php - Zend Framework 2: Composing web page of several parts


I need to compose a web page of several view templates (the view template rendering page content and a view template rendering sidebar). In my layout.phtml, I have two variable placeholders: $content and $sidebar:

<?php echo $this->sidebar; ?>
<?php echo $this->content; ?>

In my controller's action, I pass the data to these view templates through the ViewModels chained in a tree:

public function indexAction() {

 // Preparing my data
 // $form = ...
 // $menuItems = 
 // $activeItem =       

 // Create sidebar view model
 $sidebarViewModel = new ViewModel(array('menuItems'=>$menuItems, 'activeItem'=>$activeItem));
 // Add it as a child to layout view model
 $this->layout()->addChild($sidebarViewModel, 'sidebar');

 // Page content view model
 $viewModel = new ViewModel(array('form'=>$form));
 return $viewModel;     

But, because I have the sidebar on every page, I will have to copy and paste this code for every action of every controller. Is there any recommended way of reusing the code that populates the ViewModel for sidebar?




One approach would be to achieve this with a controller plugin.

Assuming you have wired it up with appropriate config, and you're in the Application module.


namespace Application\Controller\Plugin;

use Zend\Mvc\Controller\Plugin\AbstractPlugin;

class addSidebar extends AbstractPlugin {

    public function __invoke($menu, $active) {

        // create new view model
        $sidebarVM = new ViewModel(array(
            'menuItems'  => $menu,
            'activeItem' => $active

        // add it to the layout
        $this->getController()->layout()->addChild($sidebarVM, 'sidebar');



Then in each of your controllers:

$this->addSidebar($menuItems, $activeItem);

Another (probably better) option would be to hook into the renderMvcEvent and add the sidebar there. You'd have to work out how to generate$menuItems and$activeItem in that context however.

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