Rendering the output with fluid

The TemplateView of Fluid now tries to load the corresponding HTML template. Since there is none specified by this->view->setTemplatePathAndFilename($template-PathAndFilename) Fluid searches at a place defined by conventions.

All frontend templates can be found in EXT:blog_example/Resources/Private/Templates by default. For example there are the two subfolders Blog and Post. Since the call was made by the indexAction() of the BlogController Fluid searches in the folder Blog for a file named Index and - if not set up differently - the suffix .html. So every action method has its own template. Possible other formats are e.g. .pdf, .json or .xml. In table 3.1 you can find some examples for these convention.

Table 3-1: Examples for the convention of template paths

Controller Action Format Path and filename
Blog index unspecified Resources/Private/Templates/Blog/Index.html
Blog index txt Resources/Private/Templates/Blog/Index.txt
Blog new unspecified Resources/Private/Templates/Blog/New.html
Post unspecified unspecified Resources/Private/Templates/Post/Index.html

In our case the file Index.html will be loaded. The content will be parsed step by step, line by line. Here you see an extract of the template file:

Index.html
 <h1>
     <f:translate key="blog.header">[Blog header]</f:translate>
 </h1>
 <p>
     <f:translate key="blog.introduction">[introduction]</f:translate>
 </p>

 <f:widget.paginate objects="{blogs}" as="paginatedBlogs" configuration="{itemsPerPage: 3}">
     <ol class="tx-blogexample-blog-list">
         <f:for each="{paginatedBlogs}" as="blog">
             <li>
                 <h3>
                     <f:link.action action="index" controller="Post" arguments="{blog : blog}">{blog.title} ({f:translate(key: 'blog.numberOfPosts', arguments: '{numberOfPosts: \'{blog.posts -> f:count()}\'}')})</f:link.action>
                 </h3>
                 <f:security.ifHasRole role="{settings.editorUsergroupUid}">
                     <div class="tx-blogexample-options">
                         <f:link.action action="edit" class="icon edit" arguments="{blog : blog}" title="{f:translate(key: 'blog.edit')}">
                             <f:translate key="blog.edit" />
                         </f:link.action>
                         <f:link.action action="delete" class="icon delete" arguments="{blog : blog}" title="{f:translate(key: 'blog.delete')}">
                             <f:translate key="blog.delete" />
                         </f:link.action>
                     </div>
                 </f:security.ifHasRole>
                 <p class="tx-blogexample-description">
                     <f:format.nl2br>{blog.description}</f:format.nl2br>
                 </p>
             </li>
         </f:for>
     </ol>
 </f:widget.paginate>

At first all the unknown XML tags with namespace »f« stand out, like <f:for> or <f:link.action>. These tags are provided by Fluid and represent different functionalities.

  • <f:format.nl2br>[…]</f:format.nl2br> modifies linebreaks (new lines) to <br /> tags.
  • <f:link.action action="new"> creates a link tag that links to the newAction() of the current controller.
  • <f:for each="{paginatedBlogs}" as="blog">[...]</f:for> iterates over all Blog objects found in Blogs.

Let’s have a closer look at the latter example. In the variable {blogs} all blogs are “included” and then split into “blogs per page” (paginatedBlogs) by the pagination widget. The curly brackets tell Fluid that it is a variable that was “assigned” to the template. In our case this was done in the indexAction() of the BlogController. With the attribute each the for ViewHelper gets the blog objects over whom to iterate. The attribute as holds the name of the variable with which the blog object is available inside of <f:for>[...]</f:for>. Here it can be called with {blog}.

Note

The string "blog" is not surrounded by brackets when assigned to the as attribute since the string is passed as a name for the variable and should not be parsed by Fluid. An as="{blog}" would be parsed as if you would have liked to make the name of the variable configurable. Rule of thumb: Curly brackets in each, none in as.

Objects cannot be rendered by Fluid directly if they do not have a __toString() method. The single properties of an object can be accessed with point-notation. If Fluid crosses a string like {blog.title} it tries to parse it. Fluid expects the variable blog to be an object. Inside of this object it searches for a method named getTitle(). The name of the method is created by extracting the part after the point, capitalizing the first letter and prefixing it with “get”. With this the call looks something like this: $blog->getTitle(). The return value will replace {blog.title} in the template. In the same way {blog.description} will be replaced with the description. Parsing the point goes recursively. That means Fluid can parse a string {blog.administrator.name} by calling a method that equals $blog->getAdministrator()->getName().

Note

The return value is “tidied up” by htmlspecialchars(). That protects from Cross Site Scripting-Attacks (XSS).

As soon as Fluid is done with the whole template the result is appended to the Response object. This is done in the \TYPO3\CMS\Extbase\Mvc\Controller\ActionController by the call $this->response->appendContent($this->view->render()).

Our journey slowly comes to an end. The Request has been fully answered by a corresponding action. The Response object carries the completely generated content.