Caleb Gray Caleb Gray - 1 year ago 104
PHP Question

In PHP, is there a function that returns an array made up of the value of a key from an array of associative arrays?

I'm sure this question has been asked before, my apologies for not finding it first.

The original array:

[0] => Array
[categoryId] => 1
[eventId] => 2
[eventName] => 3
[vendorName] => 4

[1] => Array
[categoryId] => 5
[eventId] => 6
[eventName] => 7
[vendorName] => 8

[2] => Array
[categoryId] => 9
[eventId] => 10
[eventName] => 11
[vendorName] => 12

My hoped for result out of: print_r(get_values_from_a_key_in_arrays('categoryId', $array));

[0] => 1
[1] => 5
[2] => 9

I'm just looking for something cleaner than writing my own foreach based function. If foreach is the answer, I already have that in place.

Edit: I don't want to use a hard-coded key, I was just showing an example call to the solution. Thanks! ^_^

Quick Grab Solution for PHP 5.3:

private function pluck($key, $data) {
return array_reduce($data, function($result, $array) use($key) {
isset($array[$key]) && $result[] = $array[$key];
return $result;
}, array());

Answer Source

So, the cool thing about higher-order collection/iterator functions such as pluck, filter, each, map, and friends is that they can be mixed and matched to compose a more complex set of operations.

Most languages provide these types of functions (look for packages like collection, iterator, or enumeration/enumerable)...some provide more functions than others and you will commonly see that the functions are named differently across languages (i.e. collect == map, reduce == fold). If a function doesn't exist in your language, you can create it from the ones that do exist.

As for your test case...we can use array_reduce to implement pluck. The first version I posted relied on array_map; however, I agree with @salathe that array_reduce is more succinct for this task; array_map is an OK option, but you end up having to do more work in the end. array_reduce can look a bit odd at first, but if the callback is neatly organized, all is well.

A less naive pluck would also check to see if it can "call" (a function/method) on the iterated value. In the naive implementation below, we assume the structure to be a hash (associative array).

This will setup the test-case data (Fixtures):


$data[] = array('categoryId' => 1,    'eventId' => 2,  'eventName' => 3,  'vendorName' => 4);
$data[] = array('categoryId' => 5,    'eventId' => 6,  'eventName' => 7,  'vendorName' => 8);
$data[] = array('categoryId' => 9,    'eventId' => 10, 'eventName' => 11, 'vendorName' => 12);
$data[] = array(/* no categoryId */   'eventId' => 10, 'eventName' => 11, 'vendorName' => 12);
$data[] = array('categoryId' => false,'eventId' => 10, 'eventName' => 11, 'vendorName' => 12);
$data[] = array('categoryId' => 0.0,  'eventId' => 10, 'eventName' => 11, 'vendorName' => 12);

Choose the version of pluck you'd prefer

$preferredPluck = 'pluck_array_reduce'; // or pluck_array_map

"pluck" for PHP 5.3+: array_reduce provides a terse implementation though not as easy to reason about as the array_map version:

function pluck_array_reduce($key, $data) {
  return array_reduce($data, function($result, $array) use($key){
    isset($array[$key]) &&
      $result[] = $array[$key];

    return $result;
  }, array());

"pluck" for PHP 5.3+: array_map isn't perfect for this so we have to do more checking (and it still doesn't account for many potential cases):

function pluck_array_map($key, $data) {
  $map = array_map(function($array) use($key){
    return isset($array[$key]) ? $array[$key] : null;
  }, $data);

  // is_scalar isn't perfect; to make this right for you, you may have to adjust
  return array_filter($map, 'is_scalar');

"pluck" for legacy PHP <5.3

We could have used the legacy create_function; however, it is bad form, not recommended, and also not at all elegant, thus, I've decided not to show it.

function pluck_compat($key, $data) {
  $map = array();
  foreach ($data as $array) {
    if (array_key_exists($key, $array)) {
      $map[] = $array[$key];

  return $map;

Here we choose a version of "pluck" to call based on the version of PHP we are running. If you run the entire script, you should get the correct answer no matter what version you are on.

$actual   = version_compare(PHP_VERSION, '5.3.0', '>=')
          ? $preferredPluck('categoryId', $data)
          : pluck_compat('categoryId', $data);
$expected = array(1, 5, 9, false, 0.0);
$variance = count(array_diff($expected, $actual));

var_dump($expected, $actual);
echo PHP_EOL;
echo 'variance: ', $variance, PHP_EOL;

print @assert($variance)
    ? 'Assertion Failed'
    : 'Assertion Passed';

Notice there is no ending '?>'. That is because it isn't needed. More good can come of leaving it off than from keeping it around.

FWIW, it looks like this is being added to PHP 5.5 as array_column.

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