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New Features in CakePHP 2.1

Models

Model::saveAll(), Model::saveAssociated(), Model::validateAssociated()

Model::saveAll() and friends now support passing the fieldList for multiple models. Example:

$this->SomeModel->saveAll($data, array(
    'fieldList' => array(
        'SomeModel' => array('field_1'),
        'AssociatedModel' => array('field_2', 'field_3')
    )
));

Model::saveAll() and friends now can save unlimited levels deep. Example:

$data = array(
    'Article' => array('title' => 'My first article'),
    'Comment' => array(
        array('body' => 'Comment 1', 'user_id' => 1),
        array(
            'body' => 'Save a new user as well',
            'User' => array('first' => 'mad', 'last' => 'coder')
        )
    ),
);
$this->SomeModel->saveAll($data, array('deep' => true));

View

View Blocks

View Blocks are a mechanism to allow the inclusion of slots of content, whilst allowing child view classes or elements to provide custom content for that block.

Blocks are output by calling the fetch method on the View. For example, the following can be placed in your View/Layouts/default.ctp file:

<?php echo $this->fetch('my_block'); ?>

This will echo the content of the block if available, or an empty string if it is undefined.

Setting the content of a block can be done in a number of ways. A simple assignment of data can be done using assign:

<?php $this->assign('my_block', 'Hello Block'); ?>

Or you can use it to capture a section of more complex content:

<?php $this->start('my_block'); ?>
    <h1>Hello Block!</h1>
    <p>This is a block of content</p>
    <p>Page title: <?php echo $title_for_layout; ?></p>
<?php $this->end(); ?>

Block capturing also supports nesting:

<?php $this->start('my_block'); ?>
    <h1>Hello Block!</h1>
    <p>This is a block of content</p>
    <?php $this->start('second_block'); ?>
        <p>Page title: <?php echo $title_for_layout; ?></p>
    <?php $this->end(); ?>
<?php $this->end(); ?>

ThemeView

In 2.1, the use of ThemeView is deprecated in favor of using the View class itself. ThemeView is now a stub class.

All custom pathing code has been moved into the View class, meaning that it is now possible for classes extending the View class to automatically support themes. Whereas before we might set the $viewClass Controller property to Theme, it is now possible to enable themes by simply setting the $theme property. Example:

App::uses('Controller', 'Controller');

class AppController extends Controller {
    public $theme = 'Example';
}

All View classes which extended ThemeView in 2.0 should now simply extend View.

JsonView

A new view class that eases the output of JSON content.

Previously, it was necessary to create a JSON layout (APP/View/Layouts/json/default.ctp) and a corresponding view for each action that would output JSON. This is no longer required with JsonView.

The JsonView is used like any other view class, by defining it on the controller. Example:

App::uses('Controller', 'Controller');

class AppController extends Controller {
    public $viewClass = 'Json';
}

Once you have setup the controller, you need to identify what content should be serialized as JSON, by setting the view variable _serialize. Example:

$this->set(compact('users', 'posts', 'tags'));
$this->set('_serialize', array('users', 'posts'));

The above example would result in only the users and posts variables being serialized for the JSON output, like so:

{"users": [...], "posts": [...]}

There is no longer any need to create view ctp files in order to display Json content.

Further customization of the output can be achieved by extending the JsonView class with your own custom view class if required.

The following example wraps the result with {results: ... }:

App::uses('JsonView', 'View');
class ResultsJsonView extends JsonView {
    public function render($view = null, $layout = null) {
        $result = parent::render($view, $layout);
        if (isset($this->viewVars['_serialize'])) {
            return json_encode(array('results' => json_decode($result)));
        }
        return $result;
    }
}

XmlView

Much like the JsonView, the XmlView requires you to set the _serialize view variable in order to indicate what information should be serialized into XML for output:

$this->set(compact('users', 'posts', 'tags'));
$this->set('_serialize', array('users', 'posts'));

The above example would result in only the users and posts variables being serialized for the XML output, like so:

<response><users>...</users><posts>...</posts></response>

Note that the XmlView adds a response node to wrap all serialized content.

Conditional View Rendering

Several new methods were added to CakeRequest to ease the task of setting correct HTTP headers to foster HTTP caching. You can now define our caching strategy using the expiration or validation HTTP cache model, or combine both. Now there are specific methods in CakeRequest to fine-tune Cache-Control directives, set the entity tag (Etag), set the Last-Modified time and much more.

When those methods are combined with having the RequestHandlerComponent enabled in your controller, the component will automatically decide if the response is already cached in the client and will send a 304 Not Modified status code before rendering the view. Skipping the view rendering process saves CPU cycles and memory.:

class ArticlesController extends AppController {
    public $components = array('RequestHandler');

    public function view($id) {
        $article = $this->Article->read(null, $id);
        $this->response->modified($article['Article']['modified']);
        $this->set(compact('article'));
    }
}

In the above example the view will not be rendered if the client sent the header If-Modified-Since, and the response will have a 304 status.

Helpers

To allow easier use outside of the View layer, methods from TimeHelper, TextHelper, and NumberHelper helpers have been extracted to CakeTime, String, and CakeNumber classes respectively.

To use the new utility classes:

class AppController extends Controller {

    public function log($msg) {
        $msg .= String::truncate($msg, 100);
        parent::log($msg);
    }
}

You can override the default class to use by creating a new class in your APP/Utility folder, e.g.: Utility/MyAwesomeStringClass.php, and specify it in engine key:

// Utility/MyAwesomeStringClass.php
class MyAwesomeStringClass extends String {
    // my truncate is better than yours
    public static function truncate($text, $length = 100, $options = array()) {
        return null;
    }
}

// Controller/AppController.php
class AppController extends Controller {
    public $helpers = array(
        'Text' => array(
            'engine' => 'MyAwesomeStringClass',
            ),
        );
}

HtmlHelper

A new function HtmlHelper::media() has been added for HTML5’s audio/video element generation.