper name; this segment should be TitleCapped; the full class name is then: Zend_View_Helper_FooBar. This class should contain at the minimum a single method, named after the helper, and camelCased: fooBar().

Watch the Case

Helper names are always camelCased, i.e., they never begin with an uppercase character. The class name itself is MixedCased, but the method that is actually executed is camelCased.

Default Helper Path

The default helper path always points to the Zend Framework view helpers, i.e., 'Zend/View/Helper/'. Even if you call setHelperPath() to overwrite the existing paths, this path will be set to ensure the default helpers work.

To use a helper in your view script, call it using $this->helperName(). Behind the scenes, Zend_View will load the Zend_View_Helper_HelperName class, create an object instance of it, and call its helperName() method. The object instance is persistent within the Zend_View instance, and is reused for all future calls to $this->helperName().

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