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General information

PHP information

The content objects (data type: cObject) are primarily controlled by the PHP- script "typo3/sysext/frontend/Classes/ContentObject/ContentObjectRenderer.php". The PHP-class is named "ContentObjectRenderer" and often this is also the variable-name of the objects ($cObj).

The $cObj in PHP has an array, $this->data, which holds records of various kind. See data type "getText".

This record is normally "loaded" with the record from a table depending on the situation. Say if you are creating a menu it's often loaded with the page-record of the actual menu item or if it's about content-rendering it will be the content-record.


When dealing with "cObjects", you're allowed to use a special syntax in order to reuse cObjects without actually creating a copy. This has the advantage of minimizing the size of the cached template. But on the other hand it does not give you the flexibility of overriding values.

This example will show you how it works:

# Temporary objects are defined:
lib.stdheader = COA
lib.stdheader {
  stdWrap.wrapAlign.field = header_position
  stdWrap.typolink.parameter.field = header_link
  stdWrap.fieldRequired = header

  1 = TEXT
  1.stdWrap.current = 1
  1.stdWrap.fontTag = {$content.wrap.header1} = {$content.headerSpace}

# CType: header
tt_content.header = COA
tt_content.header {
  10 < lib.stdheader >

  20 = TEXT
  20.stdWrap.field = subheader
  20.stdWrap.fontTag = {$content.wrap.subheader1}

# CType: bullet
tt_content.bullets = COA
tt_content.bullets {
  10 = < lib.stdheader
  20 < styles.content.bulletlist_gr

First lib.stdheader is defined. This is (and must be) a cObject! (In this case it is COA.)

Now lib.stdheader is copied to tt_content.header.10 with the "<" operator. This means that an actual copy of lib.stdheader is created at parsetime.

But this is not the case with tt_content.bullets.10. Here lib.stdheader is just pointed to and lib.stdheader will be used as the cObject at runtime.

The reason why lib.stdheader was copied in the first case is the fact that it's needed to unset "" inside the cObject (" >"). This could not be done in the second case where only a pointer is created.


If lib.stdheader was temp.stdheader instead, the pointer would not work! This is due to the fact that the runtime-reference would find nothing in "temp." as this is unset before the template is stored in cache!

This goes for "temp." and "styles." (see the top-level object definition elsewhere).

Overriding values anyway:

Although you cannot override values TypoScript-style (using the operators and all) the properties of the object which has the reference will be merged with the configuration of the reference.


page.10 = TEXT
page.10.value = kasper = upper

page.20 = < page.10 = lower
page.20.value >
page.20.stdWrap.field = pages

The result is this configuration:

Resulting configuration.

Notice that .value was not cleared, because it's simply two arrays which are joined:

The arrays, which are merged.

So hence the line page.20.value > in the above example is useless.