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Autowiring & Public/Private Services

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Head back to services.xml: there are a few really important details we need to get straight.

Best-Practice Service IDs

First, in our applications, we usually make the service id match the class name for simplicity: and that's what we've done here. But, when you create a re-usable bundle, the best practice is to use snake-case service id's. Change the key to class and add id="knpu_lorem_ipsum.knpu_ipsum".

// ... lines 1 - 6
<service id="knpu_lorem_ipsum.knpu_ipsum" class="KnpU\LoremIpsumBundle\KnpUIpsum" />
// ... lines 10 - 11

Why is this the best practice? Well, the user could in theory change the class of this service to one of their own classes. And, it would be pretty weird to have a service called KnpU\LoremIpsumBundle\KnpUIpsum... when that's not actually the class of the service.

Supporting Autowiring

Anyways, this simple change, totally borks our app! Woohoo! Refresh!

It once again says that no service exists for KnpUIpsum. Remember: we're autowiring that class into our controller. And in order for autowiring to work, there must be a service whose id matches the class used in the type-hint. By changing the id from the class to that weird, snake-case string, we just broke autowiring!

No worries: we can solve this with a service alias. First, identify each service in your app that you intend to be used directly by the user. Yea, I know, we only have one service. But often, a bundle will have several services, but only some of them are meant to be accessed by the user: the others are just meant to support things internally.

For each "important" service, define an alias: <service id="" ...> and paste in the class name. Then, alias="" and type the first service's id: knpu_lorem_ipsum.knpu_ipsum.

// ... lines 1 - 6
// ... lines 8 - 9
<service id="KnpU\LoremIpsumBundle\KnpUIpsum" alias="knpu_lorem_ipsum.knpu_ipsum" />
// ... lines 12 - 13

To see what this did, move over to your terminal and run:


In newer versions of Symfony, the --show-private option is not needed anymore!

php bin/console debug:container --show-private knpu

Ok, there are two services: one has the snake-case id and the other is the full class name. If you choose the second, it's just an alias to the snake-case service. But now that there is a service whose id is the class name, anyone can once again autowire using that type-hint. This fixes our page.

Yep, in ArticleController, the KnpUIpsum class is once-again autowired.

Public versus Private Services

Ok, there is one last thing you need to think about when setting up your services: whether or not each service should be public or private. In Symfony 4.0, services are private by default, which means that a user cannot fetch a service directly from the container with $container->get() and then the service's id. Instead, you need to use dependency injection, which includes autowiring.

And this is really the way people should code going forward: we really should not need services to be public. But, since some people still do fetch services directly, you may want to make your important services public. Let's do this: public="true".

// ... lines 1 - 7
<service id="knpu_lorem_ipsum.knpu_ipsum" class="KnpU\LoremIpsumBundle\KnpUIpsum" public="true" />
// ... lines 9 - 13

And even though services are private by default, you should also add public="false" to the others. This will make your services also behave the same on Symfony 3, where they are public by default.

// ... lines 1 - 9
<service id="KnpU\LoremIpsumBundle\KnpUIpsum" alias="knpu_lorem_ipsum.knpu_ipsum" public="false" />
// ... lines 11 - 13

This makes no difference in our app - it all still works.

Alright! With our services configured, let's talk about how we can allow the user to control the behavior of those services via configuration.