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development:architecture:record_data_formatter

RecordDataFormatter view helper

:!: This page describes functionality that was added in VuFind 4.0.

VuFind includes a RecordDataFormatter view helper designed to make it easier to customize the contents of tabular displays of data generated from record driver objects.

Basic Concept

The RecordDataFormatter's most important public method is getData(), which accepts two things as input:

  • A specification, in the form of an associative array, describing the fields of the output table and how to obtain the necessary data to populate them.
  • A record driver object.

As output, getData() returns different formats depending on your VuFind version. In 4.x, it is an associative array of field name => another associative array containing HTML output ('value' key) and contextual information ('context' key) for the corresponding field. :!: Starting with 5.0, the return format changes to a non-associative array of arrays, with each sub-array containing a 'label' key for the field name.

Field names are raw and should be translated/escaped when displayed in templates.

Additionally, the helper includes getDefaults($key) / setDefaults($key) methods which can be used to store or retrieve default specification arrays. VuFind ships with stored specifications for 'collection-info', 'collection-record', 'core' and 'description', which are used in the corresponding .phtml files in the record driver template directory. See below on how to change/customize these defaults.

Specification Array

The specification array uses as keys the labels to be displayed in the resulting table of data. Each key is associated with a value which is itself an associative array with one or more of the following keys:

KeyOptional/RequiredDescription
allowZero optional (default = true) If the raw data evaluates to 0 or '0', should we display it (true) or suppress the whole field (false)?
context optional An array of contextual values that may be used to help with template rendering; these are always passed through as the 'context' key of the output of the view helper. When template rendering (renderType = RecordDriverTemplate) is used, these values are also passed directly to the target template
dataMethod :!: required :!: The record driver method to use for extracting raw field data used for generating output. May be set to boolean true to always generate output without variable input; may be set to boolean false to suppress the entire field.
helperMethod optional The Record view helper method to use for output rendering, when renderType = RecordHelper.
pos optional An integer used for sorting the fields to determine the final display order.
renderType optional (default = Simple) The method used to render output from the input provided by dataMethod. Legal values: Multi (sort data using a callback function specified by the 'multiFunction' key and potentially render each output group using different rules), RecordDriverTemplate (render a template associated with the record driver, as specified by the 'template' key); RecordHelper (call a method of the Record view helper, as specified by the 'method' key); Simple (display the raw data, possibly manipulated based on other settings in the specification)
labelFunction optional May be set to a callback function which will receive the raw field data as input and produce a custom output label (overriding the key of the spec array) as output. Starting with VuFind 5.0, the callback function also receives the record driver object as a second parameter.
multiFunction optional The callback required when renderType = Multi. Accepts three parameters: 1.) raw input data, 2.) the options array from the spec, 3.) the record driver object. Outputs an array of associative arrays with the following keys: label: Label to display; values: Values to render; options: Rendering options (may include renderType, pos, and any other relevant parameters; they will be applied only to the current grouping of data; any options not set here will be inherited from the spec array).
multiRenderType optional The default type of rendering to apply to each of the sets of values returned by the multiFunction (optional, defaults to Simple, may be overridden by options specified by your multiFunction).
prefix optional HTML to prepend to the output generated by the view helper. Applies only when RenderType = Simple.
recordLink optional The type of link (from the Record view helper's getLink method) to associate with each value in the raw field data. Applies only when RenderType = Simple.
separator optional (default = <br />) Separator to use between multiple data values. Applies only when RenderType = Simple.
suffix optional HTML to append to the output generated by the view helper. Applies only when RenderType = Simple.
template optional The name of the template to render, when renderType = RecordDriverTemplate
translate optional (default = false) Should we run raw field data through the translator? Applies only when RenderType = Simple.
translationTextDomain optional (default = '') Prefix to apply to value string prior to running text through the translator; most useful for applying a text domain, but may be used for other purposes (for example, 'CreatorRole::' or 'location_'). Applies only when RenderType = Simple. :!: Introduced in VuFind 4.1.
useCache optional (default = false) Should we cache the raw field data in the view helper to avoid duplicate calls?

The Specification Builder

A SpecBuilder convenience class has been provided to help generate specification arrays. This handles such functionality as auto-generating useful 'pos' values, reordering/overriding fields, etc.

Useful public methods:

  • setLine($key, $dataMethod, $renderType = null, $options = []) - add a configuration for $key; defaults to 'Simple' $renderType
  • setMultiLine($key, $dataMethod, $callback, $options = []) - add a multi-function-based configuration for $key; convenience method wrapped around setLine()
  • setTemplateLine($key, $dataMethod, $template, $options = []) - add a template-based configuration for $key; convenience method wrapped around setLine()
  • reorderKeys($orderedKeys, $defaultPos = null) - reorder the items within the configuration based on an ordered array of key names

Customizing Specifications

There are two simple ways to change specifications.

Option 1: Override the Factory

If you want to make global changes to a specification, the easiest solution is to extend \VuFind\View\Helper\Root\RecordDataFormatterFactory in your own custom module and override getDefaultCoreSpecs() and/or getDefaultDescriptionSpecs() as needed. You can either completely rewrite the spec generation logic, or you can call the parent version of the function and then manipulate the array slightly to add, remove or reorder fields.

Option 2: Override the Template

If you want to change behavior for a specific record driver, or if you prefer to keep your code changes at a higher level, you can also customize the appropriate record driver template(s), simply manipulating the spec array between the call to getDefaults() and the call to getData().

development/architecture/record_data_formatter.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/06 18:06 by demiankatz