Components

Components are the main building blocks of Yii applications. Components are instances of yii\base\Component, or an extended class. The three main features that components provide to other classes are:

Separately and combined, these features make Yii classes much more customizable and easier to use. For example, the included date picker widget, a user interface component, can be used in a view to generate an interactive date picker:

use yii\jui\DatePicker;

echo DatePicker::widget([
    'language' => 'ru',
    'name'  => 'country',
    'clientOptions' => [
        'dateFormat' => 'yy-mm-dd',
    ],
]);

The widget's properties are easily writable because the class extends yii\base\Component.

While components are very powerful, they are a bit heavier than normal objects, due to the fact that it takes extra memory and CPU time to support event and behavior functionality in particular. If your components do not need these two features, you may consider extending your component class from yii\base\Object instead of yii\base\Component. Doing so will make your components as efficient as normal PHP objects, but with added support for properties.

When extending your class from yii\base\Component or yii\base\Object, it is recommended that you follow these conventions:

  • If you override the constructor, specify a $config parameter as the constructor's last parameter, and then pass this parameter to the parent constructor.
  • Always call the parent constructor at the end of your overriding constructor.
  • If you override the yii\base\Object::init() method, make sure you call the parent implementation of init() at the beginning of your init() method.

For example:

<?php

namespace yii\components\MyClass;

use yii\base\Object;

class MyClass extends Object
{
    public $prop1;
    public $prop2;

    public function __construct($param1, $param2, $config = [])
    {
        // ... initialization before configuration is applied

        parent::__construct($config);
    }

    public function init()
    {
        parent::init();

        // ... initialization after configuration is applied
    }
}

Following these guidelines will make your components configurable when they are created. For example:

$component = new MyClass(1, 2, ['prop1' => 3, 'prop2' => 4]);
// alternatively
$component = \Yii::createObject([
    'class' => MyClass::className(),
    'prop1' => 3,
    'prop2' => 4,
], [1, 2]);

Info: While the approach of calling Yii::createObject() looks more complicated, it is more powerful because it is implemented on top of a dependency injection container.

The yii\base\Object class enforces the following object lifecycle:

  1. Pre-initialization within the constructor. You can set default property values here.
  2. Object configuration via $config. The configuration may overwrite the default values set within the constructor.
  3. Post-initialization within init(). You may override this method to perform sanity checks and normalization of the properties.
  4. Object method calls.

The first three steps all happen within the object's constructor. This means that once you get a class instance (i.e., an object), that object has already been initialized to a proper, reliable state.