Displaying Recursive Data Structures with Smarty

03.08.2005 at 20:20

For those of you who don't know what smarty is, it is a PHP Templating-Engine whose main idea is to separate program logic from presentation.

A quite common task in web development is to display recursive data structures such as tree menus etc. However, this can be a bit tricky for someone new to smarty. There is currently no built in mechanism for doing so, but with the possibility to include sub files it can be done. Here is how it works.


{include file="menu-recursive.tpl" menu=$menu depth=1}


{foreach name=entry item=entry from=$menu.entries}
    {if $smarty.foreach.entry.first}
        {if $menu.sub}
            {include file="menu-recursive.tpl" menu=$menu.sub depth=$depth+1}
    {if $smarty.foreach.entry.last}
    <p>This category contains currently no entries.</p>

PHP-file with the data structure.

$demo = array(
    'entries' => array('demo 1','demo 2'),
    'sub' => array(
        'entries' => array('demo 1.1','demo 2.1'),
        'sub' => array(
            'entries' => array('demo 1.1.1','demo 2.1.1')


You should get a list looking similar to the one below.

However, whether a designer is able to understand this stuff is a completely different story ...

Comments (2)

Jagged arrays with Smarty3

28.10.2013 by Vladimirs Malejevs (vladimirs16[at]inbox[dot]lv)

Jagged arrays index.php $menu_demo = array( 'entries' => array( array('href' => 'newest.php', 'text' => 'Jaun&#257;kie'), array('href' => 'popular.php', 'text' => 'Popular&#257;kie'), array('href' => 'comp.php', 'text' => 'Datortehnika', 'sub' => array( 'entries' => array( array('href'=>'portable_comp.php', 'text' => 'Portativie datori'), array('href'=>'desktop_comp.php', 'text' => 'Galddatori'), array('href'=>'comp_componenet.php', 'text' => 'Datoru komponentes', 'sub' => array( 'entries' => array( array('href' => 'cpu.php', 'text'=>'CPU'), array('href'=>'mb.php', 'text'=>'Pamatplates' ) ) ) ) ) ) ), array('href'=>'mobile.php', 'text'=>'Mobilie t&#257;lr'), array('href'=>'tourism.php', 'text'=>'Turizms', 'sub' =>array( 'entries'=>array( array('href'=>'knives.php', 'text'=>'Nai'), array('href'=>'ropes.php', 'text'=>'Virves') ) ) ) ) ); $smarty->assign('demo',$menu_demo); $smarty->display('index.tpl'); index.tpl <h2>Linklist by category</h2> {include file="menu-recursive.tpl" menu=$demo depth=1} menu-recursive.tpl {foreach $menu.entries as $val} {if $val@first} <ul> {/if} <li>{$val@index}. {$val@key}: <a href="{$val.href}">{$val.text}</a></li> {if $val.sub} {include file="menu-recursive.tpl" menu=$val.sub depth=$depth+1} {/if} {if $val@last} </ul> {/if} {foreachelse} <p>This category contains currently no entries.</p> {/foreach} Output: Linklist by category 0. 0: JaunÄkie 1. 1: PopularÄkie 2. 2: Datortehnika 0. 0: Portativie datori 1. 1: Galddatori 2. 2: Datoru komponentes 0. 0: CPU 1. 1: Pamatplates 3. 3: Mobilie tÄlr 4. 4: Turizms 0. 0: Naži 1. 1: Virves

you have a strange logic in example

17.01.2017 by Vladimir (trashboxvolodka[at]mail[dot]ru)

about {if $smarty.foreach.entry.last} why are you place including subnodes in this if statement? It should be before it. if subnodes will be in not last element you will have invalid output.