Registering an Asset

Feb 27, 2015

Before you can reference an asset in your code, you have to register an asset, in order for Concrete CMS to know how to include it. Registering an asset can be done easily in a short block of PHP. Let's say we want to register jQuery as an asset in Concrete (note: this is unnecessary, since jQuery ships with Concrete it has already been registered. A full list of pre-registered assets and their handles is available here.

$al = \Concrete\Core\Asset\AssetList::getInstance();
$al->register('javascript', 'jquery', 'js/jquery.js');

First, we get our Asset List class. This class is a singleton – a single asset list class is available in every part of Concrete, and you can add to or modify it from anywhere. We use getInstance() to get that single instance, rather than create a new one. Our register() call takes three arguments

  • The asset type ('javascript' or 'css')
  • The handle we'd like to refer to this asset by ('jquery' in this case.)
  • The path or URL to the asset
  • An array of options (optional; described later, not pictured here)
  • A \Concrete\Core\Package\Package object or package handle (optional; used if the asset is found in a package, not pictured here.)

Asset Types

Concrete includes three asset types that can be called in register()

  • css for CSS style sheets.
  • css-inline for style elements
  • css-localized TBD
  • javascript for JavaScript files.
  • javascript-inline for JavaScript that you would like to output inline into the page.
  • javascript-conditional TBD
  • javascript-localized TBD

Path Details

The path specified in the register() function is relative to one of the following

  • The application/ directory
  • The packages/package_handle/ directory (if a package handle or package object is specified as part of the register() method.)
  • The concrete/ directory

These three locations are checked in this order. So, in our example, first we'll try and load jquery.js from application/js/jquery.js, then from concrete.js.

Handle Uniqueness

A handle should be unique across type and handle. This means that if you're registering an asset with the handle "mysite/calendar", you can register one CSS file and one JavaScript file with both that same handle.

Calling register()

You can register an asset from anywhere – your application's custom startup file (application/bootstrap/app.php), a package's on_start() method, a block type's on_start() method, etc…

Registering an asset in a block

Have a custom block that uses some assets? Register in your block's on_start() method (which automatically gets run when a block is embedded in a page.) Here's how a block can register the MediaElement.js JavaScript and CSS files.

public function on_start()
    $al = \Concrete\Core\Asset\AssetList::getInstance();
        'javascript', 'mediaelement', 'blocks/audio/mediaelement/mediaelement-and-player.min.js'
        'css', 'mediaelement', 'blocks/audio/mediaelement/mediaelementplayer.min.css'

Registering an asset in a package.

Registering an asset in a package is very similar – add it to the package controller's on_start() method. Let's say our package handle was "audio_player" and we wanted to register MediaElement.js within it. Add this method to the package controller.php file:

public function on_start()
    $al = AssetList::getInstance();
        'javascript', 'mediaelement', 'blocks/audio/mediaelement/mediaelement-and-player.min.js', array(), 'audio_player'
        'css', 'mediaelement', 'blocks/audio/mediaelement/mediaelementplayer.min.css', array(), 'audio_player'

register() options

The fourth argument of the register() function is an array of optional parameters. Here are the options, as well as their defaults if not specified.

  • position – either \Concrete\Core\Asset\Asset::ASSET_POSITION_HEADER or \Concrete\Core\Asset\Asset::ASSET_POSITION_FOOTER. If left blank, it will default to the position specified by the asset type. CSS assets are included in the header of the page, JavaScript assets in the footer.
  • local – defaults to true. If false, the exact string will be treated as a URL to a non-local asset.
  • version – defaults to false. If specified, this version will be stored against the asset as the numerical version of the asset.
  • combine – either true (combine this asset with other assets if asset caching is enabled) or false (do not combine this asset with others). Defaults to -1, which uses the default for the Asset type.
  • minify – either true (minify this asset before combining, if asset caching is enabled) or false (do not minify this asset). Defaults to -1, which uses the default for the Asset type.
Both the **combine** and the **minify** options were **removed in Concrete CMS v9**. Keeping them in place won't hurt your code but it will also not do anything in v9. Only keep them in if you need backward compatibility.

Registering with Options

Let's take a look at what our Mediaelement.js register() method would look like with some more options relevant to the files:

    'javascript', 'mediaelement', 'blocks/audio/mediaelement/mediaelement-and-player.min.js',
    array('version' => '2.16.3', 'minify' => false, 'combine' => true)
    'css', 'mediaelement', 'blocks/audio/mediaelement/mediaelementplayer.min.css',
    array('version' => '2.16.3', 'minify' => false, 'combine' => true)
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