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JavaScript serialize function

A JavaScript equivalent of PHP’s serialize

var/serialize.js raw on github
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function serialize(mixed_value) {
  //  discuss at: http://phpjs.org/functions/serialize/
  // original by: Arpad Ray (mailto:arpad@php.net)
  // improved by: Dino
  // improved by: Le Torbi (http://www.letorbi.de/)
  // improved by: Kevin van Zonneveld (http://kevin.vanzonneveld.net/)
  // bugfixed by: Andrej Pavlovic
  // bugfixed by: Garagoth
  // bugfixed by: Russell Walker (http://www.nbill.co.uk/)
  // bugfixed by: Jamie Beck (http://www.terabit.ca/)
  // bugfixed by: Kevin van Zonneveld (http://kevin.vanzonneveld.net/)
  // bugfixed by: Ben (http://benblume.co.uk/)
  //    input by: DtTvB (http://dt.in.th/2008-09-16.string-length-in-bytes.html)
  //    input by: Martin (http://www.erlenwiese.de/)
  //        note: We feel the main purpose of this function should be to ease the transport of data between php & js
  //        note: 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', surName: 'Zonneveld'});
  //   returns 2: 'a:3:{s:9:"firstName";s:5:"Kevin";s:7:"midName";s:3:"van";s:7:"surName";s:9:"Zonneveld";}'

  var val, key, okey,
    ktype = '',
    vals = '',
    count = 0,
    _utf8Size = function(str) {
      var size = 0,
        i = 0,
        l = str.length,
        code = '';
      for (i = 0; i < l; i++) {
        code = str.charCodeAt(i);
        if (code < 0x0080) {
          size += 1;
        } else if (code < 0x0800) {
          size += 2;
        } else {
          size += 3;
        }
      }
      return size;
    };
  _getType = function(inp) {
    var match, key, cons, types, 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;
  };
  type = _getType(mixed_value);

  switch (type) {
    case 'function':
      val = '';
      break;
    case 'boolean':
      val = 'b:' + (mixed_value ? '1' : '0');
      break;
    case 'number':
      val = (Math.round(mixed_value) == mixed_value ? 'i' : 'd') + ':' + mixed_value;
      break;
    case 'string':
      val = 's:' + _utf8Size(mixed_value) + ':"' + mixed_value + '"';
      break;
    case 'array':
    case 'object':
      val = 'a';
      /*
        if (type === 'object') {
          var objname = mixed_value.constructor.toString().match(/(\w+)\(\)/);
          if (objname == undefined) {
            return;
          }
          objname[1] = this.serialize(objname[1]);
          val = 'O' + objname[1].substring(1, objname[1].length - 1);
        }
        */

      for (key in mixed_value) {
        if (mixed_value.hasOwnProperty(key)) {
          ktype = _getType(mixed_value[key]);
          if (ktype === 'function') {
            continue;
          }

          okey = (key.match(/^[0-9]+$/) ? parseInt(key, 10) : key);
          vals += this.serialize(okey) + this.serialize(mixed_value[key]);
          count++;
        }
      }
      val += ':' + count + ':{' + vals + '}';
      break;
    case 'undefined':
      // Fall-through
    default:
      // 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;
}

Please note that php.js uses JavaScript objects as substitutes for PHP arrays, they are the closest match to this hashtable-like data structure.

Please also note that php.js offers community built functions and goes by the McDonald’s Theory. We’ll put online functions that are far from perfect, in the hopes to spark better contributions. Do you have one? Then please just:

Other PHP functions in the var extension

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