Stefan Gabos web developer extraordinaire
Zebra_Mptt, a PHP class providing an implementation of the modified preorder tree traversal algorithmGet the latest updates on this PHP library via RSS
Latest version2.2.5released onNovember 14, 2013
- 1. Overview
- 2. Features
- 3. Requirements
- 4. Installation
- 5. How to use
- 6. Download
- 7. Documentation
- 8. Changelog
- 9. Comments
What is Modified Preorder Tree Traversal?
MPTT is a fast algorithm for storing hierarchical data (like categories and their subcategories) in a relational database. This is a problem that most of us have had to deal with, and for which we’ve used an adjacency list, where each item in the table contains a pointer to its parent and where performance will naturally degrade with each level added as more queries need to be run in order to fetch a subtree of records.
The aim of the modified preorder tree traversal algorithm is to make retrieval operations very efficient. With it you can fetch an arbitrary subtree from the database using just two queries. The first one is for fetching details for the root node of the subtree, while the second one is for fetching all the children and grandchildren of the root node.
The tradeoff for this efficiency is that updating, deleting and inserting records is more expensive, as there’s some extra work required to keep the tree structure in a good state at all times. Also, the modified preorder tree traversal approach is less intuitive than the adjacency list approach because of its algorithmic flavour.
For more information about the modified preorder tree traversal method, read this excellent article called Storing Hierarchical Data in a Database Article.
What is Zebra_MPTT?
Zebra_MPTT is a PHP class that provides an implementation of the modified preorder tree traversal algorithm making it easy for you to use MPTT in your PHP applications.
It provides methods for adding nodes anywhere in the tree, deleting nodes, moving and copying nodes around the tree and methods for retrieving various information about the nodes.
Zebra_MPTT uses table locks making sure that database integrity is always preserved and that concurrent MySQL sessions don’t compromise data integrity. Also, Zebra_MPTT uses a caching mechanism which has as result the fact that regardless of the type, or the number of retrieval operations, the database is read only once per script execution!
- provides methods for adding nodes anywhere in the tree, deleting nodes, moving and copying nodes around the tree and methods for retrieving various information about the nodes
- uses a caching mechanism which has as result the fact that regardless of the type, or the number of retrieval operations, the database is read only once per script execution
- uses table locks making sure that database integrity is always preserved and that concurrent MySQL sessions don’t compromise data integrity
- has comprehensive documentation
- code is heavily commented and generates no warnings/errors/notices when PHP’s error reporting level is set to E_ALL
PHP 4.4.9+, MySQL 4.1.22+
Download the latest version, unpack it, and put it in a place accessible to your scripts. After unpacking, you will notice a directory called “install” containing a file named “mptt.sql”. This file contains the SQL code that will create a table that is used by the class to store the data. Import or execute the SQL code using your preferred MySQL manager (like phpMyAdmin or the fantastic Adminer) into a database of your choice.
How to use
<?php // include the Zebra_Mptt class require 'path/to/Zebra_Mptt.php'; // instantiate a new object $mptt = new Zebra_Mptt(); // populate the table // add 'Food' as a topmost node $food = $mptt->add(0, 'Food'); // 'Fruit' and 'Meat' are direct descendants of 'Food' $fruit = $mptt->add($food, 'Fruit'); $meat = $mptt->add($food, 'Meat'); // 'Red' and 'Yellow' are direct descendants of 'Fruit' $red = $mptt->add($fruit, 'Red'); $yellow = $mptt->add($fruit, 'Yellow'); // add a fruit of each color $mptt->add($red, 'Cherry'); $mptt->add($yellow, 'Banana'); // add two kinds of meat $mptt->add($meat, 'Beef'); $mptt->add($meat, 'Pork'); // move 'Banana' to 'Meat' $mptt->move($banana, $meat); // get a flat array of descendants of 'Meat' $mptt->get_children($meat); // get a multidimensional array (a tree) of all the data in the database $mptt->get_tree(); ?>
Zebra_Mptt is distributed under the LGPL.
In plain English, this means that you have the right to view and to modify the source code of this software, but if you modify and distribute it, you are required to license your copy under a LGPL-compatible license, and to make the entire source code of your derivation available to anybody you distribute the software to.
You also have the right to use this software together with software that has different licensing terms (including, but not limited to, commercial and closed-source software), and distribute the combined software, as long as state that your software contains portions licensed under the LGPL license, and provide information about where the LGPL licensed software can be downloaded.
If you distribute copies of this software you may not change the copyright or license of this software.
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Become a ninja.
Read the comprehensive documentation.
Click on a version to expand/collapse information.
- version 2.2.5 (November 14, 2013)
- added a new update method, useful if you want to change a node’s name;
- version 2.2.4 (September 14, 2013)
- fixed a bug with the to_list method when custom column names were used; thanks hendra;
- version 2.2.3 (July 14, 2013)
- the “get_parent” method now returns all the properties of the parent node and not just the ID; thanks Edgar Veiga;
- added a new method: to_list which can be used to generate HTML ordered or unordered lists for a given node; thanks to Dino Sane Moreira for suggesting;
- project is now available on GitHub and as a package for Composer
- version 2.2.2 (November 06, 2012)
- fixed a bug where the last node returned by the “get_path” method did not have the correct key; thanks to Gus;
- version 2.2.1 (July 19, 2012)
- fixed a bug that escaped fixing in the previous release, where the get_selectables() method was triggering a “Strict Standards” notice in PHP 5.3+; thanks to mrplugins
- fixed a bug where the “copy” method was not working correctly; thanks to Victor Hugo Contreras
- version 2.2 (January 20, 2012)
- fixed an issue with some constructs in the code that would trigger a “Strict standards: Only variables should be passed by reference” warnings in PHP 5.3+; thanks Juan Gutierrez
- version 2.1 (June 15, 2011)
- fixed a bug where some of the methods were not working anymore if custom column names were used for the MySQL table (thanks to hisham for reporting);
- version 2.0 (June 11, 2011)
- entire code was audited and improved;
- added new methods;
- many documentation refinements;
- version 1.0 (July 22, 2009)
- initial release;