Archive for June, 2008

29th Jun 2008

Upon Reflection

The other day I was revising the one of the systems on one of the sites I work on into an object oriented structure. Everything was all well and good until I realized that I had to pass the values contained in one of my new objects into the templating system that we use. So I initially just passed a reference to the object. This did not work out so well.

It turns out that the templating system was having a hard time dealing with instance variables that are references to other objects and decided to throw a fit and halt processing. So I started looking for an easy way to translate my object into something the templating system could use (an array). More specifically, I wanted to produce an array that contained the values of my instance variables, but only the ones that were not references to other objects.

I decided to add a method called toArray to the object in question. Now I just needed an implementation. My first shot at this was to use PHP’s get_object_vars passing $this as a parameter.

public function toArray(){
return get_object_vars($this);

However, all was not well. It seems that when you call this function passing $this as a parameter it returned all of the variables from all of the objects referenced in instance variables. So I was basically back were I started.

So I gave it a bit of thought and came up with this.


* Convert values held in instance variables into an array.
* This allows the data to be more easily used by a
* smarty variableĀ  as well as making the data more easily cachable.
* @return Array
public function toArray ()
$data = array();
foreach ( $this as $key => $var )
* Exclude complex objects from the array.
if ( !get_class( $var ) )
$data[$key] = $var;
return $data;

Problem solved. Now I only got back an array that contained the values of instance variables for that specific class that were not references to other objects.

Posted by Posted by Jeremy Wischusen under Filed under OOP, PHP Comments No Comments »

03rd Jun 2008

PHP http_build_query

I was browsing through
PHP Cookbook : Solutions and Examples for PHP Programmers by David Sklar, Adam Trachtenberg the other day and while looking through the section on making REST calls, i noticed this function:


I have been doing PHP for some time and this was the first time I had ever seen it. I asked one of my co-workers this morning about it and he had never heard of it either. Here is what it does:

string http_build_query ( array $formdata [, string $numeric_prefix [, string $arg_separator ]] )

Generates a URL-encoded query string from the associative (or indexed) array provided.

So in other words, instead of manually building a query string like:

$url = ‘’.$firstName.’&lastname=’.$lastname;

You can do something like this:

$queryString = http_build_query(array(‘firstname’=>$firstname, ‘lastname’=>$lastName));
$url = ‘’.$queryString;

This could be especially useful for long query strings so you don’t have to type out all of the string concatenation. It you would like to learn more about this method go here.

Posted by Posted by Jeremy Wischusen under Filed under PHP Comments No Comments »