3.11. Template Method

3.11.1. Purpose

Template Method is a behavioral design pattern.

Perhaps you have encountered it many times already. The idea is to let subclasses of this abstract template “finish” the behavior of an algorithm.

A.k.a the “Hollywood principle”: “Don’t call us, we call you.” This class is not called by subclasses but the inverse. How? With abstraction of course.

In other words, this is a skeleton of algorithm, well-suited for framework libraries. The user has just to implement one method and the superclass do the job.

It is an easy way to decouple concrete classes and reduce copy-paste, that’s why you’ll find it everywhere.

3.11.2. UML Diagram

Alt TemplateMethod UML Diagram

3.11.3. Code

You can also find these code on GitHub

Journey.php

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<?php

namespace DesignPatterns\Behavioral\TemplateMethod;

abstract class Journey
{
    /**
     * @var string[]
     */
    private $thingsToDo = [];

    /**
     * This is the public service provided by this class and its subclasses.
     * Notice it is final to "freeze" the global behavior of algorithm.
     * If you want to override this contract, make an interface with only takeATrip()
     * and subclass it.
     */
    final public function takeATrip()
    {
        $this->thingsToDo[] = $this->buyAFlight();
        $this->thingsToDo[] = $this->takePlane();
        $this->thingsToDo[] = $this->enjoyVacation();
        $buyGift = $this->buyGift();

        if ($buyGift !== null) {
            $this->thingsToDo[] = $buyGift;
        }

        $this->thingsToDo[] = $this->takePlane();
    }

    /**
     * This method must be implemented, this is the key-feature of this pattern.
     */
    abstract protected function enjoyVacation(): string;

    /**
     * This method is also part of the algorithm but it is optional.
     * You can override it only if you need to
     *
     * @return null|string
     */
    protected function buyGift()
    {
        return null;
    }

    private function buyAFlight(): string
    {
        return 'Buy a flight ticket';
    }

    private function takePlane(): string
    {
        return 'Taking the plane';
    }

    /**
     * @return string[]
     */
    public function getThingsToDo(): array
    {
        return $this->thingsToDo;
    }
}

BeachJourney.php

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<?php

namespace DesignPatterns\Behavioral\TemplateMethod;

class BeachJourney extends Journey
{
    protected function enjoyVacation(): string
    {
        return "Swimming and sun-bathing";
    }
}

CityJourney.php

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<?php

namespace DesignPatterns\Behavioral\TemplateMethod;

class CityJourney extends Journey
{
    protected function enjoyVacation(): string
    {
        return "Eat, drink, take photos and sleep";
    }

    protected function buyGift(): string
    {
        return "Buy a gift";
    }
}

3.11.4. Test

Tests/JourneyTest.php

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<?php

namespace DesignPatterns\Behavioral\TemplateMethod\Tests;

use DesignPatterns\Behavioral\TemplateMethod;

class JourneyTest extends \PHPUnit_Framework_TestCase
{
    public function testCanGetOnVacationOnTheBeach()
    {
        $beachJourney = new TemplateMethod\BeachJourney();
        $beachJourney->takeATrip();

        $this->assertEquals(
            ['Buy a flight ticket', 'Taking the plane', 'Swimming and sun-bathing', 'Taking the plane'],
            $beachJourney->getThingsToDo()
        );
    }

    public function testCanGetOnAJourneyToACity()
    {
        $beachJourney = new TemplateMethod\CityJourney();
        $beachJourney->takeATrip();

        $this->assertEquals(
            [
                'Buy a flight ticket',
                'Taking the plane',
                'Eat, drink, take photos and sleep',
                'Buy a gift',
                'Taking the plane'
            ],
            $beachJourney->getThingsToDo()
        );
    }
}