Chapter 14. Zend_View

Table of Contents

14.1. Introduction
14.1.1. Controller Script
14.1.2. View Script
14.2. Controller Scripts
14.2.1. Assigning Variables
14.2.2. Rendering a View Script
14.2.3. View Script Paths
14.3. View Scripts
14.3.1. Escaping Output
14.3.2. Template Systems
14.4. View Helpers
14.4.1. Initial Helpers
14.4.2. Helper Paths
14.4.3. Writing Custom Helpers

14.1. Introduction

Zend_View is a class for working with the "view" portion of the model-view-controller pattern. That is, it exists to help keep the view script separate from the model and controller scripts. It provides a system of helpers, output filters, and variable escaping.

Zend_View is template system agnostic; you may use PHP as your template language, or create instances of other template systems and manipulate them within your view script.

Essentially, using Zend_View happens in two major steps: 1. Your controller script creates an instance of Zend_View and assigns variables to that instance. 2. The controller tells the Zend_View to render a particular view, thereby handing control over the view script, which generates the view output.

14.1.1. Controller Script

As a simple example, let us say your controller has a list of book data that it wants to have rendered by a view. The controller script might look something like this:

// use a model to get the data for book authors and titles.
$data = array(
        'author' => 'Hernando de Soto',
        'title' => 'The Mystery of Capitalism'
        'author' => 'Henry Hazlitt',
        'title' => 'Economics in One Lesson'
        'author' => 'Milton Friedman',
        'title' => 'Free to Choose'

// now assign the book data to a Zend_View instance
$view = new Zend_View();
$view->books = $data;

// and render a view script called "booklist.php"
echo $view->render('booklist.php');

14.1.2. View Script

Now we need the associated view script, "booklist.php". This is a PHP script like any other, with one exception: it executes inside the scope of the Zend_View instance, which means that references to $this point to the Zend_View instance properties and methods. (Variables assigned to the instance by the controller are public properties of the Zend_View instance.) Thus, a very basic view script could look like this:

<?php if ($this->books): ?>
    <!-- A table of some books. -->
        <?php foreach ($this->books as $key => $val): ?>
            <td><?php echo $this->escape($val['author']) ?></td>
            <td><?php echo $this->escape($val['title']) ?></td>
        <?php endforeach; ?>
<?php else: ?>
    <p>There are no books to display.</p>
<?php endif; ?>

Note how we use the "escape()" method to apply output escaping to variables.