Namespacing Old Classes

ZF2’s minimal version is PHP 5.3. The most notable feature of PHP 5.3 is the addition of namespaces, which ZF2 fully embraces. Moreover, new projects built on ZF2 also fully embrace PHP namespaces. The addition of namespaces to PHP has greatly improved the readability of long class names and has helped better organize code into modules and components. This transition has also given birth to some naming best practices that help developers organize their code bases consisting of classes, components, and modules in a consistent and clean fashion.

Converting an older code base that follows the original PEAR/ZF underscore separated class naming convention into a properly namespaced codebase is one of the easier strategies to employ in both modernizing your code base as well as getting ready to ZF2-ify your ZF1 application.

We’ve created a tool to help in this endeavor, it is located here:

This tool will take a wholesale approach to converting older code like the following:

class My_Long_NestedComponent_ClassName
    // methods that use other classes


namespace My\Long\NestedComponent;

use Other\Classes;
use Something\ElseConsumed;

class ClassName
    // methods with classes converted to short name from use statement.

Some IDEs have this capability to some degree. That said, a good approach might be to use the command line Namespacer to do a full sweep of your codebase, then use the IDE to make more specific naming changes that might makes more sense to your application.

Namespacing a ZF1 Application

The above Namespacer is a generalized tool. It does not understand the structure and naming conventions of a ZF1 application. As such, you’ll need to address the problem of converting your classes according to their role, and which classes you find you can convert without affecting the way the framework interoperates with your code.

For example, in ZF1, the naming convention of application and module layer classes does not directly match up with same well-defined library class/file conventions of the PEAR/ZF namings. For a standard ZF1 application, in the application/ directory, controller classes are not prefixed, yet model and form classes are prefixed with Application_. Moreover, they exist inside of lowercased directories, such as models or forms, and their file to class name segment matching picks up only after the first segment. As an example, you might have this directory structure with the class names on the right:

    ├── Bootstrap.php
    ├── configs
    │   ├── application.ini
    │   └── application.ini.dist
    ├── controllers
    │   ├── IndexController.php         [class IndexController]
    │   └── PurchaseOrderController.php [class PurchaseOrderController]
    ├── forms
    │   └── PurchaseOrder
    │       └── Payment.php             [class Application_Form_PurchaseOrder_Payment]
    ├── layouts
    │   └── scripts
    │       ├── main.phtml
    │       └── subpage.phtml
    ├── models
    │   ├── DbTable
    │   │   └── Invoice.php             [Application_Model_DbTable_Invoice]
    │   ├── Invoice.php                 [Application_Model_Invoice]
    │   ├── InvoiceRepository.php       [Application_Model_InvoiceRepository]
    │   ├── Payment
    │   │   └── Paypal
    │   │       └──  DirectPayment.php  [Application_Model_Payment_Paypal_DirectPayment]
    │   └── PurchaseOrder.php           [Application_Model_PurchaseOrder]
    └── views
        └── scripts
            ├── error
            │   └── error.phtml
            ├── index
            │   └── index.phtml
            └── purchase-order
                ├── index.phtml
                └── purchaser.phtml

It would not be a good strategy to attempt to do a wholesale namespacing of this kind of project for a number of reasons:

  1. ZF1 has special, context-aware autoloaders that will assist loading a class of a particular context from a special location on disk. For example, ZF1 understands controllers will be located in the controllers directory and will not be prefixed unless they are inside of a named module’s controllers directory.
  2. Attempting to apply namespacing to controller classes would generally render a ZF1 application useless. ZF1, beyond loading files from disk, assumes controllers will have a very specific naming convention so that they can be invoked by the framework upon routing and dispatching.
  3. Beyond dispatching, ZF1 uses the class name to identify and map the proper view script to automatically execute. By naming the controller something non-standard, views will no longer this this 1:1 mapping of controllers by name to controller action named view scripts.

A better solution would be to start by namespacing the parts of your ZF1 application that have fewer tie-ins with the ZF1 architecture. The place to start with this is models and forms.

Since models and forms do not touch controller and view classes (which make heavy use of ZF1 classes by way of inheritance), model and form classes might not have the same level of coupling.

HOWTO Namespace Your Models

First, ensure your classes are under version control. The namespacer tool will make modification to classes in place. You can then use your version control system as a diffing utility afterwards .

To run the tool, download the phar. Optionally you can place the namespacer.phar into a directory in your PATH.

Namespacing is a 2 part process:

  1. Create a map of all the old files, new files, old classes and new classes.
  2. Make the transformations according to the map file.

Change into your models/ directory and execute the map function:

namespacer.phar map --mapfile model-map.php --source models/

This will produce a file called model-map.php with entries like this:

<?php return array (
    array (
      'root_directory' => '/realpath/to/project/application/models',
      'original_class' => 'Application_Model_Invoice',
      'original_file' => '/realpath/to/project/application/models/Invoice.php',
      'new_namespace' => 'Application\\Model',
      'new_class' => 'Invoice',
      'new_file' => '/realpath/to/project/application/models/Application/Model/Invoice.php',

This gives you an opportunity to manually edit the transformations if you so desire. While you can modify this file, you also might find it to be easier to go with the default transformations, and do the remaining changes with your IDE’s refactoring utility.

Once you are happy with the map file, run the transformations:

namespacer.phar transform --mapfile model-map.php

At this point, you can use your version control system’s status command to see how the directory has transformed. As an example, in a sample project of mine, git reports the following:

renamed:  models/DbTable/Invoice.php -> models/Application/Model/DbTable/Invoice.php
new file: models/Application/Model/DbTable/Transaction.php
renamed:  models/Invoice.php -> models/Application/Model/Invoice.php
renamed:  models/Payment/Paypal/DirectPayment.php -> models/Application/Model/Payment/Paypal/DirectPayment.php
renamed:  models/PurchaseOrder.php -> models/Application/Model/PurchaseOrder.php
renamed:  models/PurchaseOrderRepository.php -> models/Application/Model/PurchaseOrderRepository.php
new file: models/Application/Model/PurchaseOrderService.php
renamed:  models/Purchaser.php -> models/Application/Model/Purchaser.php
renamed:  models/Ticket.php -> models/Application/Model/Ticket.php
renamed:  models/Transaction.php -> models/Application/Model/Transaction.php
renamed:  models/TransactionRepository.php -> models/Application/Model/TransactionRepository.php
deleted:  models/DbTable/Transaction.php
deleted:  models/PurchaseOrderService.php

You’ll notice that the resulting files have treated the models/ directory as the autoloader root directory. That means that from this root, class files follow the strict PEAR/ZF2 classfile naming convention. The contents of one of the files will look like this:

namespace Application\Model;

use Application\Model\PurchaseOrder;
use Application\Model\Transaction;
use Zend_Filter_Alnum;

class Invoice

    protected $tickets;
    protected $transaction;


Things to notice here:

  • A namespace has been created for this class.
  • The namespacer has created PHP use statements for classes known in the map file.
  • Unknown classes are also included (for example, Zend classes) in use statements.

By keeping the old ZF1 classes, your models should continue to work if they consume ZF1 classes. This will allow you to, at your own pace, transition your codebase to ZF2.

This same procedure can largely be adapted to forms and independent library code as well.