How can I setup the locale without routing parameters?

Localized web applications often set the locale (and therefore the language) based on a routing parameter, the session, or a specialized sub-domain. In this recipe we will concentrate on introspecting the URI path via middleware, which allows you to have a global mechanism for detecting the locale without requiring any changes to existing routes.

Distinguishing between routes that require localization

If your application has a mixture of routes that require localization, and those that do not, the solution in this recipe may lead to multiple URIs that resolve to the identical action, which may be undesirable. In such cases, you may want to prefix the specific routes that require localization with a required routing parameter; this approach is described in the "Setting a locale based on a routing parameter" recipe.

Setup a middleware to extract the locale from the URI

First, we need to setup middleware that extracts the locale param directly from the request URI's path. If it doesn't find one, it sets a default.

If it does find one, it uses the value to setup the locale. It also:

  • amends the request with a truncated path (removing the locale segment).
  • adds the locale segment as the base path of the UrlHelper.
<?php
namespace App\I18n;

use Locale;
use Psr\Http\Message\ResponseInterface;
use Psr\Http\Message\ServerRequestInterface;
use Psr\Http\Server\MiddlewareInterface;
use Psr\Http\Server\RequestHandlerInterface;
use Zend\Expressive\Helper\UrlHelper;

class SetLocaleMiddleware implements MiddlewareInterface
{
    private $helper;

    public function __construct(UrlHelper $helper)
    {
        $this->helper = $helper;
    }

    public function process(ServerRequestInterface $request, RequestHandlerInterface $handler) : ResponseInterface
    {
        $uri = $request->getUri();

        $path = $uri->getPath();

        if (! preg_match('#^/(?P<locale>[a-z]{2,3}([-_][a-zA-Z]{2}|))/#', $path, $matches)) {
            Locale::setDefault('de_DE');
            return $handler->handle($request);
        }

        $locale = $matches['locale'];
        Locale::setDefault(Locale::canonicalize($locale));
        $this->helper->setBasePath($locale);

        return $handler->handle($request->withUri(
            $uri->withPath(substr($path, 3))
        ));
    }
}

Then you will need a factory for the SetLocaleMiddleware to inject the UrlHelper instance.

<?php
namespace App\I18n;

use Psr\Container\ContainerInterface;
use Zend\Expressive\Helper\UrlHelper;

class SetLocaleMiddlewareFactory
{
    public function __invoke(ContainerInterface $container)
    {
        return new SetLocaleMiddleware(
            $container->get(UrlHelper::class)
        );
    }
}

Next, map the middleware to its factory in either /config/autoload/dependencies.global.php or /config/autoload/middleware-pipeline.global.php:

use App\I18n\SetLocaleMiddleware;
use App\I18n\SetLocaleMiddlewareFactory;

return [
    'dependencies' => [
        /* ... */
        'factories' => [
            SetLocaleMiddleware::class => SetLocaleMiddlewareFactory::class,
            /* ... */
        ],
    ],
];

Finally, you will need to configure your middleware pipeline to ensure this middleware is executed on every request.

Pipe the middleware early in your application, before routing is performed:

use App\I18n\SetLocaleMiddleware;

/* ... */
$app->pipe(SetLocaleMiddleware::class);
/* ... */
$app->pipe(RouteMiddleware::class);
/* ... */
$app->pipe(DispatchMiddleware::class);
/* ... */

Url generation in the view

Since the UrlHelper has the locale set as a base path, you don't need to worry about generating URLs within your view. Just use the helper to generate a URL and it will do the rest.

<?= $this->url('your-route') ?>

Helpers differ between template renderers

The above example is specific to zend-view; syntax will differ for Twig and Plates.

Redirecting within your request handlers

If you want to add the locale parameter when creating URIs within your request handlers, you just need to inject the UrlHelper into your handler and use it for URL generation:

<?php
namespace App\Handler;

use Psr\Http\Message\ResponseInterface;
use Psr\Http\Message\ServerRequestInterface;
use Psr\Http\Server\RequestHandlerInterface;
use Zend\Diactoros\Response\RedirectResponse;
use Zend\Expressive\Helper\UrlHelper;

class RedirectHandler implements RequestHandlerInterface
{
    private $helper;

    public function __construct(UrlHelper $helper)
    {
        $this->helper = $helper;
    }

    public function handle(ServerRequestInterface $request) : ResponseInterface
    {
        $routeParams = [ /* ... */ ];

        return new RedirectResponse(
            $this->helper->generate('your-route', $routeParams)
        );
    }
}

Injecting the UrlHelper into your request handler will also require that the handler have a factory that manages the injection. As an example, the following would work for the above middleware:

namespace App\Handler;

use Psr\Container\ContainerInterface;
use Zend\Expressive\Helper\UrlHelper;

class RedirectHandlerFactory
{
    public function __invoke(ContainerInterface $container)
    {
        return new RedirectHandler(
            $container->get(UrlHelper::class)
        );
    }
}

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