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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Yii2 Framework - How to use JavaScript

In order to use javascript with Yii2 framework, we have to register scripts with yii\web\view object. Yii2 provides two methods for it

  • registerJs() for inline scripts
  • registerJsFile() for external script files.

registerJs() for inline scripts

Here is an example to register an inline script.

$script = "function test() {console.log('a meesage logged in console.'); alert('Hello Worl');}";
$this->registerJs($script, View::POS_END, 'my-options');


  1. First argument is the script content itself
  2. Second argument determines the place in the page where the script should be inserted, e.g. Head, Begin, End, Load etc.
  3. And the last argument is used to uniquely identify the code block

Here is our test html to call this javascript test() function.

&input type="button" value="Click Me" onclick="test();"\>

registerJsFile() for external script files.

An external JavaScript file can be added with the method registerJsFile().


Registering with Asset Bundles

Another way to use JavaScript files in Yii2 framework is by registering it in asset bundles, and is preferred to use asset bundles instead of using JavaScript code/files directly You can use the following syntax to register current view for asset bundle.


With the following javascipt configuration block in AppAsset.php

public $js = [


Monday, January 25, 2016

How to Install Yii2 framework on Windows with XAMPP (as PHP development environment)

In this post, I will explain how to install Yii2 framework on Windows, with XAMPP as PHP development environment.
First you have to install XAMPP you can find here: XAMPP Installer
You can install Yii2 framework by two ways:
  • Install Using Composer
  • Install Manually

Install Using Composer

The recommended approach is to install Yii2 framework using composer, because it will automatically install and configures all the required plugins and packages. You can download composer from Composer setup will ask for PHP installation path, in my XAMPP installation it is:
You can verify if composer is correctly installed, by executing the command composer in command prompt. If you get an error message, it means it is not added in the Environment Variables, so you have to add the composer.exe folder path in Environment Variables.

Next step is to install Composer assets plugin by executing the following command from command prompt:
composer global require "fxp/composer-asset-plugin:~1.1.1"
During installation of asset plugin, it will ask you for Github login credentials, because composer need to get API rate-limit to retrieve the dependent pacackges information from Github, you can find more information on this from Composer Documentation

Here we finished installing composer, and now we have to install Yii2. Move to a web-accessible folder, the folder where we usually place all web projects. In my XAMPP installation it is D:\xampp\htdocs
Now go to command prompt, move to the above mentioned web-accessible folder, and execute following command:
composer create-project --prefer-dist yiisoft/yii2-app-basic basic
It will install Yii2 framework to a folder named basic inside the htdocs folder, you can use your own project name in place of basic(last part in the above command). Then composer will download and configure all the required packages, and finally your Yii2 basic application is now ready. You can try access it by localhost path:

Install Manually

Manuall Installation of Yii involves three steps:
  1. Download the archive file from
  2. Unpack the downloaded file to a Web-accessible folder, in our example it is D:\xampp\htdocs\basic
  3. Modify the config/web.php file by setting a secret key for the cookieValidationKey configuration item (this is done automatically if you are installing Yii using Composer):
        'cookieValidationKey' => 'enter your secret key here',

Thats it, you can access this new basic application by following url:
You should see the following "Congratulations!" page in your browser.

If you did not see this page, please check if your PHP installation satisfies Yii's requirements. Just copy /requirements.php to /web/requirements.php and then access it via http://localhost/requirements.php. If you PHP development environment is properly configured, you should see the output similar to this:

You should configure your PHP installation so that it meets the minimum requirements of Yii. Most importantly, you should have PHP 5.4 or above.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

AngularJS Filter - How to limit filter on array of items to match with desired field.

AngularJS default filter enables us to filter items list according to a specified input text. By definition, It selects a subset of items from array and returns it as a new array.
For example we have the following list of users:
$scope.myList = [
  firstName: "Muhammad",
  lastName: "Idrees",
  description: "Idrees is working as Senior .Net Developer, connected with Ehsan and Faizan"
  firstName: "Ehsan",
  lastName: "Sajjad",
  description: "Ehsan is working as Senior .Net Developer, connected with Idrees"
  firstName: "Faizan",
  lastName: "Ahmed",
  description: "Faizan is technical consultant, connected with Idrees"
And here is our html markup, how we want to filter on this list:
 <body ng-app="demoApp" ng-controller="MyController" >
     <p >
         <input type="text" ng-model="searchInput" / >
     </p >
     <p >
             <li ng-repeat="user in myList | filter: searchInput">
                 <h4 >{{user.firstName}} {{user.lastName}} </h4 >
                 <p >{{user.description}} </p >
             </li >
         </ul >
     </p >
 </body >
Now if we search for the name Ehsan by typing in the input field, it will display first two items, because both objects containing this search term (in firstname, lastname, or description).
But if I want to filter my list only for firstName, and do not want to match for lastName and description fields. This is how I can limit my filter to desired field.
   <li ng-repeat="user in myList | filter: { firstName : searchInput}" >
    <h4 >{{user.firstName}} {{user.lastName}} </h4 >
    <p >{{user.description}} </p >
   </li >
  </ul >
Now if we type any search term it will only look for that filter in the firstName field. If any record matches the term, it will be displayed.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

WCF RIA Service - How to get the hosted server url from within wcf service.

While working on Microsoft LightSwitch Framework with Silverlight client, I encountered a problem, how to find the hosted URL/domain from within WCF RIA Service. Since I am working on local system with application hosted in IIS, and configured my application as virtual directory. So I want to know the address of application's virtual directory.
For example, consider this url:
Where localhost is my host name, and MyWeb is the application's virtual directory alias. There may be more nested pages inside, but we will ignore that, because we only want the url address of virtual directory.
Here is the solution:
We cannot access HttpContext class in silverlight/lightswitch client, so we have to call a proxy function hosted in WCF RIA Service, which will return the current hosted URL to client.
  • HttpContext.Current.Request.Url.Host will give you the host name.
  • HttpContext.Current.Request.ApplicationPath will give you the virtual directory name.
So concatenating these two url string parts will give us the path of virtual directory.
string virtualDirectoryHost = = HttpContext.Current.Request.Url.Host + HttpContext.Current.Request.ApplicationPath;
You might have to add namespace System.Web for HttpContext class or also might have to add reference to System.Web.dll.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

AngularJS - Internationalization

To add internationalization to our demo app we can use a third-party module called angular-translate, you can download from I will add two text labels with language translations, English-Language, Arabic-Language and Urdu-Language.

A sample output of this demo will be like this:

With Arabic-Translator:

AngularJS - Internationalization - Arabic Language

With Urdu-Translator:

AngularJS - Internationalization - Urdu Language

With English-Translator:

AngularJS - Internationalization - English Language

First, we need to load the script in html page, so that AngularJS can find the module. Add following script tag in html page's head tag:
<script src="assets/libs/angular-translate.min.js"></script>

Next we have to add a dependency on the module pascalprecht.translate defined in angular-translate. So, we go to our main app module and add pascalprecht.translate module in the dependencies list. It now looks like this:
var demoApp = angular.module('demoApp', ['pascalprecht.translate']);
Now, we need to add $translateProvider dependency in the config function of our main module demoApp. Then we add translations for the languages we required in our application. In this demo I am using English-Language, Arabic-Language and Urdu-Language. The following code shows how it's done:
demoApp.config(['$translateProvider', function ($translateProvider) {

    $translateProvider.translations('ar', {
        TITLE: 'تدويل تجريبي',
        DESCRIPTION: 'يمكننا استخدام وحدة خارجية، angular-translate ، إضافة إلى تدويل التطبيق التجريبي لدينا.',

    $translateProvider.translations('ur', {
        TITLE: 'بین الاقوامیت سازی ڈیمو',
        DESCRIPTION: 'ہم ڈیمو اپلی کیشن کے لئے عالمگیریت شامل کرنے کے لئے، angular-translate ، ایک تیسری پارٹی کے ماڈیول کا استعمال کر سکتے ہیں.'

    $translateProvider.translations('en', {
        TITLE: 'Internationalization Demo',
        DESCRIPTION: 'We can use a third-party module, angular-translate, to add internationalization to our demo app.'


We use translateProvider.translations to add the translations against a key. Here we added translations for English, Arabic and Urdu languages. If you want to support more languages you can keep adding more translations in the same way. Finally, we set the preferred language to English by calling function$translateProvider.preferredLanguage('en').

Next, we'll add options in html page to let user switch between available languages, so we add a toggle button to html page using bootstrap. The following markup do this work:

<div class="btn-group btn-toggle">
 <button class="btn btn-xs btn-default"

 <button class="btn btn-xs btn-default"

 <button class="btn btn-xs btn-default"
The next thing we need to do is add a function languagePreference.switchLanguage() to $rootScope, which we called in the above markup for toggle button's click event. This accepts a language key and sets the specified language a variable named languagePreference.currentLanguage, used in the above markup in ng-class attribute to setup view for the selected language by applying active class. For that we need to modify the run block in our demoApp module as follows:['$rootScope', '$translate', function ($rootScope, $translate) {
    $rootScope.languagePreference = { currentLanguage: 'en' };
    $rootScope.languagePreference.switchLanguage = function (key) {

        $rootScope.languagePreference.currentLanguage = key;


The function $translate.use(key) takes a key and loads the translations written against it, that we defined in the config function.

Now comes the final thing, to use this translator in UI. We need to replace the static hardcoded strings with a call to translate filter.

For example, regular text will go like this:

After adding translate filter, the final html will become like this:
<h3>{{'TITLE' | translate}}</h3>
<p>{{'DESCRIPTION' | translate}}</p>
Thats it. We have setup a simple html page with two strings, i.e. TITLE and DESCRIPTION, that will be displayed in three different languages. Similary you can add more language translations in the config function if you need. Also the same way you can add more html text with translate filter where required.