Using setFlash for displaying various kind of messages

In this short how-to I will show how to customize setFlash() to display messages (flashes) styled to be success confirmation, error report or notice information. And how to achieve displaying errors in other way.

What do we have?

Yii (basic application) uses setFlash() to display messages to user. In the controller there could be a code like this:

Yii::app()->user->setFlash('contact','Thank you for contacting us. We will respond to you as soon as possible.');

and in a view like this:

<?php if(Yii::app()->user->hasFlash('contact')): ?>

<div class="flash-success">
	<?php echo Yii::app()->user->getFlash('contact'); ?>
</div>

<?php endif; ?> 

But this is mainly used to display success confirmation. However, there is a quite easy way to customize this behaviour, so we can display also errors and notices as well.

Solution 1: Magical # char

We can encode type of flash message inside flash itself. Here I'm doing it by changing class but this is only example, this can be done in any other way.

In the controller:

$message_text = ($overall_result === FALSE) ? 'Seems, we have an error!' : 'Everything went OK...';
$message_class = ($overall_result === FALSE) ? 'flash-error' : 'flash-success';
$flash = $message_class.'#'.$message_text;

usr()->setFlash('flash', $flash);

and in a view:

<?php
        if(usr()->hasFlash('config-form-results'))
        {
                $flash = usr()->getFlash('config-form-results');
                $pos = strpos($flash, '#');
                $class = ($pos === FALSE) ? 'flash-success' : strstr($flash, '#', TRUE);
                $text = ($pos === FALSE) ? $flash : substr($flash, $pos + 1);

                echo('<div class="'.$class.'">'.$text.'</div>');
        }
?>

Now, according to what is a boolean value of _$overallresult (where of course we can put any checking, we want), user will see either success confirmation or error message.

The above (view) code also takes care of situation if there isn't any # char in the flash. If so, it displays whole flash message with flash-success class, assuming that there is no class definition, if there is no # char.

Solution 2: Own function

We can also define own function, like this:

/**
 * Display error summary box.
 */
function errorSummary($content, $htmlOptions = array())
{
        if(!isset($htmlOptions['class'])) $htmlOptions['class'] = 'flash-success';
        return CHtml::tag('div', $htmlOptions, $content);
}

And user can specify in htmlOptions, which class to use in displaying text (flash-success, flash-error, flash-notice, all found in main.css, used by default Yii application or any other user-defined class).

This solution is easier, but it does not make any use of build in flashing feature. I.e. developer has to take his own care for transferring such message from the controller to a view.

In the controller:

$message_text = ($overall_result === FALSE) ? 'Seems, we have an error!' : 'Everything went OK...';
$message_class = ($overall_result === FALSE) ? 'flash-error' : 'flash-success';
$flash = errorSummary($message_text, array('class'=>$message_class));

$this->render('index', array('flash '=>$flash));

and in a view:

<?php
        if(isset($flash)) echo($flash);
?>

That should be all.

Summary

I hope this short how-to will help some Yii developers. If you find any typo or error in this text, please feel free to correct it.

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Version: 1.1
Category: How-tos
Written by: Trejder
Last updated by: Trejder
Created on: Dec 8, 2010
Last updated: 7 years ago
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