Extending and Configuring Zend_Tool_Framework

Customizing Zend_Tool Console Client

As of Zend Framework 1.9, Zend_Tool_Framework allows developers to store information, provider specific configuration values, and custom files in a special location on the developers machine. These configuration values and files can be used by providers to extend functionality, customize functionality, or any other reasons a provider sees fit.

The primary purpose, and the purpose most immediately used by existing providers is to allow developers to customize the way the "out of the box" providers do work.

One of the more commonly requested features is to be able to provide custom project profiles to Zend_Tool_Project's Project Provider. This would allow developers to store a custom profile in a special place that can be used repeatedly by the Zend_Tool system in order to build custom profiles. Another commonly requested feature is to be able to configure the behavior of providers with a configuration setting. In order to achieve this, not only do we have to have a Zend_Tool configuration file, but we also have to have a place to find this configuration file.

The Home Directory

Before the Console Client can start searching for a Zend_Tool configuration file or a local storage directory, it must first be able to identify where the "home directory" is located.

On *nix-based machines, PHP will be populated with an environment variable named HOME with a path to the current users home directory. Typically, this path will be very similar to /home/myusername.

On Windows-based machines, PHP will typically be populated with an environment variable named HOMEPATH with the current users home directory. This directory is usually found in either C:\Documents and Settings\Username\, or in Vista at C:\Users\Username.

If either a home directory cannot be found, or you wish to change the location of where Zend_Tool_Framework Console Client finds the home directory, you can provide an environment variable named ZF_HOME to specify where to find the home directory.

Local Storage

Once a home directory can be located, Zend_Tool_Framework's Console Client can either autodiscover the local storage directory, or it can be told where to expect the local storage directory.

Assuming the home directory has been found (here noted as $HOME), the Console Client will then look for the local storage directory in $HOME/.zf/. If found, it will set the local storage directory to this location.

If the directory cannot be found, or the developer wishes to override this location, that can be done by setting an environment variable. Regardless if $HOME has been previously set or not, the developer may supply the environment variable ZF_STORAGE_DIR.

Once the path to a local storage directory is found, the directory must exist for it to be passed into the Zend_Tool_Framework runtime, as it will not be created for you.

User Configuration

Like local storage, once a home directory can be located, Zend_Tool_Framework's Console Client can then either attempt to autodiscover the path to a configuration file, or it can be told specifically where to find the configuration file.

Assuming the home directory has been found (here noted as $HOME), the Console Client will then attempt to look for the existence of a configuration file located at $HOME/.zf.ini. This file, if found, will be used as the configuration file for Zend_Tool_Framework.

If that location does not exist, but a local storage directory does, then the Console Client will then attempt to locate the configuration file within the local storage directory. Assuming the local storage directory exists in $LOCAL_STORAGE, then if a file exists as $LOCAL_STORAGE/zf.ini, it will be found by the Console Client and utilized as the Zend_Tool_Framework configuration file.

If the file cannot be autodiscovered or the developer wishes to specify the location of location of the configuration file, the developer can do so by setting an environment variable. If the environment variable ZF_CONFIG_FILE is set, then its value will be used as the location of the configuration file to use with the Console Client. The ZF_CONFIG_FILE can point to any Zend_Config readable INI, XML or PHP File.

If the file does not exist in either the autodiscovered or the provided location, it will not be used as Zend_Tool_Framework does not attempt to create the file automatically.

User Configuration File Content

The configuration file should be structured as a Zend_Config configuration file, in INI format, and without any sections being defined. First level keys should be used by the provider searching for a specific value. For example, if the "Project" provider is expecting a "profiles" directory, then it should typically be understood that it will search for the following INI key value pair:

  1. project.profile = some/path/to/some-directory

The only reserved INI prefix is the value "php". The "php" prefix to values will be reserved to store names and values of runtime settable PHP values, such as include_path or error_reporting. To override the include_path and error_reporting with an INI value, a developer would set:

  1. php.include_path = "/path/to/includes1:/path/to/includes2"
Important

The reserved prefix "php" only works with INI files. You can't set PHP INI values with PHP or XML config.

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