During my recent pursuit of working with and creating Zend framework 2 modules, I have had the opportunity to rub shoulders with a number of great resources and to venture into territories unexplored before. Indeed, the experience has taught me a lot about the PHP language, and I now have better direction and focus when it comes to writing code that is robust, more flexible and safe.
In this article today, I can offer some nifty tips for those who possess a basic skill level in Zend framework 2, and want to create modules that are useful, versatile and value-adding. I have observed that many modules do not observe the simplest of rules when it comes to power of usage and functionality. Hence, these tips will help out developers who have the will to create something good, powerful and tailor-made for their clients.
Here are what I feel can be some crucial tips to write high quality, high performance modules for Zend framework 2 –
Before you start working your groundbreaking idea into a stellar module for Zend framework 2, you need to check if an identical module has already been written by someone. If there is one already in existence, you can send pull requests and help make it better, instead of creating a new, redundant module. Run a search with your chosen keywords and ensure that you are making something entirely new and unique.
To make your modules more flexible and conducive for tailor-made configuration, if your module has features can be configured to suit the user’s needs, add to them the option of configuring them.
Try to always set your hard dependencies in the constructor. To avoid possibilities of exception errors, avoid setter/getter code and initializers.
Zend 2 closures are not cache-able, and it is more efficient to make use of explicit class factories and define them in the module configuration file.
To keep things as open as possible, use the service manager to create most of your objects for more transparency in dependencies.
I have found untested modules to be a cause of major concern in the past. Create unit tests for your modules compulsorily, to ensure that they are well-written and function without problems.
Not unlike other important frameworks of the present time, Zend 2 has a number of strict code conventions that I recommend every developer should know in detail about. Apart from the industry standard PSR-0/1/2 conventions, there are also some important conventions about where you need to store your files. For example, if your module has many different options, it is always better coding to centralize these into an Options class.
Like many developers, I have found that using Composer to handle inter-module dependencies can have its advantages. When your module is complete and ready for use, make sure that you host it both at the Zend framework 2 modules page, and with Packagist.
Remember that Zend is a modular framework, and many users might not like having to download the entire framework to resolve the dependencies in your module. To make it easier for users, set only those dependencies that you absolutely need.