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Role: Documentation
Content type: text/markdown
Description: ReadMe
Class: Nest
Easily set and get values of nested arrays
Author: By
Last change: fix(docs): fix missing docs for $isSetCheck on get()
feat(php7): add PHP7 support and version bump
feat(ci): add CI build status to README
feat(meta): update namespaces and add composer file for composer/packagist support
Date: 6 years ago
Size: 4,002 bytes


Class file image Download


By Rick Hambrook

Build Status

Nest is a PHP class that lets you easily get and set values in nested arrays and objects without worrying about errors or missing data. You don't have to check if keys, properties or functions exist. It's all designed to fail gracefully.

Need a value from an array that is returned by a function that requires parameters on an object which is stored in an array? Nest will get it for you, or return a default value if the one you want isn't there. Easy.

You can get and set nested values. You can iterate over them with foreach. The only limitation is that you can't set the value returned by a function because, well, it's obvious.

Why do this...

// need to get $array["one"]["two"]
if (array_key_exists("one", $array) && array_key_exists("two", $array["one"])) {
	$value = $array["one"]["two"];

When you could do this?

// need to get $array["one"]["two"]
$value = $array->one__two;

You don't have to worry about any key checks, or checking if things are set... Just fetch the value. You can specify a default value (null by default) to use in case the one you want isn't there. Focus on building great apps instead of validating data.


$Nest = new \Hambrook\Nest\Nest(
		"foo" => "bar",
		"one" => [
			"two" => "three"

Use a string as the path parameter

$value = $Nest->get("foo");
// "bar"

We're going two levels in this time, so use an array for the path

$value = $Nest->get(["one", "two"]);
// "three"

What if we try to get something that isn't there? Does it error?

$value = $Nest->get(["nope", "two"]);
// returns `null`, not an error

Or we can specify our own default in case of error

$value = $Nest->get(["nope", "two"], "safe");
// returns "safe", not an error

Who is it for?

Nest is for working with arrays and objects were you aren't always sure of the data. It works great with the Config class for storing configuration data for other classes or CLI scripts. But it can be used anywhere.

Where are the exceptions?

Nest doesn't throw any exceptions, that's the rule. Nest was designed to fail gracefully with default values instead of using exceptions.

What about the performance hit?

Although Nest can be used anywhere, it was built primarily for CLI apps where milliseconds don't matter. I've kept speed in mind but it's not a primary concern. At some point I will add benchmarks and timing and see how much I can shave off the execution time.


Install PHPUnit globally, then run it on the tests/ directory.


Tell me if you loved it. Tell me if you hated it. Tell me if you used it and thought "meh". I'm keen to hear your feedback.


Feel free to fork this project and submit pull requests, or even just request features via the issue tracker. Please be descriptive with pull requests and match the existing code style.


  • PHP7 support
  • Add any other standard documentation that should be included
  • Maybe add a parameter to get() that allows specifying a validator callback
  • _If you have an idea, let me know._


Copyright © 2015 Rick Hambrook

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see <>.

For more information send a message to info at phpclasses dot org.