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Do Less Work in the Controller

Wow. You’ve already almost finished with first episode on Symfony2. That’s not easy - Symfony2 has a learning curve, and I’ve been throwing a lot of tough concepts at you.

As a reward, let’s see a few shortcuts!

The @Template Rendering Shortcut

Head to google and search for SensioFrameworkExtraBundle. Click the link on Symfony.com. This bundle is all about shortcuts, and it came standard with our project.

On the docs, scroll down to the @Template link and click it. Copy the use statement from the code block and paste it into EventController:

// src/Yoda/EventBundle/Controller/EventController.php
// ...

use Sensio\Bundle\FrameworkExtraBundle\Configuration\Template;

class EventController extends Controller
{
    // ...
}

Ok, let’s remove the render method and just return the array of variables we were passing to the template. Finish up by adding an @Template annotation above indexAction with the template name:

// src/Yoda/EventBundle/Controller/EventController.php
// ...

/**
 * @Template("EventBundle:Event:index.html.twig")
 */
public function indexAction()
{
    // ...

    return array(
        'entities' => $entities,
    );
}

When we check the page in our browser, it works perfectly. This is a bit of magic: it tells Symfony to render the template for us.

Now remove the template name and refresh:

/**
 * @Template()
 */
public function indexAction()
{
    // ...
}

This works too! Now we’re talking.

If we don’t pass a template name, it guesses it from the controller and action name:

Controller: EventBundle:Event:index

Template: EventBundle:Event:index.html.twig

Annotation use Statements

Let’s talk about the use statement we pasted in. Whenever you use an annotation, you must have a use statement for it. If you don’t, you’ll see a nice exception:

[SemanticalError] The annotation “@Template” in method .. was never imported. Did you maybe forget to add a “use” statement for this annotation?

We actually saw this already in our Event entity. It was generated for us, but it has a use statement for its ORM annotation.

Annotation Routing

What else can we do with annotations? How about routing?

On the docs, go back and click the @Route and @Method link. Copy the use statement into the controller and put an @Route annotation above indexAction:

// src/Yoda/EventBundle/Controller/EventController.php
// ...

use Sensio\Bundle\FrameworkExtraBundle\Configuration\Template;
use Sensio\Bundle\FrameworkExtraBundle\Configuration\Route;

class EventController extends Controller
{
    /**
     * @Template()
     * @Route("/")
     */
    public function indexAction()
    {
        // ...
    }
}

Importing Routes from a Controller

Hmm, routing right above the controller? Interesting!

But like all routing - we have to import it before it works. Open up the routing.yml file in the bundle, copy the event.yml import line and change the key so its unique. To import annotation routes, just point the resource at the Controller directory and add a type option:

# src/Yoda/EventBundle/Resources/config/routing.yml
# ...

EventBundle_event_annotation:
    resource: "@EventBundle/Controller"
    prefix:   /
    type:     annotation

When we refresh, it still works.

Duplicate Routes

BUT, things are not as they seem. Check out the web debug toolbar. It says that the event route is being matched. Now, run the router:debug console task. Uh oh, we have two routes with identical paths:

event ANY ANY ANY / ... yoda_event_event_index ANY ANY ANY /

The first route is from event.yml and the second is from our annotations where Symfony generates a name automatically by default. When two routes have the same path, the first route matches. So let’s remove the first one in event.yml:

# src/Yoda/EventBundle/Resources/config/routing/event.yml # event: # pattern: / # defaults: { _controller: “EventBundle:Event:index” }

Now when we refresh, it works and our route is matched.

But when we try to create a new event, we get an error! In new.html.twig we’re generating a link to the homepage by using its route name - event. Symfony generated a different name for the annotation route: yoda_event_event_index.

Easy fix. Just add a name="event" key to the routing annotation:

// src/Yoda/EventBundle/Controller/EventController.php
// ...

/**
 * @Template()
 * @Route("/", name="event")
 */
public function indexAction()
{
    // ...
}

And just like that, life is good. For homework, read through these docs and see what other cool things you can do.

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