Create your own framework... on top of the Symfony2 Components (part 7)

Fabien Potencier

January 15, 2012

This article is part of a series of articles that explains how to create a framework with the Symfony2 Components: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.

One down-side of our framework right now is that we need to copy and paste the code in front.php each time we create a new website. 40 lines of code is not that much, but it would be nice if we could wrap this code into a proper class. It would bring us better reusability and easier testing to name just a few benefits.

If you have a closer look at the code, front.php has one input, the Request, and one output, the Response. Our framework class will follow this simple principle: the logic is about creating the Response associated with a Request.

As the Symfony2 components requires PHP 5.3, let's create our very own namespace for our framework: Simplex.

Move the request handling logic into its own Simplex\Framework class:

namespace Simplex;
use Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Request;
use Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Response;
use Symfony\Component\Routing\Matcher\UrlMatcher;
use Symfony\Component\Routing\Exception\ResourceNotFoundException;
use Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\Controller\ControllerResolver;
class Framework
    protected $matcher;
    protected $resolver;
    public function __construct(UrlMatcher $matcher, ControllerResolver $resolver)
        $this->matcher = $matcher;
        $this->resolver = $resolver;
    public function handle(Request $request)
        try {
            $controller = $this->resolver->getController($request);
            $arguments = $this->resolver->getArguments($request, $controller);
            return call_user_func_array($controller, $arguments);
        } catch (ResourceNotFoundException $e) {
            return new Response('Not Found', 404);
        } catch (\Exception $e) {
            return new Response('An error occurred', 500);

And update accordingly:

// ...
$request = Request::createFromGlobals();
$routes = include __DIR__.'/../src/app.php';
$context = new Routing\RequestContext();
$matcher = new Routing\Matcher\UrlMatcher($routes, $context);
$resolver = new HttpKernel\Controller\ControllerResolver();
$framework = new Simplex\Framework($matcher, $resolver);
$response = $framework->handle($request);

To wrap up the refactoring, let's move everything but routes definition from into yet another namespace: Calendar.

For the classes defined under the Simplex and Calendar namespaces to be autoloaded, update the composer.json file:

    "require": {
        "symfony/class-loader": "2.1.*",
        "symfony/http-foundation": "2.1.*",
        "symfony/routing": "2.1.*",
        "symfony/http-kernel": "2.1.*"
    "autoload": {
        "psr-0": { "Simplex": "src/", "Calendar": "src/" }

For the autoloader to be updated, run php composer.phar update.

Move the controller to Calendar\Controller\LeapYearController:

namespace Calendar\Controller;
use Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Request;
use Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Response;
use Calendar\Model\LeapYear;
class LeapYearController
    public function indexAction(Request $request, $year)
        $leapyear = new LeapYear();
        if ($leapyear->isLeapYear($year)) {
            return new Response('Yep, this is a leap year!');
        return new Response('Nope, this is not a leap year.');

And move the is_leap_year() function to its own class too:

namespace Calendar\Model;
class LeapYear
    public function isLeapYear($year = null)
        if (null === $year) {
            $year = date('Y');
        return 0 == $year % 400 || (0 == $year % 4 && 0 != $year % 100);

Don't forget to update the file accordingly:

$routes->add('leap_year', new Routing\Route('/is_leap_year/{year}', array(
    'year' => null,
    '_controller' => 'Calendar\\Controller\\LeapYearController::indexAction',

To sum up, here is the new file layout:
??? composer.json
?   src
?   ??? app.php
?   ??? Simplex
?       ??? Framework.php
?   ??? Calendar
?       ??? Controller
?       ?   ??? LeapYearController.php
?       ??? Model
?           ??? LeapYear.php
??? vendor
??? web
    ??? front.php

That's it! Our application has now four different layers and each of them has a well defined goal:

  • web/front.php: The front controller; the only exposed PHP code that makes the interface with the client (it gets the Request and sends the Response) and provides the boiler-plate code to initialize the framework and our application;

  • src/Simplex: The reusable framework code that abstracts the handling of incoming Requests (by the way, it makes your controllers/templates easily testable -- more about that later on);

  • src/Calendar: Our application specific code (the controllers and the model);

  • src/app.php: The application configuration/framework customization.


gravatar Marc Torres Baix  — January 15, 2012 12:29   #1
Hi Fabien,

first of all, a big thanks for these awesome series!

You've got two little issues with the try catch blocks on Framework class. The code could not reach the Routing\Exception\ResourceNotFoundException class, so you need to use it too. Besides, the last catch, tries to catch the default exception, but we're in the Simplex namespace, so you've to put the \ before the Exception.

I thinks that's all. Thanks again!
gravatar Pablo Godel  — January 15, 2012 15:41   #2
There's a typo in "Move the request handling logic into its own Simple\Framework class:" where it should be Simplex/Framework,

other than this, great series!
gravatar Fabien Potencier  — January 15, 2012 17:26   #3
@Marc: good catches, fixed now.
@Pablo: fix too now.
gravatar Alex Jorj  — January 22, 2012 12:51   #4
I had some hard times trying to figure out th source of the error below when I run composer.phar update after the last changes:

Warning: strpos(): Empty delimiter in phar://d:/sites/framework/composer.phar/src/Composer/Autoload/AutoloadGenerator.php on line 32

It turned out that the code generator does not handle the symbolic links I have on my Windows 7 (yeah sorry) , e.g. running from c:\users\$name\sites\framework thrown the error above.

That's just for helping others who may get the same error.
gravatar Scott Meves  — January 29, 2012 21:31   #5
If anyone has trouble running "php composer.phar update" with this combination of requirements in his or her composer.json file, if you remove your vendor directory and run "install" again, it should work fine. See for more details.
gravatar Paul Gamper  — March 01, 2012 14:44   #6
Ok, bug how to handle the templates now?