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var_export

Outputs or returns a parsable string representation of a variable (PHP 4 >= 4.2.0, PHP 5)
mixed var_export ( mixed expression [, bool return] )

var_export() gets structured information about the given variable. It is similar to var_dump() with one exception: the returned representation is valid PHP code.

Parameters

expression

The variable you want to export.

return

If used and set to TRUE, var_export() will return the variable representation instead of outputing it.

Note:

This function internally uses the output buffering with this parameter so it can not be used inside ob_start() callback function.

Return Values

Returns the variable representation when the return parameter is used and evaluates to TRUE. Otherwise, this function will return NULL.

ChangeLog

VersionDescription
5.1.0 Possibility to export classes and arrays containing classes using the __set_state magic method.

Examples

Example 2605. var_export() Examples

<?php
$a
= array (1, 2, array ("a", "b", "c"));
var_export($a);
?>

The above example will output:

array (
 0 => 1,
 1 => 2,
 2 =>
 array (
   0 => 'a',
   1 => 'b',
   2 => 'c',
 ),
)
<?php

$b
= 3.1;
$v = var_export($b, true);
echo
$v;

?>

The above example will output:

3.1


Example 2606. Exporting classes since PHP 5.1.0

<?php
class A { public $var; }
$a = new A;
$a->var = 5;
var_export($a);
?>

The above example will output:

A::__set_state(array(
  'var' => 5,
))


Example 2607. Using __set_state (since PHP 5.1.0)

<?php
class A
{
   public
$var1;
   public
$var2;

   public static function
__set_state($an_array)
   {
       
$obj = new A;
       
$obj->var1 = $an_array['var1'];
       
$obj->var2 = $an_array['var2'];
       return
$obj;
   }
}

$a = new A;
$a->var1 = 5;
$a->var2 = 'foo';

eval(
'$b = ' . var_export($a, true) . ';'); // $b = A::__set_state(array(
                                           //    'var1' => 5,
                                           //    'var2' => 'foo',
                                           // ));
var_dump($b);
?>

The above example will output:

object(A)#2 (2) {
 ["var1"]=>
 int(5)
 ["var2"]=>
 string(3) "foo"
}


Notes

Note:

Variables of type resource couldn't be exported by this function.

Note:

var_export() does not handle circular references as it would be close to impossible to generate parsable PHP code for that. If you want to do something with the full representation of an array or object, use serialize().