Archive for the 'Abstract Factory' Category

Sandlight CMS IV: Dynamic Responsive Web PHPages

responsiveAt this point in the Sandlight CMS development process, two design patterns have been employed: 1) Chain of Responsibility as a device checker, and 2) Abstract Factory for making different parts for different devices. As usual, I’ve been posting the results so far on the Sandlight Productions, LLC website. The site itself is the example used in this series. This post is Part IV of the Sandlight CMS series, and if you have not been following the series you can review what has been done so far beginning with Part I.

At this stage, the project is ready to use the Abstract Factory to produce the needed parts and put them together into a page. However, before going ahead and have the factory build the parts I’d like to take an intermediate step and just build a dynamic responsive Web page.

The Dynamic Responsive Web PHPage

The easiest way to proceed is to begin with an HTML5 page, encapsulate the page into a PHP object (class) and add methods. The reason for this step is that the Web site, in addition to being responsive, needs to be dynamic. This means that it needs a way for the administrator to add changes, and in order for this to transpire, the dynamic portion of the page has to include variables in the place of static text, graphics and/or video. Figure 1 shows the general layout envisioned for the page:

Figure 1: Dynamic Responsive Web Page

Figure 1: Dynamic Responsive Web Page

Everything about the page must be responsive, but some parts are static and some are dynamic. In the two-column outline in Figure 1, the entire left column is static yet it must be responsive to different devices. In Parts I to III of this series, the pages have been responsive. The next step in making them both responsive and dynamic is to create parts of the page that will be dynamic since they are already set up to be responsive. Before continuing, click the Play button to see the progress so far and the Download button for all of the source code and accompanying files:
PlayDownload

Using PHP alone, creating a dynamic page is simple. Just place PHP variables where content goes. This is true for both the pages formatted by CSS3 and jQuery. Importantly, though, all of the Web pages should be encapsulated into PHP classes, using heredoc string variables as has been shown in previous installment of this series.

QR Code: The New Responsive Component

Quick Response Code (QR) is a new necessity for Web sites doing business on the Web and for just about every other kind of site that wants to increase its exposure. Basically, using a QR Code reader in a mobile device (phone or tablet) automatically brings up the link coded in the QR image (a square with some squiggly block images.) That beats trying to to thumb in a URL on a tiny phone keyboard. The following two can be downloaded free (at the time of this writing.):

sandlightqrcodeI’m pretty certain that other smart phones have QR readers; so if you have something other than an iOS or Android operating system on your mobile device, an Internet search for “QR Scanner” will probably be able to locate one for you.

sandlightOnce you have a QR scanner, you need a coded image, such as the one to your right. Go ahead and scan it to see what happens. It should take you to the Sandlight Productions, LLC home page build on this CMS (updated.) On it you will find several more QR codes for links to sites related to Sandlight. You can get the coded images online at different sites. One site allows you to include your logo and choice of colors is QRCode Monkey. The QR code image in green to your left with the Sandlight logo in the middle does exactly the same thing as the black one. So, if you’d like your QR Code images to keep your graphic designer happy, consider the visual options beyond the default. Figure 2 shows a page being scanned with an iPhone (left) and the linked page in the iPhone (right).

Figure 2: Scanned QR URL uploaded in mobile phone.

Figure 2: Scanned QR URL uploaded in mobile phone.

Adding QR codes to your site (or your client’s site) is very easy, and you should definitely include it in your dynamic responsive CMS. Let’s now see how the dynamic responsive two-column page is created:
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Sandlight CMS III: PHP Abstract Factory

abfacNote: This is the third in a series for developing a CMS for Sandlight Productions. Drop by the Sandlight site to see the progress so far, and be sure to check your country’s flag count!

Now that the CMS has a filter for different devices, it now needs a pattern to take care of those devices and different types of content that they will display. Previous posts on this blog used the Bridge pattern and the Factory Method pattern. However, another pattern might be more useful for all of the different things that a Content Management System (CMS) might do. A review of the series of posts on this blog for how to select a design pattern, shows the different criteria to consider. The CMS has to create different elements of a Web page for different devices and that fact must be the focal point of the consideration. The section head for Creational Patterns in Learning PHP Design Patterns, lists the Abstract Factory pattern as a creational one, but that pattern was not discussed in the book nor on this blog. It would appear to be just what this CMS needs.

The Abstract Factory Design Pattern

The Abstract Factory pattern has features for families of factories and products instead of individual factories as does the Factory Method pattern. In comparing the relatively simple Factory Method pattern with the Abstract Factory, the Abstract Factory has multiple abstract product interfaces with multiple concrete factories for the families of the products.

Figure 1 shows the the Abstract Factory class diagram, and when you look at it, try to focus on the fact that the pattern has two types of interfaces: Factory and Product. So, if you understand the Factory Method pattern, you have a starting point for appreciating the Abstract Factory:

Figure 1: Abstract Factory class diagram

Figure 1: Abstract Factory class diagram

Unlike the Factory Method pattern, the Abstract Factory includes a Client class as an integral part of the pattern. Further, the Client holds an association between both the AbstractFactory (AbsFactory) and the two AbstractProduct classes. So while it shares some of the basic Factory Method characteristics, it is clearly a different pattern than the Factory Method.

Since the Abstract Factory may appear to be daunting, the color-coded the product instantiations (dashed lines) in the file diagram (appearing in the Play window) help show where each concrete factory method calls. Experiment with different combinations of factories (devices) and products (page parts) and look at the diagram so that you can see the path. Phone instantiations are in green, Tablet in red, and Desktop in blue. Experiment with the different single products first, and then click the bottom button to see what different “pages” each device factory displays.

Implementing the Abstract Factory in PHP

To see how this implementation of the Abstract Factory design pattern works, click the Play button. You will see both the interactive Abstract Pattern tester and the of the file diagram of this implementation of the Abstract Factory for the evolving Sandlight CMS. Click the Download button to see all of the files in the diagram. For this particular post, downloading all of the files is more important than usual because there are lots of them, and rather than having listings for all in this write-up, I’ve just selected representative ones.
PlayDownload

In addition to the Abstract Factory file diagram (viewed when you click the Play button), the following quick overview of the participants’ roles and how the CMS implements the Abstract Factory explain how this implementation works:

Client client: Only uses interfaces declared by IAbFactory (interface) and IProducts (abstract classes IHeaderProduct, IImageProduct and ITextProduct.) This means that the Client can only use the classes and methods implemented from those two interface types—factory or products. In other words, it should not directly implement a product (a page element) by directly using a product independent of the factory and product interfaces. Figure 2 illustrates this point:

Figure 2: Client works through Abstract Factory implementations

Figure 2: Client works through Abstract Factory implementations

In going over the other participants below, keep in mind that the Client can only implement concrete implementations of the IAbFactory to request products (page parts for different devices.)

IAbFactory interface: Establishes the methods for the concrete factories.

  • PhoneFactory implements operations to create phone products
  • TabletFactory implements operations to create tablet products
  • DesktopFactory implements operations to create desktop products

IHeaderProduct: abstract class Establishes the method for concrete header products and adds protected property for returning completed product.

  • PhoneHeader defines phone object to be created by the PhoneFactory and
    implements the IHeaderProduct interface
  • TabletHeader defines tablet object to be created by the Tabletactory and
    implements the IHeaderProduct interface
  • DesktopHeader defines desktop object to be created by the DesktopFactory and
    implements the IHeaderProduct interface

IImageProduct: abstract class Establishes the method for concrete image and/or video products and adds protected property for returning completed product.

  • PhoneImage defines phone object to be created by the PhoneFactory and
    implements the IImageProduct interface
  • TabletImage defines tablet object to be created by the Tabletactory and
    implements the IImageProduct interface
  • DesktopImage defines desktop object to be created by the DesktopFactory and
    implements the IImageProduct interface

ITextProduct: abstract class Establishes the method for concrete text products and adds protected property for returning completed product.

  • PhoneText defines phone object to be created by the PhoneFactory and
    implements the ITextProduct interface
  • TabletText defines tablet object to be created by the Tabletactory and
    implements the ITextProduct interface
  • DesktopText defines desktop object to be created by the DesktopFactory and
    implements the ITextProduct interface

Comparing the above outline with the Abstract Factory file diagram (seen when you click the Play button) shows that the Abstract Factory is bound to the idea of a factory implementing a product. The specific classes (products) requested are never directly referenced by the Client; rather it is through a factory. The CMS application requires factories for the different device categories; Phone, Tablet and Desktop. Each factory should be able to build the necessary parts (products) for each device. In this case (and for this example) the products are a Header, Graphic and Text. Each factory can build its own version of the products; so requesting a header, for example, is through a concrete factory, and depending on which concrete factory the clients requests, it builds the appropriate product.
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