Progress Bars


Zend\ProgressBar is a component to create and update progress bars in different environments. It consists of a single backend, which outputs the progress through one of the multiple adapters. On every update, it takes an absolute value and optionally a status message, and then calls the adapter with some precalculated values like percentage and estimated time left.

Basic Usage

Zend\ProgressBar is quite easy in its usage. You simply create a new instance of Zend\Progressbar, defining a min- and a max-value, and choose an adapter to output the data. If you want to process a file, you would do something like:

$progressBar = new Zend\ProgressBar\ProgressBar($adapter, 0, $fileSize);

while (!feof($fp)) {
    // Do something



In the first step, an instance of Zend\ProgressBar is created, with a specific adapter, a min-value of 0 and a max-value of the total filesize. Then a file is processed and in every loop the progressbar is updated with the current byte count. At the end of the loop, the progressbar status is set to finished.

You can also call the update() method of Zend\ProgressBar without arguments, which just recalculates ETA and notifies the adapter. This is useful when there is no data update but you want the progressbar to be updated.

Persistent Progress

If you want the progressbar to be persistent over multiple requests, you can give the name of a session namespace as fourth argument to the constructor. In that case, the progressbar will not notify the adapter within the constructor, but only when you call update() or finish(). Also the current value, the status text and the start time for ETA calculation will be fetched in the next request run again.

Standard Adapters

Zend\ProgressBar comes with the following three adapters:

Console Adapter

Zend\ProgressBar\Adapter\Console is a text-based adapter for terminals. It can automatically detect terminal widths but supports custom widths as well. You can define which elements are displayed with the progressbar and as well customize the order of them. You can also define the style of the progressbar itself.


Automatic console width recognition

shell_exec is required for this feature to work on *nix based systems. On windows, there is always a fixed terminal width of 80 character, so no recognition is required there.

You can set the adapter options either via the set* methods or give an array or a Zend\Config\Config instance with options as first parameter to the constructor. The available options are:

  • outputStream: A different output-stream, if you don’t want to stream to STDOUT. Can be any other stream like php://stderr or a path to a file.
  • width: Either an integer or the AUTO constant of Zend\Console\ProgressBar.
  • elements: Either NULL for default or an array with at least one of the following constants of Zend\Console\ProgressBar as value:
    • ELEMENT_PERCENT: The current value in percent.
    • ELEMENT_BAR: The visual bar which display the percentage.
    • ELEMENT_ETA: The automatic calculated ETA. This element is firstly displayed after five seconds, because in this time, it is not able to calculate accurate results.
    • ELEMENT_TEXT: An optional status message about the current process.
  • textWidth: Width in characters of the ELEMENT_TEXT element. Default is 20.
  • charset: Charset of the ELEMENT_TEXT element. Default is utf-8.
  • barLeftChar: A string which is used left-hand of the indicator in the progressbar.
  • barRightChar: A string which is used right-hand of the indicator in the progressbar.
  • barIndicatorChar: A string which is used for the indicator in the progressbar. This one can be empty.

JsPush Adapter

Zend\ProgressBar\Adapter\JsPush is an adapter which let’s you update a progressbar in a browser via Javascript Push. This means that no second connection is required to gather the status about a running process, but that the process itself sends its status directly to the browser.

You can set the adapter options either via the set* methods or give an array or a Zend\Config\Config instance with options as first parameter to the constructor. The available options are:

  • updateMethodName: The JavaScript method which should be called on every update. Default value is Zend\ProgressBar\Update.
  • finishMethodName: The JavaScript method which should be called after finish status was set. Default value is NULL, which means nothing is done.

The usage of this adapter is quite simple. First you create a progressbar in your browser, either with JavaScript or previously created with plain HTML. Then you define the update method and optionally the finish method in JavaScript, both taking a json object as single argument. Then you call a webpage with the long-running process in a hidden iframe or object tag. While the process is running, the adapter will call the update method on every update with a json object, containing the following parameters:

  • current: The current absolute value
  • max: The max absolute value
  • percent: The calculated percentage
  • timeTaken: The time how long the process ran yet
  • timeRemaining: The expected time for the process to finish
  • text: The optional status message, if given

Basic example for the client-side stuff

This example illustrates a basic setup of HTML, CSS and JavaScript for the JsPush adapter

<div id="zend-progressbar-container">
    <div id="zend-progressbar-done"></div>

<iframe src="long-running-process.php" id="long-running-process"></iframe>
#long-running-process {
    position: absolute;
    left: -100px;
    top: -100px;

    width: 1px;
    height: 1px;

#zend-progressbar-container {
    width: 100px;
    height: 30px;

    border: 1px solid #000000;
    background-color: #ffffff;

#zend-progressbar-done {
    width: 0;
    height: 30px;

    background-color: #000000;
function Zend\ProgressBar\Update(data)
    document.getElementById('zend-progressbar-done').style.width =
         data.percent + '%';

This will create a simple container with a black border and a block which indicates the current process. You should not hide the iframe or object by display: none;, as some browsers like Safari 2 will not load the actual content then.

Instead of creating your custom progressbar, you may want to use one of the available JavaScript libraries like Dojo, jQuery etc. For example, there are:


Interval of updates

You should take care of not sending too many updates, as every update has a min-size of 1kb. This is a requirement for the Safari browser to actually render and execute the function call. Internet Explorer has a similar limitation of 256 bytes.

JsPull Adapter

Zend\ProgressBar\Adapter\JsPull is the opposite of jsPush, as it requires to pull for new updates, instead of pushing updates out to the browsers. Generally you should use the adapter with the persistence option of the Zend\ProgressBar. On notify, the adapter sends a JSON string to the browser, which looks exactly like the JSON string which is send by the jsPush adapter. The only difference is, that it contains an additional parameter, finished, which is either FALSE when update() is called or TRUE, when finish() is called.

You can set the adapter options either via the set*() methods or give an array or a Zend\Config\Config instance with options as first parameter to the constructor. The available options are:

  • exitAfterSend: Exits the current request after the data were send to the browser. Default is TRUE.

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