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capturing echo into a variable using -'php'

capturing echo into a variable  using -'php'

I am calling functions using dynamic function names (something like this)

$unsafeFunctionName = $_POST['function_name'];
$safeFunctionName   = safe($unsafeFunctionName); // custom safe() function

Then I am wanting to wrap some xml around the returned value of the function (something like this):

// xml header etc already created
$result = "<return_value>" . $safeFunctionName() . "</return_value>";

Problem is, sometimes the function returns a value, but sometimes, the function echo's a value. What I want to do is capture that echo into a variable, but, the code I write would need to work either way (meaning, if function returns a value, or echo's a string).

Not quite sure where to start ~ any ideas?

asked Sep 8, 2015 by rajesh
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3 Answers

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Let me preface this by saying: Be careful with that custom function calling business. I am assuming you know how dangerous this can be which is why you're cleaning it somehow. Past that, what you want is known as output buffering: function hello() { print "Hello World"; } ob_start(); hello(); $output = ob_get_clean(); print "--" . $output . "--"; (I added the dashes to show it's not being printed at first) The above will output --Hello World--
answered Sep 8, 2015 by rajesh
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PHP: ob_get_contents ob_start(); //Start output buffer echo "abc123"; $output = ob_get_contents(); //Grab output ob_end_clean(); //Discard output buffer
answered Sep 8, 2015 by rajesh
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In order to use the output value, if present, or the return value if not, you could simply modify your code like this: ob_start(); $return_val = $safeFunctionName(); $echo_val = ob_get_clean(); $result = "<return_value>" . (strlen($echo_val) ? $echo_val : $return_val) . "</return_value>";
answered Sep 8, 2015 by rajesh