Tag Archives: implode

JavaScript: How to Implode (Flatten) an Array into a String Programming 17 FEB 2012

Coming from PHP, I’m well versed in using the handy implode function to flatten an array into a string, specifying the delimiter character to be used to indicate the border between the flattened array elements.

Happily for me, plain old vanilla JavaScript also has this ability built into the language, choosing to call its version of this functionality “join”.

From the official definition: The join() method joins all elements of an array into a string, and returns the string.

The elements will be separated by a specified separator. If this is ommitted, then the default separator of a comma (,) will be used.

A few examples on using join:

var fruits = ["Banana", "Orange", "Apple", "Mango"];

//a few example usages
document.write(fruits.join() + "<br />");
document.write(fruits.join("+") + "<br />");
document.write(fruits.join(" and "));

//the output:
//Banana and Orange and Apple and Mango


PHP: Simple Method to Implode or Explode Arrays with Keys CodeUnit 21 NOV 2011

Associative arrays are very useful beasts, because values tied to keys makes it so much easier to build up pseudo objects in that it makes it easier to see which piece of array data refers to what.

There are a number of ways to store associative arrays of course, but this particular one below is probably one of the simplest for getting a single string out of a one level array with keys, and then transforming back into its array form when you need to make use of it again.

function array_implode_with_keys($array){
    $return = '';
    if (count($array) > 0){
    foreach ($array as $key=>$value){
    $return .= $key . '||||' . $value . '----';
    $return = substr($return,0,strlen($return) - 4);
    return $return;

function array_explode_with_keys($string){
    $return = array();
    $pieces = explode('----',$string);
    foreach($pieces as $piece){
        $keyval = explode('||||',$piece);
        if (count($keyval) > 1){
        $return[$keyval[0]] = $keyval[1];
        } else {
        $return[$keyval[0]] = '';
    return $return;

If you look at the code above, you will see that we are making use of delimiters here to keep firstly the keys aparts, and secondly the key from its associated value. In this case we are using —- to split the array elements, and |||| to split the key from its value.

In other words the resulting string is from the implode function is key1||||value1—-key2||||value2—-key3||||value3.

Obviously the explode function just works in reverse.

PHP: How to Create a Single String of Array Keys using Implode CodeUnit 09 NOV 2011

PHP’s implode function is extremely useful for flattening a one dimensional array into a string. This time around, we want to create a flat string of an array’s keys, ignoring the actual values for a change.

To achieve this is actually very simple – it’s just a matter of combining the stock standard array_keys() and implode() functions together!

So given an array that looks like this:

$myarray = array('green'=>'leaf','blue'=>'sky','red'=>'apple');

We can get a flattened string reading green||blue||red by doing the following:

echo implode('||',array_keys($myarray));

Simple. The array_keys function first returns an array containing the keys of our aforementioned array, before the implode function flattens it using || as a delimiter.


PHP: Implode a Multi-dimensional Array CodeUnit 09 APR 2010

PHP’s implode is a pretty handy function to flatten any array into a single string value, using any piece of ‘glue’ (basically a substring) that you specifiy to put everything together.

So in other words, if we had an array containing the string values of cat, dog and chicken and then ran the implode function against them using the character ‘|’ as glue, we would end up with a single string value reading cat | dog | chicken.

Of course, extending this function to handle multi-dimensional arrays (or matrices if you prefer) is a pretty simple matter of quickly whipping up a recursive version and so without any further waffling from my side, here’s the code:

//flattens a multi-dimensional array (recursive implode)
function r_implode( $glue, $pieces )
	foreach( $pieces as $r_pieces )
    		if( is_array( $r_pieces ) )
      			$retVal[] = r_implode( $glue, $r_pieces );
      			$retVal[] = $r_pieces;
  	return implode( $glue, $retVal );

Usage is pretty simple. Call the r_implode function as normal, passing to it the ‘glue’ string you wish to employ as well as the array against which to run it.

Have fun.