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When you absolutely, positively have to generate HTML within PHP Code.

Jazz is a very tiny library which turns a nested Array into HTML. You could call it a "DSL" if you want. It works well with PHP later than 5.3.3 but looks best with 5.4's new short array syntax.

I wrote Jazz, because there are always places where you have to generate a bit of HTML and don't want to use a template, for the sake of performance or simplicity.

At first you need only one tag, you think "Fine I'm using a String", and then you need to add an attribute, then a second one, maybe a third one. Then you find yourself in a big mess.

I've written plenty of those code bits, and I'm tired of it:

$html  = '<div class="widget '.join(" ", $classes).'" id="'.$id.'" style="display: none;" data-widget-name="' . $widgetName . '">';
$html .= '<ul>' . $this->getSomeListItems() . '</ul>';
$html .= '</div>';

It's not only hard to grasp, but also plain ugly and also adding attributes, or adding other sub elements is cumbersome.

Now relax with some Jazz:

array_unshift($classes, "widget");

$attrs = [
    "class" => $classes, 
    "id" => $id, 
    "style" => "display: none;", 
    "data-widget-name" => $widgetName

$html = Jazz::render(
    ["#div", $attrs, [
        ["#ul", $this->getSomeListItems()]

It's in this case not shorter, but it's easily extendable, and the intent is clear.

Hello World


use Jazz;

$html = [
    # What a funky Headline!
    ["#h1", "Hello World"],

    # This is PHP Code, so comments work as expected.
    ["#p", ["class" => "intro"], [
        "Jazz turns a nested, \"lispy\" array into HTML using a simple syntax.",

        ["#a", ["href" => ""], [
            "Jazz is awesome."

echo Jazz::render($html);
# <h1>Hello World</h1>
# <p class="intro">Jazz turns a nested, "lispy" array into HTML using a simple syntax.
# <a href="">Jazz is awesome.</a>
# </p>



A tag is an array of up to three elements (where $attributes and $body are optional):


["#$tagName", $attributes, $body]
  • "#$tagName", mandatory: The first element is the name of the HTML tag, prefixed with a #. This is the only mandatory thing for the tag.
  • $attributes, optional: Attributes are an optional array, passed as second entry. Each key in the array is the attribute name.
  • $body, optional: The body is either a String or an Array of sub elements. Bodies are not escaped!

When attributes are left out, the second element in the tag is treated as body.

Tags can be written in different forms, just like in HTML:

  • Short. For example ["#br"] becomes <br>.
  • Short, with Attributes. For example ["#img", ["src" => "/foo/bar.png"]] becomes <img src="/foo/bar.png">.
  • Short, with Body: For example ["#p", "Foo"] becomes <p>Foo</p>.
  • Long Form. For example ["#h1", ["role" => "banner"], "Hello World"] becomes <h1 role="banner">Hello World</h1>.


Get composer:

% wget

Require chh/jazz in your application's composer.json:

    "require": {
        "chh/jazz": "*"

Then install the defined dependencies:

% php composer.phar install

Load composer's class loader:



Not using composer? The lib/Jazz.php file has no dependencies, so you can grab this file, copy it to your project directory and require it in your application (though you should at least consider using composer in your application anyway).


Jazz is licensed under the MIT license, bundled with the Source Code in the file LICENSE.txt.

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