Plugin template

Textpattern plugins are perhaps best thought of as functions supplementary to those found in Textpattern core.

Functions residing in your plugin can respond to <txp:abc_your_tag /> and <txp:abc_your_tag>bar</txp:abc_your_tag> tags found in Page templates, Form templates, Articles and other dynamic content containers in Textpattern. A Textpattern plugin template is available on GitHub for plugin distribution.

On this page:

Template package contents

In addition to the LICENSE and README files, the plugin template contains the following:

  • zem_tpl.php - Contains the code to compile plugins into the format required by the Textpattern plugin installer.
  • zem_plugin.php - Is the template itself. Make a copy of this file and edit it to write your plugin.
  • zem_example.php - Is an example plugin that demonstrates both public-side tags and admin-side user interface features.

Typical template use

Typical commands (via command-line) that you’ll probably use:

$ cp zem_plugin.php abc_myplugin.php
[edit abc_myplugin.php]
$ php abc_myplugin.php > abc_myplugin-0.1.txt

abc_myplugin-0.1.txt is the finished plugin, ready to install.

Helpful notes

Important and helpful notes:

  1. For public tags, whatever is returned by the plugin function will be output by the corresponding <txp:function_name /> tag.
  2. Plugin functions have access to all the functions available to publish.php, including everything in textpattern/lib and the entire class loader library.
  3. If you would like to pass capture attributes in the <txp:plugin_name /> tag, these will be passed as the first argument to the function as an associative array ($varname => $value). Use the lAtts() function to parse them and set defaults.
  4. If you would like to capture content between a pari of open-closing container tags such as <txp:abc_your_tag>bar</txp:abc_your_tag>, this will be passed as the second argument to the function as a string.
  5. Do not use <?php ?> tags within the plugin source.

Speedy development

It speeds up development tremendously if you do the following:

  1. Make sure plugin name and plugin filename correspond; e.g. zem_test should be in zem_test.php.
  2. Create a directory, /full/path/to/dev/plugins.
  3. Drop your uncompiled plugins in that directory. Do not put zem_tpl.php in the same directory.
  4. In the Preferences panel, set the plugin cache directory to /full/path/to/dev/plugins.

Now during development you can skip the compile, upload, and activate steps (and you’re not confined to editing in the admin panel or copy/paste). Simply edit the file directly in the cache directory, and it will be immediately available on page refresh.

See something wrong in this document? Outdated info, a broken link, faulty code example, or whatever? Please write an issue and we’ll fix it.