sfPropelActAsTaggableBehaviorPlugin - 0.1.0

Propel taggable behavior

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This behavior permits to attach tags to Propel objects. It includes tag-clouds generation and helpers to display these clouds.


  • add/remove tag(s) on an object
  • multi-tags object search
  • multi-models selection
  • tag cloud generation
  • related tags handling
  • unit-tested

Philosophy of the stuff

  • taggable objects must have a primary key
  • tags are saved when the object is saved, not before
  • one object cannot be tagged twice with the same tag. When trying to use twice the same tag on one object, the second tagging will be ignored
  • the tags associated to one taggable object are only loaded when necessary. Then they are cached.
  • once created, tags never change in the Tag table. When using replaceTag(), a new tag is created id necessary, but the old one is not deleted.

Get it installed

  • go to your project's root

  • Install the plugin:

     ./symfony plugin-install http://plugins.symfony-project.com/sfPropelActAsTaggableBehaviorPlugin
  • 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:

    addTag('toto'); $post->addTag('tata, tutu'); $post->addTag(array('Titi', 'Gros Minet')); $post->save(); ### Retrieving one object's tags It is possible to retrieve tags from a taggable object : getTags(); foreach ($tags as $tag) { echo $tag.'
    '; }

Tags cloud generation

The plugin also proposes methods and helpers for generating tags cloud :

// gets the popular tags
$tags = TagPeer::getPopulars();

// display the tags cloud. The tags will use the route name "@tag" which tags 
// the request parameter "tags"
echo tag_cloud($tags, '@tag?tags');

The default size of the tag cloud is 100 items, but this value might be tweaked in app.yml:

    limit:   50

When you click on a tag in a tag cloud, you will want to get a list of objects that have been tagged with that tag. But sometimes, it happens that this tag is so popular that you can not find the resource you were searching for. Related-tags clouds are helpful for refining your request, as they provide a way to add an other tag to the request:

// get the tags related to "toto" and "tutu", for the model "Post" only
$tags = TagPeer::getRelatedTags('toto,tutu', array('model' => 'Post'));

// displays the related tags cloud, using the route "@post_tags" with the 
// request parameter "tags"
echo related_tag_cloud($tags, '@post_tags?tags=', 'toto,tutu');

Specialize your tag clouds

The tag retrival mecanism is fully based on Criterias, so it is easy to pass several restrictions. For instance, for retrieving popular tags over posts created in March 2007 :

$c = new Criteria();
$c->addJoin(PostPeer::ID, TaggingPeer::TAGGABLE_ID);
$c->add(PostPeer::CREATED_AT, '2007-03%', Criteria::LIKE);
$tags = TagPeer::getPopulars($c, array('model' => 'Post'));
echo tag_cloud($tags, '@tag?tags=');

Avoid performance problems

In case you want to display a long list of taggable objects with their associated tags, you might want first to preload these objects's tags: it avoids to load tags per object, and gets all tags in a few requests.

$posts = TagPeer::getTaggedWith('toto,tutu', array('model' => 'Post'));

foreach ($posts as $post)
  echo $post-getTitle();

  // won't require one request at each loop, as tags have been preloaded.

Plugin internals

The plugin associates a parameterHolder to Propel objects, with 3 namespaces: * tags: tags that have been attached to the object, but not yet saved. Contract: tags are disjoin of (saved_tags union removed_tags) * saved_tags: tags that are presently saved in the database * removed_tags: tags that are presently saved in the database, but which will be removed at the next save(). Contract: removed_tags are included in saved_tags

When required, the saved_tags namespace is filled with the tags previously present in the database. The tagging methods have an action on these three namespaces, which are serialized in the database after the Propel object gets saved.


The behavior implement the following methods: * addTag($tagname) - Adds one or several tags to an object * getTags() - Returns the list of the tags attached to the object * hasTag($tag = null) - Returns true if the object has a tag. If a tag ar an array of tags is passed in second parameter, checks if these tags are attached to the object * removeTag($tagname) - Removes a tag or a set of tags from the object. * replaceTag($tagname, $replacement = null) - Replaces a tag with an other one.

The behavior class also implement the following method, which is a facility for preloading all the tags for a set of taggable objects * preloadTags($objects) - Preload tags for a set of objects

Unit testing

The plugin has been deeply unit-tested, if not fully. The tests are located in test/unit/sfPropelActAsTaggableBehaviorTest.php. If you want to run them : * install the plugin * configure a model for using it, for instance "Post" * copy the test file to /path/to/your/project/test/unit/sfPropelActAsTaggableBehaviorTest.php * edit this file and modify line 3:

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

     ./symfony test-unit sfPropelActAsTaggableBehavior

License and credits

This plugin has been developed by Xavier Lacot and is licensed under the MIT license. Thanks to Tristan Rivoallan for the improvement suggestions.


  • abstract primary keys handling. For the moment, primary keys are supposed to be named "ID"
  • improve TagsHelpers (particularly, routing logic)