PHP Classes


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Role: Documentation
Content type: text/markdown
Description: Documentation
Class: PHP Binary Flags
Manage a group of boolean flags using integers
Author: By
Last change: Maintenance release, drop old PHP versions (#11)

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Set minimum PHP version to 8.0

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Date: 3 months ago
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With this class you can easily add flags to your projects.

The number of flags you can use is limited to the architecture of your system, e.g.: 32 flags on a 32-bit system or 64 flags on 64-bit system. To store 64-bits flags in a database, you will need to store it as UNSIGNED BIGINT in MySQL or an equivalent in your datastore.

This package also comes with a trait which you can use to implement binary flags directly in your own class.


To install this package simply run the following command in the root of your project.

composer require reinder83/binary-flags


The following methods can be used:

setMask(int $mask)

Overwrite the current mask. This can be passed as first argument in the constructor.

getMask(): int

Retrieve the current mask.

setOnModifyCallback(callable $onModify)

Set a callback function which is called when the mask changes. This can be passed as second argument in the constructor.

getFlagNames([int $mask, [bool $asArray=false]])

Give the name(s) for the given $mask or the current mask when omitted. When $asArray is true the method will return an array with the names, otherwise a comma separated string will be returned (default).

addFlag(int $flag)

Adds one or multiple flags to the current mask.

removeFlag(int $flag)

Removes one or multiple flags from the current mask.

checkFlag(int $flag, [bool $checkAll=true]): bool

Check if given flag(s) are set in the current mask. By default, it will check all bits in the given flag. When you want to match any of the given flags set $checkAll to false.

checkAnyFlag(int $mask): bool

_Since: v1.0.1_ \ For you convenient I've added an alias to checkFlag with $checkAll set to false.

count(): int

_Since: v1.2.0_ \ Returns the number of flags that have been set.

jsonSerialize(): mixed

_Since: v1.2.0_ \ Return a value that can be encoded by json_encode() in the form of ["mask" => 7]. You should not have to call this method directly, instead you can pass the BinaryFlags object to json_encode which will convert it to '{"mask": 7}'.

Static Methods

The following static methods can be used:

getAllFlags(): array

_Since: v1.1.0_ \ Return all the flags with their names as an array, using their flag mask as key. This method can also be overloaded to return custom names for the flags, which will be used by the getFlagNames method.

getAllFlagsMask(): int

_Since: v1.1.0_ \ Return mask of all the flags together


_Since: v1.2.0_ \ You can treat a BinaryFlags object as an iterable, where each iteration will return the next bit value that has been set including its description (or the name of the constant representing the bit value).

Example usage

Below some example usage code

Create classes
// example classes which the following examples will refer to
use Reinder83\BinaryFlags\BinaryFlags;
use Reinder83\BinaryFlags\Bits;

class ExampleFlags extends BinaryFlags
    const FOO = Bits::BIT_1;
    const BAR = Bits::BIT_2;
    const BAZ = Bits::BIT_3;

Simple usage
$exampleFlags = new ExampleFlags();

// add BAR flag

// false
// true

// remove BAR flag

// false

Usage with multiple flags
$exampleFlags = new ExampleFlags();

// add FOO and BAR
$exampleFlags->addFlag(ExampleFlags::FOO | ExampleFlags::BAR); 

// true

var_export($exampleFlags->checkFlag(ExampleFlags::FOO | ExampleFlags::BAZ)); 
// false because BAZ is not set

var_export($exampleFlags->checkFlag(ExampleFlags::FOO | ExampleFlags::BAR)); 
// true because both flags are set

var_export($exampleFlags->checkFlag(ExampleFlags::FOO | ExampleFlags::BAZ, false)); 
// true because one of the flags is set (FOO)

// alias of the above method
var_export($exampleFlags->checkAnyFlag(ExampleFlags::FOO | ExampleFlags::BAZ)); 
// true

Flag names example

_By default, the flag names are based on the constant names_

$exampleFlags = new ExampleFlags();

$exampleFlags->addFlag(ExampleFlags::FOO | ExampleFlags::BAR | ExampleFlags::BAZ);
// 'Foo, Bar, Baz'

// null will force current mask
var_export($exampleFlags->getFlagNames(null, true));
array (
  0 => 'Foo',
  1 => 'Bar',
  2 => 'Baz',

// get flag names of given mask
var_export($exampleFlags->getFlagNames(ExampleFlags::FOO | ExampleFlags::BAR));
// 'Foo, Bar'

Custom flag names example

If you want custom flag names that are not equal to the constant names, you can override these with getAllFlags()

class ExampleFlagsWithNames extends BinaryFlags
    const FOO = Bits::BIT_1;
    const BAR = Bits::BIT_2;
    const BAZ = Bits::BIT_3;
    public static function getAllFlags()
        return [
            static::FOO => 'My foo description',
            static::BAR => 'My bar description',
            static::BAZ => 'My baz description',

$exampleFlags = new ExampleFlagsWithNames();

$exampleFlags->addFlag(ExampleFlags::FOO | ExampleFlags::BAR | ExampleFlags::BAZ);

// null will force current mask
var_export($exampleFlags->getFlagNames(null, true));
array (
  0 => 'My foo description',
  1 => 'My bar description',
  2 => 'My baz description',

Example usage with Eloquent models

use Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Model;

class Test extends Model
    private $flagsObject;

     * Retrieve flags
     * @return ExampleFlags
    public function getFlagsAttribute()
        if ($this->flagsObject === null) {
            $this->flagsObject = new ExampleFlags(
                $this->attributes['flags'], // set current flags mask
                function (ExampleFlags $flags) { // set callback function
                    // update the flags in this model
                    $this->setAttribute('flags', $flags->getMask());
        return $this->flagsObject;

// retrieve object from DB
$test = Test::find(1);

// do binary operations on the flags class as described earlier


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