Constants & 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. You can supply additional arguments to replace placeholders in your string:

__('You have {0} unread messages', $number);

You can also provide a name-indexed array of replacements:

__('You have {unread} unread messages', ['unread' => $number]);

Note

Check out the Internationalization & Localization section for more information.

__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');

__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.

__dx(string $domain, string $context, string $msg, mixed $args = null)

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

The context is a unique identifier for the translations string that makes it unique within the same domain.

__dxn(string $domain, string $context, string $singular, string $plural, integer $count, mixed $args = null)

Allows you to override the current domain for a single plural message lookup. It also allows you to specify a context. Returns correct plural form of message identified by $singular and $plural for count $count from domain $domain. Some languages have more than one form for plural messages dependent on the count.

The context is a unique identifier for the translations string that makes it unique within the same 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.

__x(string $context, string $msg, mixed $args = null)

The context is a unique identifier for the translations string that makes it unique within the same domain.

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

Returns correct plural form of message identified by $singular and $plural for count $count from domain $domain. It also allows you to specify a context. Some languages have more than one form for plural messages dependent on the count.

The context is a unique identifier for the translations string that makes it unique within the same domain.

collection(mixed $items)

Convenience wrapper for instantiating a new Cake\Collection\Collection object, wrapping the passed argument. The $items parameter takes either a Traversable object or an array.

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

Changed in version 3.3.0: Calling this method will return passed $var, so that you can, for instance, place it in return statements.

If the core $debug variable is true, $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

dd(mixed $var, boolean $showHtml = null)

It behaves like debug(), but execution is also halted. If the core $debug variable is true, $var is printed. If $showHTML is true or left as null, the data is rendered to be browser-friendly. Also see Debugging

pr(mixed $var)

Changed in version 3.3.0: Calling this method will return passed $var, so that you can, for instance, place it in return statements.

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

pj(mixed $var)

Changed in version 3.3.0: Calling this method will return passed $var, so that you can, for instance, place it in return statements.

JSON pretty print convenience function, with the addition of wrapping <pre> tags around the output.

It is meant for debugging the JSON representation of objects and arrays.

env(string $key, string $default = null)

Changed in version 3.1.1: The $default parameter has been added.

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.

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

Convenience wrapper for htmlspecialchars().

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');

namespaceSplit(string $class)

Split the namespace from the classname.

Commonly used like list($namespace, $className) = namespaceSplit('Cake\Core\App');

Core Definition Constants

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

constant APP

Absolute path to your application directory, including a trailing slash.

constant APP_DIR

Equals app or the name of your application 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 CONFIG

Path to the config directory.

constant CORE_PATH

Path to the root directory with ending directory slash.

constant DS

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

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 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