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Global Constants and Functions

While most of your day-to-day work in CakePHP will be utilizing core classes and methods, CakePHP features a number of global convenience functions that may come in handy. Many of these functions are for use with CakePHP classes (loading model or component classes), but many others make working with arrays or strings a little easier.

We’ll also cover some of the constants available in CakePHP applications. Using these constants will help make upgrades more smooth, but are also convenient ways to point to certain files or directories in your CakePHP application.

Global Functions

Here are CakePHP’s globally available functions. Most of them are just convenience wrappers for other CakePHP functionality, such as debugging and translating content.

__(string $string_id[, $formatArgs])

This function handles localization in CakePHP applications. The $string_id identifies the ID for a translation. Strings used for translations are treated as format strings for sprintf(). You can supply additional arguments to replace placeholders in your string:

__('You have %s unread messages', $number);

Note

Check out the Internationalization & Localization section for more information.

__c(string $msg, integer $category, mixed $args = null)

Note that the category must be specified with an I18n class constant, instead of only the constant name. The values are:

  • I18n::LC_ALL - LC_ALL
  • I18n::LC_COLLATE - LC_COLLATE
  • I18n::LC_CTYPE - LC_CTYPE
  • I18n::LC_MONETARY - LC_MONETARY
  • I18n::LC_NUMERIC - LC_NUMERIC
  • I18n::LC_TIME - LC_TIME
  • I18n::LC_MESSAGES - LC_MESSAGES
__d(string $domain, string $msg, mixed $args = null)

Allows you to override the current domain for a single message lookup.

Useful when internationalizing a plugin: echo __d('PluginName', 'This is my plugin');

__dc(string $domain, string $msg, integer $category, mixed $args = null)

Allows you to override the current domain for a single message lookup. It also allows you to specify a category.

Note that the category must be specified with an I18n class constant, instead of only the constant name. The values are:

  • I18n::LC_ALL - LC_ALL
  • I18n::LC_COLLATE - LC_COLLATE
  • I18n::LC_CTYPE - LC_CTYPE
  • I18n::LC_MONETARY - LC_MONETARY
  • I18n::LC_NUMERIC - LC_NUMERIC
  • I18n::LC_TIME - LC_TIME
  • I18n::LC_MESSAGES - LC_MESSAGES
__dcn(string $domain, string $singular, string $plural, integer $count, integer $category, mixed $args = null)

Allows you to override the current domain for a single plural message lookup. It also allows you to specify a category. Returns correct plural form of message identified by $singular and $plural for count $count from domain $domain.

Note that the category must be specified with an I18n class constant, instead of only the constant name. The values are:

  • I18n::LC_ALL - LC_ALL
  • I18n::LC_COLLATE - LC_COLLATE
  • I18n::LC_CTYPE - LC_CTYPE
  • I18n::LC_MONETARY - LC_MONETARY
  • I18n::LC_NUMERIC - LC_NUMERIC
  • I18n::LC_TIME - LC_TIME
  • I18n::LC_MESSAGES - LC_MESSAGES
__dn(string $domain, string $singular, string $plural, integer $count, mixed $args = null)

Allows you to override the current domain for a single plural message lookup. Returns correct plural form of message identified by $singular and $plural for count $count from domain $domain.

__n(string $singular, string $plural, integer $count, mixed $args = null)

Returns correct plural form of message identified by $singular and $plural for count $count. Some languages have more than one form for plural messages dependent on the count.

am(array $one, $two, $three...)

Merges all the arrays passed as parameters and returns the merged array.

config()

Can be used to load files from your application config-folder via include_once. Function checks for existence before include and returns boolean. Takes an optional number of arguments.

Example: config('some_file', 'myconfig');

convertSlash(string $string)

Converts forward slashes to underscores and removes the first and last underscores in a string. Returns the converted string.

debug(mixed $var, boolean $showHtml = null, $showFrom = true)

If the application’s DEBUG level is non-zero, $var is printed out. If $showHTML is true or left as null, the data is rendered to be browser-friendly. If $showFrom is not set to false, the debug output will start with the line from which it was called. Also see Debugging

env(string $key)

Gets an environment variable from available sources. Used as a backup if $_SERVER or $_ENV are disabled.

This function also emulates PHP_SELF and DOCUMENT_ROOT on unsupporting servers. In fact, it’s a good idea to always use env() instead of $_SERVER or getenv() (especially if you plan to distribute the code), since it’s a full emulation wrapper.

fileExistsInPath(string $file)

Checks to make sure that the supplied file is within the current PHP include_path. Returns a boolean result.

h(string $text, boolean $double = true, string $charset = null)

Convenience wrapper for htmlspecialchars().

LogError(string $message)

Shortcut to Log::write().

pluginSplit(string $name, boolean $dotAppend = false, string $plugin = null)

Splits a dot syntax plugin name into its plugin and class name. If $name does not have a dot, then index 0 will be null.

Commonly used like list($plugin, $name) = pluginSplit('Users.User');

pr(mixed $var)

Convenience wrapper for print_r(), with the addition of wrapping <pre> tags around the output.

sortByKey(array &$array, string $sortby, string $order = 'asc', integer $type = SORT_NUMERIC)

Sorts given $array by key $sortby.

stripslashes_deep(array $value)

Recursively strips slashes from the supplied $value. Returns the modified array.

Core Definition Constants

Most of the following constants refer to paths in your application.

constant APP

Path to the application’s directory.

constant APP_DIR

Equals app or the name of your application directory.

constant APPLIBS

Path to the application’s Lib directory.

constant CACHE

Path to the cache files directory. It can be shared between hosts in a multi-server setup.

constant CAKE

Path to the cake directory.

constant CAKE_CORE_INCLUDE_PATH

Path to the root lib directory.

constant CORE_PATH

Path to the root directory with ending directory slash.

constant CSS

Path to the public CSS directory.

Deprecated since version 2.4.

constant CSS_URL

Web path to the CSS files directory.

Deprecated since version 2.4: Use config value App.cssBaseUrl instead.

constant DS

Short for PHP’s DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR, which is / on Linux and \ on windows.

constant FULL_BASE_URL

Full URL prefix. Such as https://example.com

Deprecated since version 2.4: This constant is deprecated, you should use Router::fullbaseUrl() instead.

constant IMAGES

Path to the public images directory.

Deprecated since version 2.4.

constant IMAGES_URL

Web path to the public images directory.

Deprecated since version 2.4: Use config value App.imageBaseUrl instead.

constant JS

Path to the public JavaScript directory.

Deprecated since version 2.4.

constant JS_URL

Web path to the js files directory.

Deprecated since version 2.4: Use config value App.jsBaseUrl instead.

constant LOGS

Path to the logs directory.

constant ROOT

Path to the root directory.

constant TESTS

Path to the tests directory.

constant TMP

Path to the temporary files directory.

constant VENDORS

Path to the vendors directory.

constant WEBROOT_DIR

Equals webroot or the name of your webroot directory.

constant WWW_ROOT

Full path to the webroot.

Timing Definition Constants

constant TIME_START

Unix timestamp in microseconds as a float from when the application started.

constant SECOND

Equals 1

constant MINUTE

Equals 60

constant HOUR

Equals 3600

constant DAY

Equals 86400

constant WEEK

Equals 604800

constant MONTH

Equals 2592000

constant YEAR

Equals 31536000