soo_txp_obj Page 4 of 6

Tutorial: a simple soo_txp_obj plugin

Summary:

Not a real plugin, but an incredible simu…

Here’s a little example of the soo_txp_obj library in action. Years ago, before I knew anything about PHP, for my own use I hacked a useful little plugin called mem_randimg, a random image selector. (I hacked it because I wanted width="100%" instead of the usual height and width attributes in the img tag; that’s another story.) So, with all due respect to the original by mem, which has served me well for years, here is a soo_txp_obj rewrite.

First, the original (my slightly hacked version):

 1 : function soo_original_random_image($atts) {
 2 : 
 3 :     global $img_dir;
 4 : 
 5 :     extract(lAtts(array(
 6 :         'category'      =>  '',
 7 :         'thumbnail'     =>  0,
 8 :     ), $atts));
 9 : 
10 :     $use_thumbnail $thumbnail;
11 :     $where '';
12 : 
13 :     if ($category$where .= "`category` IN ('" .
14 :         implode("','",explode(',',doSlash($category))) . "')";
15 : 
16 :     if ($thumbnail$where .= ($category ' AND ' '') . '`thumbnail` > 0';
17 : 
18 :     $qparts = array(
19 :         (isset($where)) ? $where '1',
20 :         "ORDER BY rand()"
21 :     );
22 : 
23 :     $rs safe_row("*","txp_image",join(' ',$qparts));
24 : 
25 :     if ($rs) {
26 :         extract($rs);
27 :         $img_url hu.$img_dir.'/'.$id.($use_thumbnail?'t':'').$ext;
28 :         return '<img src="'.$img_url.'" alt="'.$alt.'" width="100%" />';
29 :     }
30 : 
31 :     return false;
32 : }

What’s it do? Build and send this SQL query: SELECT * from `txp_image` WHERE 1 ORDER BY rand() (with optional clauses depending on whether or not the tag attributes are set), then produce an img tag from the resulting data record.

Here’s a rewrite based on soo_txp_obj:

 1 : function soo_new_and_improved_random_image($atts) {
 2 : 
 3 :     extract(lAtts(array(
 4 :     'category'       => '',
 5 :     'thumbnail'      => 0,
 6 :     ), $atts));
 7 : 
 8 :     $query = new soo_txp_select('txp_image');
 9 : 
10 :     if ($category$query->in('category'$category);
11 : 
12 :     if ($thumbnail$query->where('thumbnail'0'>');
13 : 
14 :     $query->order_by('rand()')->limit(1);
15 : 
16 :     if ( ! $query->count() ) return false;
17 : 
18 :     $image = new soo_html_img(new soo_txp_img($query), $thumbnail);
19 : 
20 :     return $image->set_width('100%')
21 :     ->set_height('')
22 :     ->tag();
23 : }

So, some observations:

I emphasize, I am not picking on the original. It does the job. For a short plugin like this it makes little difference whether the code is elegant or otherwise. It’s when you’re dealing with more demanding logic that these little differences mean more than just less typing — the whole process becomes more about the logic and less about the details of constructing a query or building a tag. It can make the difference between finishing the plugin or abandoning it in frustration.

Posted 2009-02-03 (last modified 2010-06-30)