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Felix Geisendörfer's Blog:
Welcome to the Dark Side of Plugins in CakePHP
June 26, 2006 @ 06:27:28

CakePHP users out there looking to squeeze just a bit more out of their plugins might want to check out this new post over on Felix Geisendörfer's blog today. He shows how he's worked around two issues that have bothered him with the current framework setup - inter-plugin communication and filter callbacks.

He starts off by looking at the filter callbacks, looking to make "drag and drop-able" plugins for his setup. He notes that, right now, you'd have to call a plugin to perfom an action, making for a good bit of load depending on the application structure. It also means that you have to change the Controller to add a new plugin ("...which doesn't seem like a very RAD approach to me").

So in order to streamline such plugin callbacks, I created a function inside SpliceIt!, that allows plugins to hook into any AppController event, such as beforeFilter, afterFilter, beforeRender, etc. in order to make their own changes to the controller. So a Themes plugin can easily change the Controller::view and a Statistics plugin can make calls to a Model.

He gives the code for the function as well as an example of how to use it in your app.

Moving on, he looks at his next issue to overcome - inter-plugin communication:

Generally spoken Controller::requestAction() isn't a bad way to exchange data between controllers. It's a clean interface and you don't have to plan in advance what data should be exchangeable and what data should not. However, there are a couple problems with it.

His solution involves the creation of an entirely seperate ApiController pattern. Of course, he provides examples, specifically related to his SpliceIt! application.

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