PHP Library for easy HTTP data retrieval and manipulation
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ParseMX Library

PHP Library for HTTP data retrieval and manipulation. Tailored for fast simple scripts creating - like CRON jobs or micro-services. All the code is stored into single parsemx.php file. Library includes everything you may need for common tasks:

  • HTTP requests, including images and other files download
  • automatic proxy servers usage
  • CSS selectors data retrieval
  • quick MySQL functions
  • debug output and logging
  • script execution control
  • config values storage
  • hash cache

Here is the shortest script sample, that receives all IMDB Top 250 films titles:

require 'parsemx.php';
$titles = tags_text('.titleColumn a');

Here is more complicated Sample and its Result.

HTTP Requests

Requests params and their default values:

$http_curl_timeout = 20;
$http_user_agent = false; // FALSE = Google bot  TRUE = latest Chrome
$http_headers = array(); // headers array, index is header name
$http_cookies = false;
$http_referer = false;
$http_auth = false;
$http_encoding = false;
$http_use_proxies = false;
$http_cache = false;

All this functions return flatted HTML and fill global result vars:


http_post($url, $data)

http_ajax($url, $data)

http_get_file($url, $save_path = '.', $access_path = false) - fetch file into folder and return its name if successful. $access_path is resulting path addition

Global result vars:

$http_code // HTTP operation code (200 is OK)
$http_html // Flatted HTML
$http_ohtml // Original HTML

Data Retrieval

Data retrieval functions use "source" concept. All this functions has "source" param (the last one), that can be omitted. In this case current source will be used. HTTP functions http_get, http_post & http_ajax set the retrieved page as default source.

set_source($source) - set default source for data retrieval functions

Simple Data Retrieval

inside($start, $end = '') - first entry between $start and $end. If $start is empty, returns text from the beginning of the source till $end. If $end is empty, returns text from $end till the end of the source. Returns false, if no entry was found.

There are several inside function variations:

if_inside - inside result, or original source if no entry was found

insides - array of all entries

find($text) - true, if $text is found in source. Case insensitive. $text may be a list of comma-separated words. Trailing "~" serves as not-sign, "+" as AND.

Example: find("~car, bike, horse + ride") - true, if in the default source there is no "car", there is "bike", or "horse" and "ride" simultaneously.

replace($search = false, $replace = '') - replace $search with $replace. Case insensitive. If $replace is empty, $search entries are removed. If $search is empty, $replace_file ("replace.txt" by default) entries are used.

rreplace($search, $replace = '') - replace with REGEXP. Case insensitive.

replace_inside($find, $replace, $start, $end) - replaces $find with $replace in the places starting with $start and ending with $end

inch_to_cm - replaces inches to centimeters at source

CSS Selectors Data Retrieval

All tag_... functions take CSS $selector as param and return first found value or false if nothing found. They all have tags_... variation, that returns array of all found values.

tag_text - plain text of tag content

tag_html - html contents of the tag (including the tag itself)

tag_attr($selector, $attr) - get attribute from the tag

tag_href - href attr of the tag

tag_link - link from the tag. If specified tag doesn't have one, its contents and parent tag will be searched for links

tag_image - image from the tag. If specified tag doesn't have one, its contents and parent tag will be searched for images. Tends to find big image instead of thumb.

url($url) - full url, in case of relative url it is transformed to full

urls($urls) - make array of urls full

Quick MySQL Functions

Connect and work with MySQL databases with less code possible. Databases are considered UTF-8. If database doesn't exist, it is created automatically.

$q_database = "parsemx";
$q_user = "root";
$q_password = "root";
$q_server = "localhost";

qq($query) - execute query, returns array of result rows. Connects to database, if not connected. If result rows consist of only one column, you will get just an array of this column values.

q($query) - execute query, returns first row from result. Connects to database, if not connected. If result row consist of only one column, you will get just value of this column.

q_escape($text) - escapes text and adds '' to it.

q_affected() - returns number of last query affected rows

q_last_id() - returns id of the entity inserted by last query

Debug Output and Logging

$log_file = 'logs.html';

begin_debug() - start debug output

end_debug() - ends debug output

dmsg($message) - show $message, if debug output is on

xlog($message) - write $message to log, and show it if debug output is on

xwarn($message) - log warning message (red)

xnotice($message) - log notice message (purple)

xsuccess($message) - log success message (green)

Script Execution Control

script_live() - indicates that your script is live and gives it another 5 minutes (by default) to execute. Call it from some long-running cycles

script_check_duplicate($name=false, $timeout_mins = 5) - If another instance of your script is already working, this function will finish current script. Call it at the beginning of your script, if you are invoking it with CRON.

Config Values Storage

$mx_config_file = '';

mx_config_set($key, $value = false) - set config value, $value may be any type of variable

mx_config_get($key) - get config value

Hash Cache

$hash_cache_folder = "cache";
$hash_cache_maxtime = 2 /* Hours */ * 60 * 60;

save_hash_cache($key, $data)



UTF-8 String Functions

upcase($text) lowcase($text)

This functions are equivalents of regular PHP functions: stripos8 strlen8 substr8

Other functions

filesize_string($size) - nicely formatted file size

money($text) - float money value from any text, automatically detects cents delimeters to obtain correct value

remove_if($needle, $source_array) - remove all entries that contain $needle from $source array.

$needle takes all the params find function takes.

shorten_text($text, $maxlen = 200) - brakes the text at word and adds "..." if the text was shortened

unzip($file, $path = ".") - extract ZIP file, supports URL

close_tags($http_html) - closes unmatched tags

shred_arrays($array1, $array2, ...) - returns array, that contains first elem from $array1, second elem from $array2 and so on.

random($param = false) - universal random function:

  • without param returns float between 0 and 1
  • if param is number, returns integer between 0 and param number
  • if param is array, returns random value from array
  • if there are several params, returns random param


g($var_name, $default = false) - returns the value of global variable, or $default if it doesn't exist