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Does SimpleXMLElement have a toString() method? No, better use asXML()!

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Does SimpleXMLElement have a toString() method? No, better use asXML()!

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SimpleXML is a PHP extension that “provides a very simple and easily usable toolset to convert XML to an object” [1]. Thus you can pass a link to an XML file and SimpleXML will return an object.

$xml = simplexml_load_file('path_to_the_file');

Sometimes you’d need to dump or save the entire XML as a string, but there’s no toString method! As you can see $xml is an instance of the SimpleXMLElement class.

var_dump($xml); // object(SimpleXMLElement)...

Actually if you take a closer look:

$xml->toString();

will return “Call to an undefined method toString()”, which is frustrating because the developers community is used to use toString() when converting an object into a string.

XML

PHP's SimpleXML doesn't have toString() method. asXML() is used instead!

The solution

In fact there’s a method doing exactly what’s needed. This is SimpleXMLElement::asXML

As described in the manual page: “SimpleXMLElement::asXML — Return a well-formed XML string based on SimpleXML element” [2].

Besides that it does exactly what’s needed it sounds irrelevant, because you’ve an XML object and the name “asXML” doesn’t describe correctly what’s expected.

$xml->asXML() // ?!
  1. SimpleXMLElement::asXML
  2. SimpleXML Introduction

Related posts:

  1. PHP Strings: How to Get the Extension of a File
  2. How to Collect the Images and Meta Tags from a Webpage with PHP
  3. An FFMPEG Question – Why PHP’s exec() Doesn’t Return the Command Output

 

Source: http://www.stoimen.com/blog/2011/10/10/php-does-simplexmlelement-have-tostring-method-no-better-use-asxml/

 

 

 

 

 

Deploying code to production can be filled with uncertainty. Reduce the risks, and deploy earlier and more often. Download this free guide to learn more. Brought to you in partnership with Rollbar.

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