v0.7.0 2018-04-13 07:46 UTC


Build Status

The JsonSerializer that comes with this library is a very simple serializer/deserializer which recursively converts an object graph to and from JSON, without any configuration or custom code. Its design goals are:

  • Users shouldn't be forced to add custom configuration to their existing classes.
  • Users shouldn't need to write any supporting code.
  • The solution should take care of as few edge cases as possible.
  • The solution should be as small as possible, without becoming useless (<=100 LOC).
  • The solution should warn the user about its limitations using descriptive exceptions.

In order to make this work, this library restricts you to using only values of type:

  • null
  • scalar (int, float, bool)
  • user-defined objects (so no built-in PHP classes like \DateTimeImmutable)
  • arrays where every value is of the same type (maps or lists)
  • and any combination of the above

Furthermore, you need to define the types you used in standard @var docblock annotations (as you probably already do), e.g.

 * @var string
 * @var int
 * @var bool
 * You can use a relative class name:
 * @var ClassName
 * Or a full class name:
 * @var Fully\Qualified\Class\Name

Of course, every property should have just one @var annotation.

You can define lists of the above types by simply adding [] to the @var annotation, e.g.

 * @var Fully\Qualified\Class\Name[]

To work around the limitation that you can't use PHP's built-in classes, simply convert the data internally to something else. For example, to use a \DateTimeImmutable timestamp:

 * @var string
private $timestamp;

public function __construct(\DateTimeImmutable $timestamp)
    $this->timestamp = $timestamp->format(\DateTime::ISO8601);

public function getTimestamp() : \DateTimeImmutable
    return \DateTimeImmutable::createFromFormat(\DateTime::ISO8601, $this->timestamp);

To use the serializer:

// create an object
$object  = ...;

$serializedData = Serializer::serialize($object);

// $serializedData will be a pretty-printed JSON string

To deserialize the data:

$restoredObject = Serializer::deserialize(

// $restoredObject will be of type Fully\Qualified\Class\Name

If you like, you can create an instance of JsonSerializer and call its object methods instead of Serializer's static methods.


This library stands on the shoulders of the phpdocumentor/reflection-docblock library, which does all the work related to property type resolving.