The HTTP client for humans

0.1.1 2021-01-31 17:17 UTC

This package is auto-updated.

Last update: 2022-01-09 16:49:11 UTC


The HTTP client for humans.

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Bof is a HTTP client meant to be as user friendly as possible.

It makes the most classic use cases, such as downloading a file, interacting with a JSON API or submitting a form, as simple as possible.

Since Bof is based on Guzzle, more advanced use cases can be addressed by using Guzzle's methods directly.

To sum up, Bof:

  • is user friendly
  • avoids magic strings and arrays for configuration: instead it provides explicit, typed and documented methods that can be autocompleted by IDEs
  • comes with sane defaults: JSON is supported natively, 4xx and 5xx responses throw exceptions, timeouts are short by default
  • is PSR-7 compliant

Future plans:

  • PSR-18 compliance (the HTTP client standard)
  • resiliency mechanisms such as retry, backoff, etc.

Want a short illustration? Here is Bof compared to Guzzle:

// Bof
$http = new Bof\Http;
$createdProduct = $http
    ->withHeader('Authorization', 'Token abcd')
    ->postJson('', [
        'Hello' => 'world',

// Guzzle
$client = new GuzzleHttp\Client([
    'headers' => [
        'Authorization' => 'Token abcd',
$response = $client->request('POST', '', [
   'json' => [
        'Hello' => 'world',
$createdProduct = json_decode($response->getBody()->__toString(), true);
if (json_last_error() !== JSON_ERROR_NONE) {
    throw new Exception('There was an error while decoding the JSON response');

Do we need a new HTTP client?

Probably not. If this client attracts interest, that may mean that our already popular HTTP clients could use a simpler API targeting the simple use cases. If you maintain a HTTP client and are interested, I would love to merge Bof into existing libraries. Open an issue!


composer require mnapoli/bof


$http = new Bof\Http;

$response = $http->get('');


The Bof\Http class is immutable.

Configuration is applied by calling withXxx() methods which create a new object every time:

$http = new Bof\Http;

// The header will apply to all subsequent requests
$http = $http->withHeader('Authorization', "Bearer $token");

Remember that withXxx() methods return a copy of the original client:

$http1 = new Bof\Http;

$http2 = $http1->withHeader('Authorization', "Bearer $token");

// $http1 does not have the header applied
// $http2 has the header

Thanks to that pattern, the same methods can be used to apply configuration only for a specific request:

$products = $http->withHeader('Authorization', "Bearer $token")

// The next requests will *not* have the `Authorization` header


Responses are PSR-7 compliant. They also provide methods to facilitate working with JSON responses:

$http = new Bof\Http;

$products = $http->get('')

The getData() method will decode the JSON response.

All PSR-7 methods are also available:

$response = $http->get('');
echo $response->getStatusCode();
echo $response->getHeader('Content-Length')[0];
echo $response->getBody()->getContents();

Learn more.

Sending JSON data

Using the JSON methods, the data will automatically encoded to JSON. A Content-Type header of application/json will be added.

$http->postJson('', [
    'foo' => 'bar',
// putJson() or patchJson() works as well

Sending form data

Data can also be sent as a application/x-www-form-urlencoded POST request:

$http->postForm('', [
    'foo' => 'bar',
    'baz' => ['hi', 'there!'],
// putForm() works as well


Invalid HTTP responses (status code 4xx or 5xx) will throw exceptions.

try {
} catch (\GuzzleHttp\Exception\GuzzleException $e) {
    // $e->getRequest()
    // $e->getResponse()

Learn more.


$http = $http->withHeader('Authorization', "Bearer $token");

// Headers can have multiple values
$http = $http->withHeader('X-Foo', ['Bar', 'Baz']);


Timeouts are set at short values by default:

  • 5 seconds for the request timeout
  • 3 seconds for the HTTP connection timeout

You can set shorter or longer timeouts (or disable them by setting them at 0):

// 2 seconds for the request timeout, 1 second for the connection timeout
$http = $http->withTimeout(2, 1);

Query string parameters

You can set query string parameters in the request's URI:

$response = $http->get('');

You can specify the query string parameters as an array:

$http->withQueryParams(['foo' => 'bar'])

Providing the option as an array will use PHP's http_build_query function to format the query string.

And finally, you can provide the query request option as a string.



Use withSingleProxy() to specify a proxy for all protocols:

$http = $http->withSingleProxy('tcp://localhost:8125');

Use withMultipleProxies() to specify a different proxy for HTTP and HTTPS, as well as a list of host names that should not be proxied to:

$http = $http->withMultipleProxies(
    'tcp://localhost:8125', // Use this proxy with HTTP 
    'tcp://localhost:9124', // Use this proxy with HTTPS
    ['', ''] // Don't use a proxy with these

Note that you can provide proxy URLs that contain a scheme, username, and password. For example, http://username:password@

Guzzle integration

Bof is based on Guzzle. You can even make it use your own Guzzle client, for example if you preconfigured it:

$guzzleClient = new GuzzleHttp\Client([
    'base_uri' => '',
    'timeout'  => 2.0,

$http = new Bof\Http($guzzleClient);

Learn more.