Paul M. Jones has started an interesting discussion rethinking the MVC pattern as applied to the web, which he has dubbed Action-Domain-Responder (ADR). If you haven't given it a read yet, click the link and do that; this page will still be sitting here waiting when you return.
I agree with a ton of it — heck, I've contributed to it a fair bit via conversations with Paul. But there's been one thing nagging at me for a bit now, and I was finally able to put it into words recently.
Controllers — Actions in ADR — can be explained as facades.
In the last two entries in this series on models, I covered using forms as input filters and integrating ACLs into models. In this entry, I tackle some potential infrastructure for your models.
The Model is a complex subject. However, it is often boiled down to either a single model class or a full object relational mapping (ORM). I personally have never been much of a fan of ORMs as they tie models to the underlying database structure; I don't always use a database, nor do I want to rely on an ORM solution too heavily on the off-chance that I later need to refactor to use services or another type of persistence store. On the other hand, the model as a single class is typically too simplistic.
Now that Zend_Test has shipped, developers are of course asking, "How do I setup my test suite?" Fortunately, after some discussion with my colleagues and a little experimenting on my one, I can answer that now.
Since I originally started hacking on the Zend Framework MVC in the fall of 2006, I've been touting the fact that you can test ZF MVC projects by utilizing the Request and Response objects; indeed, this is what I actually did to test the Front Controller and Dispatcher. However, until recently, there was never an easy way to do so in your userland projects; the default request and response objects make it difficult to easily and quickly setup tests, and the methods introduced into the front controller to make it testable are largely undocumented.
So, one of my ongoing projects the past few months has been to create an infrastructure for functional testing of ZF projects using PHPUnit. This past weekend, I made the final commits that make this functionality feature complete.
The new functionality provides several facets:
Zend_Dom_Query, a class for using CSS selectors (and XPath) to query (X)HTML and XML documents.
Zend_Dom_Queryand the Response object to make their comparisons.
I'm pleased to announce that Zend Framework will be partnering with Dojo Toolkit to deliver out-of-the-box Ajax and rich user interfaces for sites developed in Zend Framework.
The integration points we have defined for our initial release are as follows:
2007 was a busy year, both personally and professionally. I won't go into the personal too much, because, well, it's personal, and some of the details are simply inappropriate for blogging material.
Here's the short version:
What follows is my month-by-month breakdown: