sfPropelActAsCommentableBehaviorPlugin - 0.5.0

Propel commentable behavior

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sfPropelActAsCommentableBehaviorPlugin

Introduction

This behavior permits to attach comments to Propel objects. It provides a module for enabling comments in your application in less than 3 minutes.

Features

  • add/remove comment(s) on an object
  • unit-tested
  • comment module, with ajax support and layout customization
  • comment namespaces (separate comments for the front-office and the back-office, for instance)
  • comment admin-module
  • gravatar support
  • comments validation and formatting support

Screenshots

sfPropelActAsCommentableBehaviorPlugin_comment_1.png sfPropelActAsCommentableBehaviorPlugin_comment_2.png sfPropelActAsCommentableBehaviorPlugin_comment_3.png

Philosophy of the stuff

  • commentable objects must have a primary key
  • comments can only be attached on objects that have already been saved
  • comments are saved when applied

Get it installed

  • go to your project's root

  • Install the plugin:

    ./symfony plugin-install http://plugins.symfony-project.com/sfPropelActAsCommentableBehaviorPlugin
    
  • if not already done, enabled behaviors in config/propel.ini:

    propel.builder.addBehaviors = true
    
  • edit the classes that you want to make taggable. For instance, for lib/model/Post.php:

    class Post extends BasePost
    {
    }
    
    sfPropelBehavior::add('Post', array('sfPropelActAsCommentableBehavior'));
    
  • rebuild the model:

    ./symfony propel-build-all
    
  • clear the cache:

    ./symfony cc
    

If you want to take profit of the included comment module, you should also complete the following steps:

  • activate the "sfComment" module in your app's settings.yml:

    enabled_modules:   [default, sfComment]
    
  • add the following lines in your app.yml:

    all:
      sfPropelActAsCommentableBehaviorPlugin:
        allowed_tags:
          a:              <a>
          blockquote:     <blockquote>
          code:           <code>
          em:             <em>
          i:              <i>
          p:              <p>
          strong:         <strong>
        anonymous:
          enabled:        true
          layout:
            name:         required
            email:        required
            website:      optional
            title:        optional
            comment:      required
          name:           Anonymous User
        css:              false
        count:
          enabled:        true
          method:         setSfCommentCount
          namespace:      frontend
        date_format:      words
        hide_form:        true
        namespaces:
          backend:        administrator
        use_ajax:         true
        use_gravatar:     true
        user:
          enabled:        true
          layout:
            title:        optional
            comment:      required
          table:          sf_guard_user
          id:             id
          class:          sfGuardUser
          id_method:      getId
          toString:       __toString
    

Optional settings

The plugin has been designed to allow comments from authenticated users, as well as anonymous users. But in general, you will want to adapt the layout of the form, depending on whether the user is authenticated or not. In the app.yml file, you can tweak the default setup:

  • the allowed_tags rule fixes the list of allowed html tags in the comment field. All the other html tags will be removed by HTMLPurifier.
  • the anonymous rules will tweak the way the plugin handles anonymous comments:
    • enabled : enables or disables anonymous comments.
    • layout : defines the layout of the comment form. Required fields will get a "required class" and will get validated. If you want a field not to appear (for instance, the "title" field), simply remove the associated line.
    • name : the default name of the user, in case the anonymous comment form does not as for an author name.
  • the css rule tells the plugin whether or not to include the default CSS file of the plugin
  • the count rules are useful for optimizing objects sorting on their comments count. See the paragraph "Retrieving one object's comments number" for more details.
  • the date_format option tells the plugin in which format the date of one comment should be displayed. This can be "words" (the default tweak), or any Symfony-compliant formatting string
  • the hide_form option lets the plugin hide the comment form when there is no comment. The comment form can then be displayed by clicking on a "add comment" link
  • the namespaces parameter lists the namespaces for which a security check must be made:
    • when a namespace is listed under the namespaces parameter, its value represents the required credentials for writing in it.
    • If you use namespaces in your comments, please make sure that you fill this parameter accordingly to your needs. For instance, if your application provide back-office internal comments, you won't want a normal front-office user being able to add comments on the back-office.
    • You can of course use your own namespaces names (ie., "backend" and "frontend" are not compulsory names).
  • the use_ajax rule indicates whether or not the comment system must use ajax.
  • the use_gravatar rule indicates whether or not the comment system must display gravatar. This option uses the sfGravatarPlugin.
  • the user rules will tweak the way the plugin handles comments from authenticated users:
    • enabled : enables or disables comments from authenticated users.
    • layout : defines the layout of the comment form. Required fields will get a "required class" and will get validated. If you want a field not to appear (for instance, the "title" field), simply remove the associated line.
    • table : name of the table that stores the users data.
    • id : name of the primary key of a user in the users table.
    • class : class associated to the users.
    • id_method : name of a method of your user's class, that permits to get the authenticated user id. Usually, you will have to define this method in the myUser.class.php file.
    • toString : name of a method that outputs the name of a user (an instance of the class defined two lines before)

Usage

How to use the comments module

You do not have to know the plugin internals in order to get started with the behavior. You simply have to include two components:

  • one for displaying the comments associated to an object
  • an other for displaying the comment form

For instance, when displaying a blog post, add in the view PHP file:

<h2><?php echo $post->getTitle(); ?></h2>

<p><?php echo $post->getText(); ?></p>

<?php
include_component('sfComment', 'commentList', array('object' => $post));
include_component('sfComment', 'commentForm', array('object' => $post));
?>

By default, the comment list displays all the comments that do not belong to one namespace. If you want to display comments for the namespace "gerard", then simply pass this optionnal parameter to the component:

include_component('sfComment', 'commentList', array('object' => $post, 'namespace' => 'gerard'));

This also works for the comment-form component. This way, the following form will add the comment to the namespace "gerard":

include_component('sfComment', 'commentList', array('object' => $post, 'namespace' => 'gerard'));

You can protect namespaces from being accessed when the current user does not have some credentials ; have a look at the configuration file for further informations.

Attaching comments to a commentable object

Consider a Propel "Post" class:

class Post extends BasePost
{
}

sfPropelBehavior::add('Post', array('sfPropelActAsCommentableBehavior'));

When the sfPropelActAsCommentableBehaviorPlugin is applied to the Post class, that class automagically gets commentable:

$post = new Post();
// blah
$post->save();
$post->addComment('This is a cool comment.');
$post->addComment(array('title' => 'this is a cool title', 'text' => 'this is a cool comment', 'author_id' => sfContext::getInstance()->getUser()->getUserId()));
$post->addComment(array('This is a cool comment.', 'this is one other comment'));

Retrieving one object's comments

It is possible to retrieve comments from a commentable object:

$post = PostPeer::retrieveByPk(1);
$comments = $post->getComments();

foreach ($comments as $comment)
{
  echo '<p>'.$comment->getText().'</p>';
}

Removing one object's comment

Of course, comments can also be removed:

$post = PostPeer::retrieveByPk(1);
$post->removeComment(12);
$post->clearComments();

Retrieving one object's comments number

It is rather easy to retrieve the number of comments attached to one object:

$post = PostPeer::retrieveByPk(1);
$nb_comments = $post->getNbComments();

In order to retrieve all the comments in one specific namespace, simply add a "namespace" parameter:

$post = PostPeer::retrieveByPk(1);
$nb_comments = $post->getNbComments(array('namespace' => 'frontend'));

One common problem is about sorting objects by their number of comments. For the moment, the plugin does not propose any immediate solution, so you will have to join with the comments table:

SELECT `post.title`,
       `post.text`,
       COUNT(`sf_comment.id`) as `count`
FROM `post`, `sf_comment`
WHERE `sf_comment.commentable_id`=`post.id`
      AND `sf_comment.commentable_model`='post'
      GROUP BY (`sf_comment.commentable_id`)
SORT BY `count` DESC;

However, a trick is available in the plugin: if you create a column named "sf_comment_count" (or something else, depending on your app.yml configuration) in the commentable model, its value will be updated each time a new comment is added using the addComment() method.

Several app.yml parameters are involved in this trick:

count:
  enabled:        true               # whether or not the method must be called for updating the comments count
  method:         setSfCommentCount  # name of the method to call in order to update the comments count. If you call the comments count column "gerard", simply put "setGerard" on this line
  namespace:      frontend           # namespaces of the comments that have to be counted (usefull for frontend counts). If you don't use namespaces, don't fill this line.

With this trick, sorting objects by their comment numbers is rather straightforward:

$c = new Criteria();
$c->addDescendingOrderByColumn(PostPeer::SF_COMMENT_COUNT);
$posts = PostPeer::doSelect($c);

API

The behavior implement the following methods:

  • addComment($comment) - Adds a comment to the object. The "comment" param can be an associative array (in which each element represents one of the comment properties), or an array of associative arrays. In this case, it adds all the comments to the object.
  • clearComments() - Deletes all the comments attached to the object
  • getComments($options = array()) - Returns the list of the comments attached to the object. The options array may contain several restriction options: namespace, order. The Criteria may be used to programmatically restrict the results.
  • getNbComments() - Returns the number of the comments attached to the object. The options array may contain several restriction options: namespace, order. The Criteria may be used to programmatically restrict the results.
  • removeComment($comment_id) - Removes one comment from the object.

Unit testing

The plugin has been deeply unit-tested. The tests are located in test/unit/sfPropelActAsCommentableBehaviorTest.php. If you want to run them:

  • install the plugin
  • configure a model for using it, for instance "Post"
  • edit this file and, if required, modify the application name and the TEST_CLASS constant, line 3:

    define('TEST_CLASS', 'Post');
    
  • run the tests:

    php plugins/sfPropelActAsCommentableBehaviorPlugin/test/unit/sfPropelActAsCommentableBehaviorTest.php
    

In-depth usage tutorial

This part is a complete tutorial for using the plugin both in front and back-office.

Install the plugin

  • go to your project's root

  • Install the plugin:

    ./symfony plugin-install http://plugins.symfony-project.com/sfPropelActAsCommentableBehaviorPlugin
    
  • if not already done, enabled behaviors in config/propel.ini:

    propel.builder.addBehaviors = true
    
  • edit the classes that you want to make taggable. For instance, for lib/model/Post.php:

    <?php
    class Post extends BasePost
    {
    }
    
    sfPropelBehavior::add('Post', array('sfPropelActAsCommentableBehavior'));
    
  • rebuild the model:

    ./symfony propel-build-all
    
  • clear the cache:

    ./symfony cc
    

Set up the plugin

  • activate the "sfComment" module in the settings.yml of the frontend application:

    enabled_modules:   [default, sfComment]
    
  • activate both the "sfComment" and the "sfCommentAdmin" modules in the settings.yml of the backend application:

    enabled_modules:   [default, sfComment, sfCommentAdmin]
    
  • add the following lines in the app.yml of both applications, or in the project's app.yml:

    all:
      sfPropelActAsCommentableBehaviorPlugin:
        allowed_tags:
          a:              <a>
          blockquote:     <blockquote>
          code:           <code>
          em:             <em>
          i:              <i>
          p:              <p>
          strong:         <strong>
        anonymous:
          enabled:        true
          layout:
            name:         required
            email:        required
            website:      optional
            comment:      required
          name:           Anonymous User
        css:              false
        count:
          enabled:        false
          method:         setSfCommentCount
          namespace:      frontend
        date_format:      words
        hide_form:        true
        namespaces:
          backend:        administrator
        use_ajax:         true
        use_gravatar:     true
        user:
          enabled:        false
          layout:
            title:        optional
            comment:      required
          table:          sf_guard_user
          id:             id
          class:          sfGuardUser
          id_method:      getId
          toString:       __toString
    
  • tweak these values accordingly to the "Optional settings" paragraph. In this example, please note that only administrators can add comments in the comments "backend" namespace.

Add comments in front-office

Include the sfComment components where the comments and the comment form should appear:

<h2><?php echo $post->getTitle(); ?></h2>

<p><?php echo $post->getText(); ?></p>

<?php
include_component('sfComment', 'commentList', array('object' => $post, 'namespace' => 'frontend'));
include_component('sfComment', 'commentForm', array('object' => $post, 'namespace' => 'frontend'));
?>

The use of a "namespace" is not required in this case; but it is advised, as it makes it easier to find the comments back.

Add comments in back-office

Include the sfComment components where the comments and the commentform should appear:

<?php
include_component('sfComment', 'commentList', array('object' => $post, 'namespace' => 'backend'));
include_component('sfComment', 'commentForm', array('object' => $post, 'namespace' => 'backend'));
?>
  • you're done! Only users with "administrator" credential are able to add comments to objects in the back-office, while everyone can add comments in the front-office. You can tweak the required credentials by modifying the app.yml file.

Comments administration

  • optionnaly, have a look at the sfCommentAdmin module, that uses the admin-generator for providing a view of all comments.

Tweaking the plugin's default module

  • As every plugin module, the modules bundled in this plugin can be overloaded. You simply have to create a module called sfComment in your application, and it will override the plugin's module.
  • the sfPropelActAsCommentableStripper can also be overloaded. Simply create your own class somewhere in your project. This class must be named "sfPropelActAsCommentableStripper", and must implement a "clean()" method. For instance, the following stripper won't strip anything (nor validate the user's entry):

    <?php
    class sfPropelActAsCommentableStripper
    {
      static public function clean($text)
      {
        return $text;
      }
    }
    

License and credits

This plugin is licensed under the MIT license. You can contact the maintainer at xavier@lacot.org.

Changelog

Version 0.5 - 2008-08-11

  • fixed XSS bug (closes #3745)
  • switched documentation to the markdown syntax
  • added a "website" field
  • fixed "duplication of DOM id sf_comment_list" bug (closes #3258)
  • allowed formatting in comments (closes #2900):
    • introduced a sfPropelActAsCommentableStripper class
    • use of HTMLPurifier
  • fixed "title not saved" bug (closes #3086)

Version 0.4 - 2007-12-10

  • compatibility with escaping=both mode
  • added unique DOM id for each comment, in the form sf_comment_$id (Nicolas Perriault)
  • use a session token instead of passing the object id and model in the request (Nicolas Perriault)
  • bugfixes, based on a patch from Michael Nolan (closes #2595):
    • fix anonymous posting (use the token)
    • pre and post addition hooks

version 0.3 - 2007-10-08

  • added namespaces support
  • fixed bad index names (thanks to francois)
  • made getComments() more flexible (closes #2312, thanks to FrankStelzer)

version 0.2 - 2007-09-26

  • added a Symfony module for posting and displaying comments
    • ajax support
    • authenticated users support
    • form customization
  • added an administration module

version 0.1 - 2007-09-13

Initial public release. Features comments attachment to heterogene Propel objects.

Roadmap / Wishlist

  • have custom configurations for specific comment-forms (and not only app-wide configurations)
  • make use of a captcha plugin, when a clean one will be available.