[wp-hackers] The problem with WP_Rewrite <<< RE: Options for Controller - Views

Christopher O'Connell jwriteclub at gmail.com
Thu Dec 3 05:18:21 UTC 2009

Sorry I'm jumping into this so late, but I've been working on CouchDB
recently and didn't see this.

I am going to state that WP_Rewrite is inaccessible to anyone not intimately
familiar with the wordpress core. The first time I used it several years ago
it took hours and hours of testing and frustration to get it running.
Indeed, in projects which to not need to be scalable (distributable) I
usually use hard coded rules in .htaccess, referring to a wp_loader.php
which does URL parsing and then calls into wordpress. Hacky? Absolutely, but
still faster than dealing with WP_Rewrite, template redirect and the rest of

Having a specific base URL return a specific "controller"/"view" for want of
a better word is a common use case. Is it absolutely academically correct to
conflate the two? Maybe not, but it is definitely useful.

Furthermore, all of the is_* are a symptom of trying to use a
controller/view heuristic without actually using a controller and view

I actually put my Profiles plugin on hold in development of version 3.0
because I couldn't get rewrites working consistently and reliably. I have
all of he underlying logic working, all of the admin panel magic, everything
except for URL rewriting.

In short, then, when working on plugins, my URL handling is the one part
that doesn't feel like poetry.

~ Christopher

On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 9:24 PM, Mike Schinkel
<mikeschinkel at newclarity.net>wrote:

> On Nov 29, 2009, at 1:46 AM, Dion Hulse (dd32) wrote:
> > For everyones benefit, i've just written a quick plugin which achieves
> what you set out to do with the product rewrite rules, whilst reducing the
> ammount of useless SQL queries performed as well as avoiding some rather
> messy code:
> >
> > http://dd32.id.au/uploads/2009/11/HTDIR_URL_Rewrite.zip
> >
> > In a nutshell:
> > * 3 filters to control Rewrite, Query, and Template
> > * No eronous SQL queries, The only query is the product load query. (I'm
> refering to post queries here btw)
> > * Works with WordPress 2.9, 2.8 should work too
> > * Fair bit of comments inline, Not finished obviously
> > * Takes /products/<slug> and spits out post_type = product
> > * Works no matter what your permastructure is ( none, ie.
> ?product=product-1, /product/product-1/, /index.php/product/product-1/)
> > * Admin panel to add/remove products
> > * 2 lines which i would call hackish.. But thats only telling wordpress
> that we're on a custom page.. (is_single = true, is_home = false)
> > * Uses a custom page template bundled with the plugin (Taken from
> single.php from default theme, removed a bit of code, bare basics)
> > * Uses as much of the API as currently exists for it.
> > * Not finished 100%, Final few touches need to be put on, such as
> flushing of rules on deactivation
> >
> > Yes, This is not a complete writeup, Its just to demonstrate, that the
> code does not have to be as messy as you've quoted, And while its longer and
> more verbose than add_cusotm_url(), its definately a better start.
> So I finally had a chance to review this.  I'm working with it on 2.8.6.
> While it may "do it right" it actually doesn't work, for at least two
> reasons.  (Dion, did you actually test it?  Did it even work in 2.9?)
> Anyway:
> 1.) The plugin treats parse_query as a filter yet it's run as an action.
>  Returning a modified request does nothing.  (Should it be run as a filter
> instead of an action?  Most probably.  But we can at least work around it
> temporarily.)
> 2.) More importantly $wp->handle_404() [line 459 in
> /wp-includes/classes.php] basically blocks anything that's not previously
> been hardcoded into WordPress core.  To get around it you have to do some
> ugly hacks.  My prior plugin accomplished it but the "HTDIR" plugin did not.
> Maybe the first thing to discuss is "How should $wp->handle_404() be
> modified to support URL rewriting?"  As a strawman, I propose the following
> (please suggest better ways of handling this.)
> On line 462 of /wp-includes/classes.php insert the following three lines of
> code:
> if (apply_filters('handle_404',false))
>  status_header(200);
> else
> With that and some hacking in the parse_query function to set $wp_query to
> the modified as well as set $wp_query->is_404 to false and
> $wp_query->is_product to true, and implementing a handle_404 hook I was able
> to get the basics of URL rewriting to work from Dion's HTDIR plugin although
> I haven't fleshed out any of the other aspects of the custom post types use
> cases.
> BTW, I just checked and trunk for 2.9 hasn't modified $wp->handle_404()
> since 2.8.6 so this is still an issue.
> Comments?  Alternatives?
> -Mike
> P.S. BTW, the whole $wp_query->is_* variable thing is not scalable and IMO
> all those $wp_query->is_* properties are one of the reasons WP code is hard
> to follow and bloated in its own right.  I wouldn't want to see us
> proliferate them even more; I used $wp->is_product simply because Dion had
> used it and I was going for as few changes as possible.
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