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Mini Tutorial for Jelix 1.0.x

The goal of this tutorial is to quickly show you how you can develop an application with Jelix 1.0.3 or more.

If you have downloaded Jelix 1.0.2 or less, follow this tutorial instead.

Download and installation

First, download the "developer" edition of Jelix. Jelix needs at least PHP 5.2.

Unarchive then the file you have downloaded, with your uncompress software. For example, with tar:

tar xvzf jelix-1.0.6-dev.tar.gz

After this, you have a directory jelix-1.0.6/lib/ in which there are all libraries used by jelix, and jelix itself.

For this tutorial, move the jelix-1.0.6 directory in the directory of your web site, so it will be accessible throw a browser, at this URL for example: http://localhost/jelix-1.0.6/. (You can rename jelix-1.0.6 as you wish).

Jelix scripts

A script for command line, jelix.php, is available in the lib/jelix-scripts/ directory. This script allows you to create quickly some differents files for your application. So open a console and go into this directory :

   cd lib/jelix-scripts/        # under linux
   cd lib\jelix-scripts\        # under windows 

You have to use jelix.php with the command line version of PHP and give it as parameter a Jelix command with some other parameters and options.

php jelix.php --application_name command_name [options] [parameters]

Creation of an application

Let's create the tree structure of the application using the createapp command. Our application will be named “example”:

php jelix.php --example createapp

You will then get a example/ directory, at the same level as the lib/ directory. Its content is the following :

   modules/       the modules of your application
   plugins/       the plugins of your application
   var/config/    the configuration files of your application
   var/log/       the log files
   var/themes/    the different possible themes in your application
   var/overloads/  will contain the different files that you will redefine, from modules. 
   www/           the root of the site

Creation of a module

A module gathers a whole of actions. At least one is necessary in an application. This is why a module is created automatically when you run createapp command.

Here is the directory which has been created:

            example/                the directory of the module
              module.xml          file describing the identity of the module
              controllers/       the classes processing the actions
                 default.classic.php   a default controller
              classes/            your business classes and services
              daos/               the object-relational mapping files
              forms/              forms files
              locales/            locales files ("properties files")
              templates/          templates of the module
              zones/              objects processing specific zones in a page

If you want to create other modules later, you can use the createmodule command:

php jelix.php --example createmodule cms

It will create a module named “cms”.

First display

Before to display the start page of your new application, you should put write access on some directories for the web server. This directories are temp/example and example/var/log :

For example, on linux (ubuntu or debian) :

   sudo chown www-data:www-data ../../temp/example ../../example/var/log
   sudo chmod 755 ../../temp/example ../../example/var/log

We are now ready to display the page. Your application is accessible at this URL: http://localhost/jelix-1.0.6/example/www/. Enter this URL in your browser. you should see:

You notice this message saying that a CSS file is missing. Copy the jelix-1.0.6/lib/jelix-www directory in dans jelix-1.0.6/example/www by renaming it to “jelix” (on a dedicated apache server, it is better to create an alias). This directory is important because it contains some files needed by jForms or other components.

Now you should see:

If there are some error messages in “installation check”, fix them.

Implementing an action

Let's implement a default action. An action is a process which generates a page. It is implemented as a method in a class called a “controller”, and a controller can implement several actions. Open the example/modules/example/controllers/default.classic.php file:

class defaultCtrl extends jController {
   function index () {
       $rep = $this->getResponse('html');
       // this is a call for the 'welcome' zone after creating a new application
       // remove this line !
       $rep->body->assignZone('MAIN', 'jelix~check_install');
       return $rep;

We state here that we retrieve a jResponseHtml object throw the getResponse method because of the “html” type as it is indicated. Then we return it to indicate that its content must be returned to the browser.

jResponseHtml has a “body” property, which is a jTpl object. jTpl is a template engine provided by Jelix. In the controller, you see that the assignZone method is called. It says: get the content of the 'check_install' zone which is stored in the 'jelix' module, and put this content into the template variable named “MAIN”. You will see what is a zone later. 'Check_install' zone is a zone which show the main content of the start page. As we don't need it anymore, delete this line so you will have this in your controller:

class defaultCtrl extends jController {
   function index () {
       $rep = $this->getResponse('html');
       return $rep;

Response object

The jResponseHtml object generates a HTML response (a HTML page). It generates automatically the <head> part of HTML, from some of its properties. Let's define the title of the page. Add this in the index method, before the return:

   $rep->title = 'Hello World !';

Reload the page. The title of the page is now display in your browser title bar. But the page contains this:

How is this possible although we don't have anything in our controller ?

We sww that getResponse('html') returns a jResponseHtml object. However, it is possible to return an other object for the “html” type. It can be an other object which inherits from jResponseHtml, and which set things which are common for all actions. For example: CSS style sheets, the main template etc. This is very useful because you don't need to repeat this settings in your actions. And because this is very useful, the createapp command creates a such class and a default template. This sort of class are stored in the responses directory of the application, and are declared in the configuration file.

Let's see the content of example/responses/myHtmlResponse.class.php created by createapp:

class myHtmlResponse extends jResponseHtml {
    public $bodyTpl = 'exemple~main';
    protected function _commonProcess() {
        $this->body->assignIfNone('MAIN','<p>no content</p>');

This “personnalized” response set up in bodyTpl the default template which will be used to generate the <body> content of all pages : “exemple~main”. This is the main.tpl file in the example module. “exemple~main” is called a selector. A Jelix selector is a shortcut to refer to a resource of a module. Here is the content of this template:

   <h1 class="apptitle">example<br/><span class="welcome">{@jelix~jelix.newapp.h1@}</span></h1>

{$MAIN} is an instruction which says: display the content of the template variable named “MAIN”. {@jelix~jelix.newapp.h1@} is an instruction which says: display the localized string (a string dependings of the lang) identified by tge “jelix.newapp.h1” key and stored in the “jelix” module.

The method “_commonProcess” is called after each actions. In the example, it assign “<p>no content</p>” to the MAIN template variable if this variable doesn't still exists (so, if it is not set by the action).

Now you know why there is a content displays on the start page. Now let's modify the template with this content:

<h1 class="apptitle">My web site</h1>
<div id="page">

And in the constructor of the _commonProcess method, we add an instruction to setup a CSS style sheet:

class myHtmlResponse extends jResponseHtml {
    public $bodyTpl = 'example~main';
    public function __construct() {
        global $gJConfig;
    protected function _commonProcess() {
        $this->body->assignIfNone('MAIN','<p>no content</p>');

Now you see:

Your first content

Let's define the content of our start page (in example/modules/example/controllers/default.classic.php):

class defaultCtrl extends jController {
   function index () {
      $rep = $this->getResponse('html');
      $rep->title = 'Hello World !';
      $rep->body->assign('MAIN',"<p>Hello !</p>");
      return $rep;

So here, we put “<p>Hello !</p>” in the “MAIN” template variable. We now see:

Template of an action

It should be more practical to put the content in a new template, dedicated to your action, for example in example/modules/example/templates/hello.tpl. So we have two templates: main.tpl which contains the main structure of the web site, and hello.tpl which specific to the action.

Let's create the hello.tpl in the templates directory:

<div class="monbloc">
<div class="blockcontent">Hello {$name} !</div>

“{$name}” is a variable template. Now modify the controller:

   function index () {
      $rep = $this->getResponse('html');
      $rep->title = 'Hello World !';
      $tpl = new jTpl();
      $rep->body->assign('MAIN', $tpl->fetch('hello'));
      return $rep;

Notice the use of the $tpl object. The “fetch” method generate the content of the given template. The 'hello' string is a selector of course.

You see now:

Retrieving parameters

It would be interesting to be able to indicate the name to display in the template, as a parameter of the url. We get a parameter value with param() method :

   $name = $this->param('name');
   $tpl->assign('name', $name);

Now type:


You will see:


To execute a specific action, you should add in the url a “module” and an “action” parameter. For our example, we can type:


The action parameter has the following syntax: controller_name:method_name

However, in our example, this parameters are optional because the action has been defined as the default one in the web site. The default action is specified in the example/var/config/index/config.ini.php file, in startModule and startAction options:


You can change it later if you want.

Well, this urls are not very friendly, and of course, you can change how URLS should look like. For example: http://localhost/index/news instead of http://localhost/index?module=news&action=default:index. This is done by configuring the url engine.

You can also change the “DocumentRoot” of the web site and to set it to the jelix-1.0.6/exemple/www directory, or move the content of the example/www to the root of your web site.


This were the first concepts of Jelix. You can continue to discover it by following the main tutorial.

en/tutorials/minitutorial/1.0.x.txt · Last modified: 2012/04/15 10:34 by laurent
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