View specific JavaScript with Zend Framework

Because Zend Framework (and in this case also the MVC part) lets you choose how you structure your project, you may have doubted about where to place client-side JavaScript scripts.


Personally, I place application-wide scripts in something like /media/js/application.js, but in many cases you have scripts that are only applicable to a certain view. Of course we want to avoid having a JavaScript file for each view somewhere in a general JS folder like /media/js.

Putting the JavaScript straight into the view also isn’t optimal since Zend_Layout can for instance put more HTML below it and client-side scripts should be right before the </body> tag.

I thought it would be nice to be able to have [viewname].js files inside the views/[controller] directories. E.g.:

That makes development easier since your view-specific scripts are still as close to your view as possible, but separated in a .js file so your IDE/editor can parse them as JavaScript. In my case I thought it would also be nice if the .js file would be parsed like the view itself meaning that any variables assigned to the view can also be used in the JavaScript file.

The Zend_Controller_Action postDispatch() method provides a possibility to parse and include the client-side script into the inlineScript view helper where it belongs:

As you can see, the regular view script is cloned so that the same information is passed to the JavaScript file.

The only thing you now need to do is subclass Zend_Controller_Action, paste in the code above and use that new class in your controllers:

Happy JavaScripting!

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