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Role: Documentation
Content type: text/markdown
Description: Documentation
Class: Services_JSON
Pure PHP implementation of JSON encode and decode
Author: By
Last change:
Date: 1 year ago
Size: 4,999 bytes


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PHP implementation of json_encode/decode for PHP 7.2 and higher. This library works with and without quoted keys.

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This package provides a simple encoder and decoder for JSON notation. It is intended for use with client-side Javascript applications that make use of HTTPRequest to perform server communication functions - data can be encoded into JSON notation for use in a client-side javascript, or decoded from incoming Javascript requests. JSON format is native to Javascript, and can be directly eval() with no further parsing overhead.

So, what is the goal with this version?

While this version doesn't have a better performance than json_encode() and json_decode() available as extension, but it has the next features:

  • [x] it doesn't require an extension. If you can't install ext-json, then you can use this version.
  • [x] it works with JSON with unquoted keys (for example JavaScript notation)
  • [x] It is a simple .php file with no dependency.


Getting started using composer

  1. Install the library using composer
    composer require eftec/services_json
  2. Include the dependency
    use eftec\ServicesJson\Services_JSON;
    include '../vendor/autoload.php';

See the folder examples for further examples

Getting started without composer

  1. Copy this file: Services_JSON/Services_JSON.php
  2. Include the file

    use eftec\ServicesJson\Services_JSON;
    include 'Services_JSON.php'; // or where is located the file.


Decode a JSON string into a stdclass or an associative array

var_dump(Services_JSON::decode($json)); // as stdclass
var_dump(Services_JSON::decode($json,Services_JSON::GET_ARRAY)); // as array

It also works with unquoted keys

$json='{hello:{a:2,b:3},world:[1,2,3,"aaa","bbbb"]}';  // the keys are unquoted.
var_dump(Services_JSON::decode($json)); // as stdclass
var_dump(Services_JSON::decode($json,Services_JSON::GET_ARRAY)); // as array

Json unwrapped.

With the flag Services_JSON::DECODE_FIX_ROOT, it also works when the origin text misses [] and {} at the start of the code. Note, this feature is not foolproof, for example "[1,2,3],[4,5,6]" will not wrap as "[[1,2,3],[4,5,6]]"

{"a":222,"b:"ccc"}  # normal json
"a":222,"b:"ccc"    # json without the root parenthesis.    

Services_JSON::decode('1,2,3',Services_JSON::GET_ARRAY | Services_JSON::DECODE_FIX_ROOT); // returns [1,2,3]
Services_JSON::decode('"k1":"v1", k2:2',Services_JSON::GET_ARRAY | Services_JSON::DECODE_FIX_ROOT) // returns [ 'k1' => 'v1','k2'=>2]

> Note: DECODE_FIX_ROOT flag detects if the near character is ":" or ",". If the closest character is ":", then it returns > an object, otherwise it returns a list. If there is none, then it returns a list.

Json with unquoted values

With the flag Services_JSON::DECODE_NO_QUOTE it also works when the string values are not quoted.

>Note: invisible characters at the beginner and at the end (tabs, line carriages) will be trimmed.

Services_JSON::decode('{"a":aaa,"b":bbbb,"c": aaaaa}'
  , Services_JSON::GET_ARRAY | Services_JSON::DECODE_NO_QUOTE) // ['a'=>'aaa','b'=>'bbbb','c' => 'aaaaa']


Encode transform a value (array, object, primitive value, etc.) into a json expression (a string)

var_dump(Services_JSON::encode($array));  // encode an associative array
var_dump(Services_JSON::encode($obj)); // encode an object


  • 2.3.2 * Added flag to decode DECODE_NO_QUOTE
  • 2.3.1 * deleted unused code * fixed comments. * 25% of the code has been refactored.
  • 2.3 * Fixed a typo with a comment. * added phpunit. The entire code is tested but special codification.
  • 2.2 * Now the library is static, so you can call the methods without creating an instance. * If you want to work with the non-static library, then install 1.1
  • 1.1 * It works with PHP 7.2 and higher (including PHP 8.0 and 8.1) * It doesn't require PECL to work. * The code was cleaned * Web header is removed. * Method decode() could return an associative array.
  • 1.0.3-1.0.0 PECL version. It only works with PHP 4.x and PHP 5.x