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PHP - embedded PHP interpreter


The module makes it possible to execute PHP code, call PHP functions and methods, manipulate PHP arrays, and create PHP objects.


        use PHP;

General use

        # evaluate arbitrary PHP code; exception is thrown
        # and can be caught via standard eval{}/$@ block 
        function print_val(\$arr,\$val) {
                echo \$arr[\$val];
        class TestClass {
                function TestClass ( $param ) {}
                function method(\$val) { return \$val + 1; }

        # catch output of PHP code
        PHP::options( stdout => sub {
                print "PHP says: $_[0]\n";
        PHP::eval('echo 42;');

Arrays, high level

        # create a php array
        my $array = PHP::array;

        # access pseudo-hash content
        $array-> [1] = 42;
        $array-> {string} = 43;
        # pass arrays to function
        # Note - function name is not known by perl in advance, and
        # is called via AUTOLOAD
        PHP::print_val($array, 1);
        PHP::print_val($array, 'string');

Arrays, low level

        # create a php array handle
        my $array = PHP::ArrayHandle-> new();
        # tie it either to an array or a hash
        my ( @array, %hash);
        $array-> tie(\%hash);
        $array-> tie(\@array);

        # access array content
        $array[1] = 42;
        $hash{2} = 43;

Objects and properties

        my $TestClass = PHP::Object-> new('TestClass');
        print $TestClass-> method(42), "\n";
        $TestClass-> tie(\%hash);
        # set a property
        $hash{new_prop} = 'string';


eval $CODE

Feeds embedded PHP interpreter with $CODE, throws an exception on failure.

call FUNCTION ...

Calls PHP function with list of parameters. Returns exactly one value.

include, include_once, require, require_once

Shortcuts to the identical PHP constructs.

array [ $REFERENCE ]

Returns a handle to a newly created PHP::Array object, which can be accessed both as array and hash reference:

        $_ = PHP::array;
        $_->[42] = 'hello';
        $_->{world} = '!';

If $REFERENCE is a PHP::ArrayHandle instance, then the newly created object is a pheudo-hash alias to the PHP array behind the $REFERENCE. If no $REFERENCE is given, a new PHP array is created.

PHP::Object->new($class_name, @parameters)

Instantiates a PHP object of PHP class $class_name and returns a handle to it. The methods of the class can be called directly via the handle:

        my $obj = PHP::Object-> new( 'MyClass', @params_to_constructor);
        $object-> method( @some_params);

The relevant class constructor is called, if available, according to PHP specification, that is different between v4 and v5. The v4 constructor has identical name with the class name; the v5 constructor can also be named __construct.

PHP::Entity->tie($array_handle, $tie_to)

Ties existing handle to a PHP entity to either a perl hash or a perl array. The tied hash or array can be used to access PHP pseudo_hash values indexed either by string or integer value.

The PHP entity can be either an array, represented by PHP::ArrayHandle, or an object, represented by PHP::Object. In the latter case, the object properties are represented as hash/array values.

PHP::Entity->link($original, $link)

Records a reference to an arbitrary perl scalar $link as an alias to $original PHP::Entity object. This is used internally by PHP::TieHash and PHP::TieArray, but might be also used for other purposes.


Removes association between a PHP::Entity object and $link.

PHP::Array->tie($self, $tie_to)

Same as PHP::Entity->tie, but operates on PHP::Array objects.


Returns PHP array handle, a PHP::ArrayHandle object.


Contains set of internal options. If called without parameters, returns the names of the options. If called with a single parameter, return the associated value. If called with two parameters, replaces the associated value.

debug $integer

If set, loads of debugging information are dumped to stderr

Default: 0

stdout/stderr $callback

stdout and stderr options define callbacks that are called when PHP decides to print something or complain, respectively.

Default: undef


Read-only option; returns the version of PHP library compiled with .


Environment variable P5PHPDEBUG, if set to 1, turns the debug mode on. The same effect can be achieved programmatically by calling

        PHP::options( debug => 1);


The module uses php-embed SAPI extension to inter-operate with PHP interpreter. That means php must be configured with '--enable-embed' parameters prior to using the module. Also, no '--with-apxs' must be present in to configuration agruments either, otherwise the PHP library will be linked with Apache functions, and will be unusable from the command line.

The sub dl_load_flags { 0x01 } code in is required for PHP to load correctly its extensions. If your platform does RTLD_GLOBAL by default and croaks upon this line, it is safe to remove the line.


While I do agree that in general it is absolutely pointless to use PHP functionality from within Perl, scenarios where one must connect an existing PHP codebase to something else, are not something unusual. Also, this module might be handy for people who know PHP but are afraid of switching to Perl, or want to reuse their old PHP code.

Currently, not all of PHP functionality is implemented, but OTOH I don't really expect this module to grow that big, because I believe it is easier to call PHP::eval rather than implement all the subtleties of Zend API. There are no callbacks to Perl from PHP code, and I don't think these are needed, because one thing is to be lazy and not to rewrite PHP code, and another is to make new code in PHP that uses Perl when PHP is not enough. As I see it, the latter would kill all incentive to switch to Perl, so I'd rather leave callbacks unimplemented.


Using Perl code from PHP:


Copyright (c) 2005 catpipe Systems ApS. All rights reserved.

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.


Dmitry Karasik <>