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Easily store some loose values

For a site I was working on the admin should be able to switch on or off a form that’s displayed on the homepage. Question: where’s the best place to store the value of that switch? Creating a table and column for it in the database seems overkill. Putting it in a never expiring cache does not feel right. I think the best place to store such value is just write it to a simple file.

In the example above only one value needed to be stored, but for other projects there sometimes were two or three of them. Over the years I found myself writing the same code over and over again to store and work with such values.

Our intern Jolita and I whipped up a valuestore package. It only provides one class: Valuestore. The values will get written as JSON in a given file. The API mostly reflects Laravel’s caching API. Here’s how you can work with it:

$valuestore = Valuestore::make($pathToFile);

$valuestore->put('key', 'value');

$valuestore->get('key'); // Returns 'value'

$valuestore->has('key'); // Returns true

// Specify a default value for when the specified key does not exist
$valuestore->get('non existing key', 'default') // Returns 'default'

$valuestore->put('anotherKey', 'anotherValue');

// Put multiple items in one go
$valuestore->put(['ringo' => 'drums', 'paul' => 'bass']);

$valuestore->all(); // Returns an array with all items

$valuestore->forget('key'); // Removes the item

$valuestore->flush(); // Empty the entire valuestore

$valuestore->flushStartingWith('somekey'); // remove all items who's keys start with "somekey"

$valuestore->increment('number'); // $valuestore->get('key') will return 1 
$valuestore->increment('number'); // $valuestore->get('key') will return 2
$valuestore->increment('number', 3); // $valuestore->get('key') will return 5

// Valuestore implements ArrayAccess
$valuestore['key'] = 'value';
$valuestore['key']; // Returns 'value'
isset($valuestore['key']); // Return true
unset($valuestore['key']); // Equivalent to removing the value

// Valuestore impements Countable
count($valuestore); // Returns 0
$valuestore->put('key', 'value');
count($valuestore); // Returns 1

As you see it’s quite a simple class, but I’m sure it’ll come in handy in the future. The package can be found on GitHub.

Freek Van der Herten is a partner and developer at Spatie, an Antwerp based company that specializes in creating web apps with Laravel. After hours he writes about modern PHP and Laravel on this blog. When not coding he’s probably rehearsing with his kraut rock band.