PHP array with numeric keys as string can’t be used [duplicate]

Posted on

PHP array with numeric keys as string can’t be used [duplicate] – Here in this article, we will share some of the most common and frequently asked about PHP problem in programming with detailed answers and code samples. There’s nothing quite so frustrating as being faced with PHP errors and being unable to figure out what is preventing your website from functioning as it should like php and arrays . If you have an existing PHP-based website or application that is experiencing performance issues, let’s get thinking about PHP array with numeric keys as string can’t be used [duplicate].

I have a PHP array that has numeric keys as a string type.

But when I try and access them PHP is giving me an undefined index error.

$a = (array)json_decode('{"1":1,"2":2}');


array (size=2)
    '1' => int 1
    '2' => int 2

boolean false

boolean false

ERROR: E_NOTICE: Undefined offset: 1


ERROR: E_NOTICE: Undefined offset: 1


How do I access these values?


Solution :

So, I haven’t seen any other answers touch upon this, but @xdazz came close.

Let’s start our environment, $obj equals the object notation of a decoded string:

php > $obj = json_decode('{"1":1,"2":2}');

php > print_r($obj);
stdClass Object
    [1] => 1
    [2] => 2

php > var_dump( $obj );
object(stdClass)#1 (2) {

If you want to access the strings, we know the following will fail:

php > echo $obj->1;

Parse error: parse error, expecting `T_STRING' or `T_VARIABLE' or `'{'' or `'$'' in php shell code on line 1

Accessing the object variables

You can access it like so:

php > echo $obj->{1};

Which is the same as saying:

php > echo $obj->{'1'};

Accessing the array variables

The issue with arrays is that the following return blank, which is the issue with typecasting.

php > echo $obj[1];
php >

If you typecast it back, the object is once again accessible:

php > $obj = (object) $obj;
php > echo $obj->{1};

Here is a function which will automate the above for you:

function array_key($array, $key){
    $obj = (object) $array;
    return $obj->{$key};

Example usage:

php > $obj = (array) $obj;
php > echo array_key($obj, 1);

php > echo array_key($obj, 2);

If you want array, set the second parameter of json_decode to true.

$a = json_decode('{"1":1,"2":2}', true);

when you cast a std object to array, numeric string key doesn’t cast to number.
Here is an example.

$obj = new stdClass;
$obj->{'1'} = 1;
$arr = (array) $obj;

Apparently, this is a known issue, and there are no plans to fix it; see Doc Bug #45959 Object to array conversion leads to weird behaviour:

Fixing that implies a perfomance decrease, hence the better seems be keep it as an known issue, but documented.

This wonkiness is (then) noted in the documentation for the array type (emphasis mine):

If an object is converted to an array, the result is an array whose elements are the object’s properties. The keys are the member variable names, with a few notable exceptions: integer properties are unaccessible…. This can result in some unexpected behaviour….

Yes. I do agree, PHP has issue with typecasting from object to array but foreach is handling intelligently the object or associative array.

$a = json_decode('{"1":1,"2":2}'); //need not typecast but doesnt break even if u typecast

foreach ($a as $k=>$v){
    echo $v;

I met the same problem recently.

$obj = new stdClass();
$obj->{'0'} = "test";

$array = (array)$obj;
foreach ($array as $key => $value) {
   $array[$key] = strtoupper($value);

This code outputs :

array(2) {
  string(4) "test"
  string(4) "TEST"

Found that when debugging a method to convert recursivly objects to array, I’ve been mad.

I had the same problem (but with array_intersect_key).

Here is my solution:

$array = array_combine(array_keys($array), $array);

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *