In house we have been building our own MVC framework. One of the things that was important in the project was to not have to add routes manually but instead have a standard and let the index automatically handle routing based on that standard.

We want to access the URL /home/login

  • /home is the controller
  • /login is the method in the home controller

System hierarchy

  • Home
    • Controller
      • Home.php

Here is that index. Is there anything we could be doing differently or better?

We are using PHP 8.1 and NGINX with php-fpm


// contains stuff like $engine which is etheir
// nginx or apache and the composer autoloader
require_once __DIR__.'/config.php';

    // this block is so we can call php index.php --uri="/controller/action"
    $options = getopt('',array('uri::'));
    $url = explode('/', ltrim($options['uri'],'/'));
    // Determine this engine so we know how to parse url
    if($engine == 'nginx'){
        $url = isset($_SERVER['REQUEST_URI']) ? explode('/', ltrim($_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'],'/')) : '/';
    }else if($engine == 'apache'){
        $url = isset($_SERVER['PATH_INFO']) ? explode('/', ltrim($_SERVER['PATH_INFO'],'/')) : '/';

// Check if controller/action is provided if not load homepage
if ($url == '/' || empty($url[0])){

    $controller = new Home();
    $view = $controller->index();
    if($controller->data != null){
        extract($controller->data, EXTR_PREFIX_SAME, 'wddx');       

    $cssFiles = $controller->cssFiles;
    $jsFiles = $controller->jsFiles;
    $useLocalJquery = $controller->useLocalJquery;
    $viewPath = "{$rootPath}Home/View/{$view}.php";

    //The first element should be a controller
    $requestedController = ucfirst($url[0]); 

    // If a second part is added in the URI, 
    // it should be a method
    $requestedAction = isset($url[1]) && $url[1] != '' ? ucfirst($url[1]) : 'Index';

    // The remain parts are considered as 
    // arguments of the method
    $requestedParams = array_slice($url, 2); 

    // Check if controller exists.
    $ctrlPath = "{$rootPath}{$requestedController}/Controller/{$requestedController}.php";

    if (file_exists($ctrlPath)){
        $view = null;

        $controllerObj  = new $requestedController();

        //Check that action exist or return 404
            header('HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found');
        if($requestedAction != ''){
            $view = $controllerObj->$requestedAction($requestedParams);
            // If no action is specified we default to loading the index
            $view = $controllerObj->index($requestedParams);
        if($controllerObj->data != null){
            extract($controllerObj->data, EXTR_PREFIX_SAME, 'wddx');   
        $cssFiles = $controllerObj->cssFiles;
        $jsFiles = $controllerObj->jsFiles;
        $useLocalJquery = $controllerObj->useLocalJquery;
        if($view != null){
            // Store view path
            $viewPath = "{$rootPath}{$requestedController}/View/{$view}.php";

            // Check if view uses template

                $templatePath = "{$rootPath}Template/View/{$controllerObj->template}.php";

                // If the view does not use the template then we just load the view
        header('HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found');
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Why do you keep saying "we"? Sounds like you don't want ppl to think the mess is all yours. Anyway the code is so bad I would be really surprised if it ever makes it to production. Unless this is for learning purpose I recommend you try some tested working solution instead. BTW custom routes without automated magic are actually much better, IMHO... \$\endgroup\$
    – slepic
    Sep 1, 2022 at 3:40
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @slepic So tell me what makes this "so bad" I only care about improving. If you have suggestions of solutions that are "superior" in your opinion then please let me know \$\endgroup\$ Sep 1, 2022 at 17:55
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Sorry but one could write entire book about how to write an MVC framework. I'm suggesting to have a look on existing solutions even for learning purpose, just open their source code and see how they do it... I could also suggest looking into things like SOLID principles, specifically single responsibility and dependency inversion principles. \$\endgroup\$
    – slepic
    Sep 1, 2022 at 19:58
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Please do not add redundant parentheses when using require_once. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dharman
    Mar 7, 2023 at 14:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do not use extract in global scope. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dharman
    Mar 7, 2023 at 14:10

1 Answer 1


Half given answer, use an existing framework - everyone regrets building their own framework (including me)

session_start() is bad - API calls wont have a session.

argv drop it, you dont want it - test properly or dont bother.

$url has a non 0 probability of being undefined.

new Home() should be treated no differently to /very/complex/path/:id

Exit early (see file_exists if statement).

Basically every mistake you could make, you made - please dont write a framework.

  • \$\begingroup\$ 1. This will never be used for an API it is purely for our website 2. drop it and replace with what exactly? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 16, 2022 at 14:28

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