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Parsing text files in PHP with FlatfileTools

By admin | August 13, 2008

Compdigitec FlatfileTools is a API written in PHP to manipulate, read and modify plain text databases. It can also manipulate existing databases, such as CSV files. It is released under the GNU General Public License and therefore is free software.

To use it, download Compdigitec FlatfileTools. Then include_once it like this:

<?php

include_once(‘flatfiletools.lib.php’);

// The rest of your code goes here…

?>

For example, to parse the following CSV file – name it testdb.csv. Make sure there is no extra newline at the bottom. (UNIX line endings. To parse Windows/DOS line endings, change line in config.ini to “\r\n”). Do not forget to change config.ini’s div setting to “,”:

Software,License
Linux,GPL
Mozilla Firefox,GPL+LGPL+MPL
Compdigitec FlatfileTools,GPL

Use the following code:


<?php
// Include flatfiletools
include_once('flatfiletools.lib.php');
// Create new db and set file
$f = new FlatfileTools();
$f->set_datafile('testdb.csv');
// Populate - WARNING: Due to a bug in FlatfileTools v1.0, true means failure and false means success in this function.
if($f->populate()) {
    echo 
"An error happened on line 8 during a call to populate().\n";
};
// Get number of lines
$lines $f->get_number_of_lines();
// Output table header
echo "<table border=\"1\">";
// Until the last line get line
for($i 0$i <= $lines$i++) {
    
$var $f->get_line($i);
    if(
$var === false) {
        echo 
"An error happened on line 16 during a call to get_line() - Current Row Number is $i. \n";
    } else {
        echo 
"<tr>";
        if(
$i == 0) {
            foreach(
$var as $val) {
                echo 
"<th>$val</th>";
            }
        } else {
            foreach(
$var as $val) {
                echo 
"<td>$val</td>";
            }
        };
        echo 
"</tr>";
    };
}
// Output footer
echo "</table>";
?>


If you run this code and receive the error “An error happened on line 16 during a call to get_line() – Current Row Number is 5. ” , it’s because your CSV file has an extra newline at the bottom of it. You can supress this error by commenting out the error on line 18.

So as you can see, Compdigitec FlatfileTools is an powerful API to manipulate, parse and read flat text files in PHP. The example above could have easily been customized to manipulate tab delimited text files by changing config.ini’s div to “\t” instead. You can also write to text files with this API – read the full documentation for more details.

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Topics: HTTP (Internet), Linux, PHP, Windows | 5 Comments »

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