This little blog has been getting a lot of coverage lately thanks to a write up by Ajaxian. Developing with Symfony is great and always gives you a lot to think and write about.
For my new product I was having a CSS conflict. This tends to happen when you include your own html and css into someone else’s website. For instance if you have a widget as such:
<div id="mywidget">
<h1>My hello world widget</h1>

H1 {

The solution to this problem is quite straightforward, you simply specify your css selector as div#mywidget H1. However, what if you want to allow people to customize the looks of your widget. Now you could off course ask them to include the div#mywidget part, but chances are this will give problems.
Since I was already using the great sfCombineFilterPlugin an easy solution was available. (If you didn’t use the sfCombineFilterPlugin yet, go check it out immediately. Also have a look at Yahoo’s Yslow)
The sfCombineFilterPlugin uses php to gzip, minify and cache your css and javascript. Here is how to extend that behavior to include the #mywidget specification. (Assuming you have sfCombineFilter installed)

Step 1: open your .htaccess

Just below the RewriteBase instruction add:
# if we are retrieving javascript or css
RewriteRule ^css/packed/prepend/(.*\.css) /sfCombineFilterPlugin/combine.php?type=css&prepend=1&files=$1
RewriteRule ^css/packed/(.*\.css) /sfCombineFilterPlugin/combine.php?type=css&files=$1
RewriteRule ^js/packed/(.*\.js) /sfCombineFilterPlugin/combine.php?type=javascript&files=$1

Step 2: add this class to the top of web/sfCombineFilter/combine.php

Partly based on CSS parser class.

class prependCss
    public static function prependCssString($str) {
        // Remove comments
        $str = preg_replace("//*(.*)?*//Usi", "", $str);
        $parts = explode("}",$str);
        if(count($parts) > 0) {
            foreach($parts as $part) {
                list($keystr,$codestr) = explode("{",$part);
                $keys = explode(",",trim($keystr));
                $newkeys = array();
                if(count($keys) > 0) {
                    foreach($keys as $key) {
                        if(strlen($key) > 0) {
                            $key = (!strstr($key, '#mywidget')) ? '#mywidget'.$key : $key;
                            $newkeys[] = $key;
                    $keystr = implode(', ',$newkeys);
                if(!empty($keystr)) //needed for spaces behind last }
                $rules[] = $keystr . " {" . $codestr . "}";
            $prependedCss = implode("n", $rules);
        return $prependedCss;
    public static function prependCssFile($filename) {
        if(file_exists($filename)) {
            return self::prependCssString(file_get_contents($filename));
        } else {
            return false;

Step 3: hack around in combine.php

below $minify_js add:
$prepend = true;

change the stuff below this comment to:
// Get contents of the files
$contents = '';
foreach ($files as $path) {
if($prepend && $_GET['type'] == 'css') {
$contents .= "\n\n" . prependCss::prependCssFile($path);
} else {
$contents .= "\n\n" . file_get_contents($path);

And finally just change your urls to css/packed/prepend/yourcss.css (if you are using relative paths in your css you might need to add an ../)


Using this technique your css will load without any problems in third party sites. This comes in very useful when creating widgets or greasemonkey scripts.