Custom pagination on different models with symfony and Doctrine

As I googled and asked, and nobody could give me a better solution, I post it, conviced that the following code is pure crap.

The problem©

I have a cool schema, which uses both column aggregation and concrete table inheritance, and a simple search engine to develop, which needs to search the field title ( or name ) of every entity, regardless its definition.

This means, for example, that it has to look for the query ( Es. “John” ) in the sfGuardUser model, matching the name column, and also in the Post model, matching the title column.

Worthless to say, I got something like 15 tables: not that much, neither a couple.

Solution: use Lucene

Yes, I know: Lucene ( or Solr ) would be the best way to do that; but I can’t use it as I forced myself not to use Lucene every time I need a search engine that simple. I need to search for a single word, in 15 tables, between something like 400 records.

Lucene would swear at me if I use it for this kinda purposes.

Solution2: be a column-aggregation-holic

Another time: I can’t.

The whole schema has different and various fields so I cannot stand a full-of-null record set.

Solution3: UNIONs

Here’s how I “solved” it, with UNIONs and a custom pagination.

Alex, CTO @ DNSEE, said the drawbacks of this approach are justified by the poverty of the SE.

Breaking the concept of fat models and thin controllers, I fulfilled my controller with the following code…

First step: build the UNION

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<?php

$WHERE = "WHERE (title LIKE '%{$this->word}%')";

$query = "( 
  SELECT id, title, intro, type, date FROM post $WHERE) 
UNION ( 
  SELECT id, title, description, type, date FROM boats $WHERE) 
UNION ( 
  SELECT id, title, intro, 'harbour', date FROM harbour $WHERE) 
...
...
...
ORDER BY date DESC ";

Execute the query

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<?php

$this->items = Doctrine_Manager::getInstance()->getCurrentConnection()->fetchAssoc($query);

Prepare the paginator

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<?php

$count        = count($this->items);
$page         = ( $request->getParameter('page') - 1 ) . 0;
$this->items  = array_slice($this->items, $page, $limit);
$this->pages  = ceil($count / $limit);

In the view you will only need to render $items and print the pagination:

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<?php

for($x = 0; $x < $pages; $++)
  ...
  ...
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