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I'm trying to mimic the page hierarchy rules of WP. I'm checking for the existence of certain files, then requiring them if they exist -- in the same order as I understand the hierarchy rules. Here's a snippet:

if (is_author() === TRUE)
{
    if (file_exists('_author-NICENAME.php') === TRUE)
    {
        require '_author-NICENAME.php';
    }
    elseif (file_exists('_author-ID.php') === TRUE)
    {
        require '_author-ID.php';
    }
    elseif (file_exists('_author.php') === TRUE)
    {
        require '_author.php';
    }
    elseif (file_exists('_archive.php') === TRUE)
    {
        require '_archive.php';
    }
    else
    {
        // missing _author-NICENAME.php, _author-ID.php, _author.php, or _archive.php
        require '_index.php';
    }
}

The parts of the file name that are in ALL CAPS are dynamic data, right? How do I get an author's "NICENAME" or "ID", etc.? I need this also for POSTTYPE, MIMETYPE, SUBTYPE, category SLUG, category ID, CUSTOM page, page SLUG, page ID, single POSTTYPE, tag SLUG, tag ID, TAXONOMY, taxonomy TERM, etc.

UPDATE 1:

Since I am trying to determine which files to load (in an attempt to mimic the hierarchy rules), I don't think I can be inside The Loop. I think this limits the functions available to me in order to get the dynamic data.

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1  
Had you explored documentation? In current form this question asks someone else to go and do rather menial function lookups for you. –  Rarst May 15 '13 at 20:20
    
I have -- and continue to do so. I'm new to WP. And although I see functions like codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/get_post_mime_type, it seems to accept a parameter which is unfamiliar to me. –  snoopy76 May 15 '13 at 20:27
    
Assuming that parameter is the post id, then I can get it using the_ID() function, but that must be in "The Loop". Seems like I am getting deeper in the rabbit hole. Hoping someone here will give a simpler solution. –  snoopy76 May 15 '13 at 20:37
    
Sorry to disappoint, but you are precisely in the right rabbit hole. :) –  Rarst May 15 '13 at 20:39
    
Oh boy. Does that mean that my snippet of code is supposed to be in a loop? Are files like author.php supposed to be just the markup for one iteration of the loop? –  snoopy76 May 15 '13 at 20:51

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