PHP Classes

zbase32: Encode and decode data using zbase32 algorithm

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Version License PHP version Categories
zbase32 1.0Public Domain5.2Algorithms, PHP 5, Text processing
Description Author

This class encodes and decodes data using the zbase32 algorithm.

It can take a string of binary data and encode it into case insensitive data using zbase32.

The class can also do the opposite, i.e. decode previously encoded base32 data to return the original binary data.

The encoding and decoding methods are available as functions within a namespace for use under PHP 5.3 or later.

With namespaces, it is not necessary to use the fiction of classes to hide names from the global scope.

Innovation Award
PHP Programming Innovation award nominee
August 2011
Number 4

Prize: One downloadable copy of Komodo IDE
Base32 is an algorithm for encoding binary data using common ASCII characters. The zbase32 algorithm is a variant of the base32 algorithm that produces a more human readable output of encoded binary data.

This class provides a PHP implementation of the zbase32 algorithm.

Manuel Lemos
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Name: CPK Smithies <contact>
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Age: 63
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Innovation award
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z-base32 encoding/decoding

The purpose of 32-bit encoding generally is to put 8-bit data into
streams that do not respect case. One typical example is e-mail

Difference between base32 and z-base32

z-base32 is more compact than standard base32, as it does not use pad
characters. (These are in fact unnecessary for well-written
algorithms.) z-base32 also favours characters that are visually
distinct: z-base32 encodings can safely be transcribed over the
telephone, for example. 5 bytes of 8-bit data will produce
8 bytes of z-base32-encoded data.

Contents of this package

There are two subdirectories in this package. One is for PHP version
5.2. It uses the zbase32 class wrapper to encapsulate the data needed for the
encoding and decoding functions. The class has no instance data and
no constructor: it does not make sense to create objects of type zbase32. 

The second is for PHP version 5.3. This uses namespaces rather than a
class wrapper. This is more desirable, because an encoder/decoder is
not a natural software object and does not lend itself to subclassing.
Instead, the encoding/decoding functions are invoked using their
qualified name, e.g. zbase32\encode($data).

Each subdirectory contains a test program to ensure correct operation of the

If you choose to use the namespace version, you can ignore subdirectory 5.2;
if you prefer not to get entangled with namespaces, ignore subdirectory 5.3.

Using the functions

They are trivially easy to use.

// encoding using the 5.2 (class) version

require 'zbase32.php';

$str = 'Some data';
$encoded_string = zbase32::encode($str); // get encoded data
echo $encoded_string; // echoes 'kpzs43jyctozeae'

// decoding using the 5.3 (namespace) version

$str = 'jiose3jypfznytmqc7sgn5ur';
$decoded_string = zbase32\decode($str);
echo $decoded_string; // echoes 'Made in England'

Author's rant

Before the advent of namespaces, classes were the principal method of
packaging functionality in PHP, and keeping global objects out of the
global namespace. Excessive use of classes can lead, however, to
a loss of understanding of what classes are for: provision of
encapsulated, extensible functionality.

If it makes no sense to derive a subclass from an object, it makes
sense to ask: "why make this functionality into an object in the first

The principal absurdity here is the "singleton" class. While the singleton
pattern is valid and useful, there is something inappropriate about using
classes to create an object that is global, unique and un-reusable. Isn't that
what global data and functions are really for?

  Files folder image Files  
File Role Description
Files folder image5.2 (2 files)
Files folder image5.3 (2 files)
Accessible without login Plain text file LICENCE Lic. Documentation of the licence
Accessible without login Plain text file README Doc. Introduction to the package

  Files folder image Files  /  5.2  
File Role Description
  Accessible without login Plain text file enctest.php Test Functionality test
  Plain text file zbase32.php Class library file implementing zbase32 compression functions

  Files folder image Files  /  5.3  
File Role Description
  Accessible without login Plain text file enctest.php Test Functionality test
  Plain text file zbase32.php Class Library functions

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