PHP's serialize in JavaScript

Here’s what our current JavaScript equivalent to PHP's serialize looks like.

module.exports = function serialize (mixedValue) {
// discuss at: https://locutus.io/php/serialize/
// original by: Arpad Ray (mailto:arpad@php.net)
// improved by: Dino
// improved by: Le Torbi (https://www.letorbi.de/)
// improved by: Kevin van Zonneveld (https://kvz.io/)
// bugfixed by: Andrej Pavlovic
// bugfixed by: Garagoth
// bugfixed by: Russell Walker (https://www.nbill.co.uk/)
// bugfixed by: Jamie Beck (https://www.terabit.ca/)
// bugfixed by: Kevin van Zonneveld (https://kvz.io/)
// bugfixed by: Ben (https://benblume.co.uk/)
// bugfixed by: Codestar (https://codestarlive.com/)
// bugfixed by: idjem (https://github.com/idjem)
// input by: DtTvB (https://dt.in.th/2008-09-16.string-length-in-bytes.html)
// input by: Martin (https://www.erlenwiese.de/)
// note 1: We feel the main purpose of this function should be to ease
// note 1: the transport of data between php & js
// note 1: Aiming for PHP-compatibility, we have to translate objects to arrays
// example 1: serialize(['Kevin', 'van', 'Zonneveld'])
// returns 1: 'a:3:{i:0;s:5:"Kevin";i:1;s:3:"van";i:2;s:9:"Zonneveld";}'
// example 2: serialize({firstName: 'Kevin', midName: 'van'})
// returns 2: 'a:2:{s:9:"firstName";s:5:"Kevin";s:7:"midName";s:3:"van";}'
// example 3: serialize( {'ü': 'ü', '四': '四', '𠜎': '𠜎'})
// returns 3: 'a:3:{s:2:"ü";s:2:"ü";s:3:"四";s:3:"四";s:4:"𠜎";s:4:"𠜎";}'
let val, key, okey
let ktype = ''
let vals = ''
let count = 0
const _utf8Size = function (str) {
return ~-encodeURI(str).split(/%..|./).length
}
const _getType = function (inp) {
let match
let key
let cons
let types
let type = typeof inp
if (type === 'object' && !inp) {
return 'null'
}
if (type === 'object') {
if (!inp.constructor) {
return 'object'
}
cons = inp.constructor.toString()
match = cons.match(/(\w+)\(/)
if (match) {
cons = match[1].toLowerCase()
}
types = ['boolean', 'number', 'string', 'array']
for (key in types) {
if (cons === types[key]) {
type = types[key]
break
}
}
}
return type
}
const type = _getType(mixedValue)
switch (type) {
case 'function':
val = ''
break
case 'boolean':
val = 'b:' + (mixedValue ? '1' : '0')
break
case 'number':
val = (Math.round(mixedValue) === mixedValue ? 'i' : 'd') + ':' + mixedValue
break
case 'string':
val = 's:' + _utf8Size(mixedValue) + ':"' + mixedValue + '"'
break
case 'array':
case 'object':
val = 'a'
/*
if (type === 'object') {
var objname = mixedValue.constructor.toString().match(/(\w+)\(\)/);
if (objname === undefined) {
return;
}
objname[1] = serialize(objname[1]);
val = 'O' + objname[1].substring(1, objname[1].length - 1);
}
*/
for (key in mixedValue) {
if (mixedValue.hasOwnProperty(key)) {
ktype = _getType(mixedValue[key])
if (ktype === 'function') {
continue
}
okey = (key.match(/^[0-9]+$/) ? parseInt(key, 10) : key)
vals += serialize(okey) + serialize(mixedValue[key])
count++
}
}
val += ':' + count + ':{' + vals + '}'
break
case 'undefined':
default:
// Fall-through
// if the JS object has a property which contains a null value,
// the string cannot be unserialized by PHP
val = 'N'
break
}
if (type !== 'object' && type !== 'array') {
val += ';'
}
return val
}
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How to use

You you can install via npm install locutus and require it via require('locutus/php/var/serialize'). You could also require the var module in full so that you could access var.serialize instead.

If you intend to target the browser, you can then use a module bundler such as Parcel, webpack, Browserify, or rollup.js. This can be important because Locutus allows modern JavaScript in the source files, meaning it may not work in all browsers without a build/transpile step. Locutus does transpile all functions to ES5 before publishing to npm.

A community effort

Not unlike Wikipedia, Locutus is an ongoing community effort. Our philosophy follows The McDonald’s Theory. This means that we don't consider it to be a bad thing that many of our functions are first iterations, which may still have their fair share of issues. We hope that these flaws will inspire others to come up with better ideas.

This way of working also means that we don't offer any production guarantees, and recommend to use Locutus inspiration and learning purposes only.

Notes

  • We feel the main purpose of this function should be to ease the transport of data between php & js Aiming for PHP-compatibility, we have to translate objects to arrays

Examples

Please note that these examples are distilled from test cases that automatically verify our functions still work correctly. This could explain some quirky ones.

#codeexpected result
1serialize(['Kevin', 'van', 'Zonneveld'])'a:3:{i:0;s:5:"Kevin";i:1;s:3:"van";i:2;s:9:"Zonneveld";}'
2serialize({firstName: 'Kevin', midName: 'van'})'a:2:{s:9:"firstName";s:5:"Kevin";s:7:"midName";s:3:"van";}'
3serialize( {'ü': 'ü', '四': '四', '𠜎': '𠜎'})'a:3:{s:2:"ü";s:2:"ü";s:3:"四";s:3:"四";s:4:"𠜎";s:4:"𠜎";}'

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