Using controllers and views

General

After routing is performed, the controller takes care of the actual code to execute for the request. Because we want to implement some basics for every request that gets processed you should inherit from our base classes to ensure basic functionality such as authorisation and CSRF protection.

Controllers are placed in the directory /usr/local/opnsense/mvc/app/controllers/<Vendor_name>/<Module_name>/ and should use the standard Phalcon naming conventions, suffix Controller.php on every class file and suffix Action on all action methods.

For a detailed description of how Controllers work in Phalcon, please look at the Phalcon documentation at http://docs.phalconphp.com/en/latest/reference/controllers.html

View based controllers

For rendering standard pages we have chosen to use Volt templates, the base controller to inherit from in this case is OPNsense\Base\ControllerBase and should take care of binding a template to the controller. Every template automatically receives standard features (such as the menu system).

The wireframe for implementing a single action should look like this:

<?php
    public function indexAction()
    {
       // address some variables to pass through the view
        $this->view->my_variable1 = 'test 1';
        $this->view->my_variable2 = 'test 2';
       // pick a template
        $this->view->pick('SampleVendor/Sample/index');
    }

And the volt template SampleVendor/Sample/index.volt could contain something like:

the contents of my_variable1 => <b> {{ my_variable1 }} </b> <br>
the contents of my_variable2 => <b> {{ my_variable2 }} </b> <br>

A full example can be found in the OPNsense\Sample controller directory.

More information on how to write Volt pages can be found here : http://docs.phalconphp.com/en/latest/reference/volt.html

User forms

When designers need forms for users to input data, they can use the getForm() method on our standard controller to feed a simple xml file as definition for the template engine to use. The example section contains a step by step guide how to use these.

The getForm() method itself merily passes the structure to thew view, which can use this information to render forms on page load (statically). In our standard layout partials we offer some different record types which we will detail below:

Attributes

Name

Description

id

unique id of the attribute

type

type of input or field. For a list of valid types, use the Type table below

label

attribute label (visible text)

size

size (width in characters) attribute if applicable

height

height (length in characters) attribute if applicable

help

help text

advanced

property “is advanced”, only display in advanced mode

hint

input control hint

style

css class(es) to add, helps identifying items easier using jQuery selectors

width

width in pixels if applicable

allownew

allow new items (for list) if applicable

readonly

if true, input fields will be readonly

Types

Name

Description

header

Header row

text

Single line of text

password

Password field for sensitive input. The contents will not be displayed.

textbox

Multiline text box

checkbox

Checkbox

dropdown

Single item selection from dropdown

select_multiple

Multiple item select from dropdown

hidden

Hidden fields not for user interaction

info

Static text (help icon, no input or editing)

API based controllers

For API calls a separate class is used to derive from, which implements a simple interface to handle calls. The main difference with the view controllers is that an action should return a named array containing response data instead of picking a template.

A simple index controller to echo a request back looks like this:

class TestController extends ApiControllerBase
{
    /**
     * @return array
     */
    public function echoAction()
    {
        if ($this->request->hasPost("message")) {
            $message = $this->request->getPost("message");
        } else {
            $message = " " ;
        }

        return array("message" => $message);
    }
}

When placed inside the API directory of Vendor/Sample can be called by sending a post request to /api/sample/test/echo, using jQuery:

$.ajax({
    type: "POST",
    url: "/api/sample/test/echo",
    success: function(data){
        alert(data.message) ;
    },
    data:{message:"test message"}
});

Tip

OPNsense ships with two standard controllers to incorporate default action scenario’s, such as mutating models and restarting services. These can be found in our repository here and are named ApiMutableModelControllerBase, ApiMutableServiceControllerBase. Both extend ApiControllerBase as described in this chapter. The mutable model controller is explained in more detail in using grids, the service controller is explained in api enable services