I had a code for a layout library which looked like :


Today I started writing a new code, simpler and smaller :

    'view_name'     => 'layout_admin',
    'title'         => 'Administration',
    'js'            => 'admin/matrix.chat' 

The previous setters/add methods were like :

public function setDoctype($doctype) {
    $this->doctype = $doctype;
    return $this;

public function addJs($name) {
    if(!in_array($name, $this->js)) {
        $this->js[] = $name;
    return $this;

The new data method :

public function data($data = array()) {
    if(isset($data['view_name'])) $this->ci->config->load($data['view_name']);
    else $this->ci->config->load($this->data['view_name']);

    // Mark as forbid because are stored in arrays and 
    // I can add values to those
    $forbid = array('css', 'js', 'rss');

    foreach($this->ci->config->config['layout'] as $key => $value) {
        if(isset($data[$key]) && !in_array($key, $forbid))
            $this->data[$key] = $data[$key];            
            $this->data[$key] = $value;

        if(isset($data[$key]) && in_array($key, $forbid)) {
            if(is_array($data[$key])) {
                if(count($array) != count($array, COUNT_RECURSIVE))
                    foreach($data[$key] as $key2 => $value2)
                        $this->data[$key][$key2] = $value2;
                    foreach($data[$key] as $value2)
                        $this->data[$key][] = $value2;
            } else              
                $this->data[$key][] = $data[$key];

    return $this;

I changed to this because of the many things that I can update for every page. And use ->setThing would be annoying. But I don't find that my code is so OOP.

Note that I'm using CodeIgniter.

What's the best oop code ? If you want more indications, please tell me I'm new and don't know how to say more ;) .

  • \$\begingroup\$ You should add more details, especially code of your layout class. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sven
    Apr 19, 2013 at 23:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is done :) . \$\endgroup\$
    – Madnx
    Apr 20, 2013 at 0:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ I like ->setThing, because i can use type ahead, also you can easily make a backtrace in the function and you have only backtrace for the manipulations of Thing and not for every other data in your class. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 20, 2013 at 12:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your paths should start with '/', i.e /admin/index. So that they start at the root of the domain (especially if using mod_rewrite) \$\endgroup\$ May 13, 2013 at 16:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ As John said, it's very effective. It's common practice in many frameworks... and in Code Igniter itself! \$\endgroup\$ May 17, 2013 at 6:48

1 Answer 1


The core of your question is whether or not you should use setters ($tpl->setSomeParam()) or a simple array to bind template parameters. While using an array my not seem very OO, it's actually a pretty effective way of decoupling your data from your templates. As you've discovered, having to add a new setter to your layout manager every time you add a new parameter to one of your templates means the layout manager is tightly coupled to all of your templates – not good.

This is pretty common practice these days. Twig, Underscore.js, and many others do the same thing.


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