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Extremely simple and minimalistic XML generator for PHP. Really, very simple.
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Extremely simple and minimalistic XML generator for PHP. Really, very simple.

I was using the native XML libraries to create an... XML document. But they are extremely verbose. So I coded this initially in about four hours.

It works with PHP 5.6 and newer versions, with mbstring extension enabled.


$xml = new drmad\semeele\Document('html');
    ->add('title', 'An XHTML')
    ->add('meta', ['charset' => 'utf-8'])
    ->add('h1', 'An XHTML')
    ->add('p', 'This is a XML-valid HTML. Yay!')

echo $xml->getXML();

And that's it. This prints:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?><html><head><title>An XHTML</title><meta charset="utf-8"/></head><body><h1>An XHTML</h1><p>This is a XML-valid HTML. Yay!</p></body></html>

A more complex, real-life example, used in signed UBL documents:

$xml = new drmad\semeele\Node('ext:UBLExtension');
    ->child('ds:Signature', ['Id' => 'Signature'])->save($s) // Save this node for later
            ->child('ds:Reference', ['URI'=>''])
                    ->add('ds:Transform', ['Algorithm'=>''])
                ->add('ds:DigestMethod', ['Algorithm'=>''])
        $s->add('ds:SignatureValue')    // Using the saved node
echo $xml;


<ext:UBLExtension><ext:ExtensionContent><ds:Signature Id="Signature"><ds:SignedInfo><ds:CanonicalizationMethod Algorithm=""/><ds:SignatureMethod Algorithm=""/><ds:Reference URI=""><ds:Transforms><ds:Transform Algorithm=""/></ds:Transforms><ds:DigestMethod Algorithm=""/><ds:DigestValue/></ds:Reference></ds:SignedInfo><ds:SignatureValue/><ds:KeyInfo><ds:X509Data><ds:X509SubjectName/><ds:X509Certificate/></ds:X509Data></ds:KeyInfo></ds:Signature></ext:ExtensionContent></ext:UBLExtension>

Installation and basic usage

Semeele is available via Composer:

composer require drmad/semeele

Alternatively, you can git clone or download the ZIP from GitHub, and use this simple autoloader function (update constant SEMEELE_PATH with the correct path as needed):

const SEMEELE_PATH = './semeele-master';

spl_autoload_register(function($class) {
    if (substr($class, 0, 13) == 'drmad\\semeele') {
        $base_name = substr($class, strrpos($class, '\\') + 1);
        $file_name = SEMEELE_PATH . DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR . 'src' . DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR . $base_name . '.php';
        if (file_exists($file_name)) {
            require $file_name;


Base class for all nodes. Its constructor has this parameters:

  • $nodeName: Required.
  • $content: Optional. This is the node content. If an array is passed, is used instead the $attribute parameter.
  • $attributes: Optional. Array with ['attribute name' => 'attribute value'] structure.
  • $encoding: Optional. Defaults to 'UTF-8'. Used to reencode $content, and it's passed to child nodes created with child() and add() methods.

This class has two main methods for add new child nodes: child() and add(). Both returns a Node object, but child() returns the newly created node, and add() returns the current node, so you can keep adding new children to the same node.

All the arguments of both methods are passed to the Node constructor.

Other methods are (except otherwise noted, all methods returns the affected Node object):

  • parent(): Returns the parent node. Used for 'going up the chain', perhaps after finished a run of add() methods (take a look at the examples above).
  • append(Node $node): Adds an already created node and its children to this node child tree.
  • save(&$node): Save the node in $node. Useful for "returning" from a deep nested node.
  • attr($name, $value): Adds new properties to this node. You can specify both arguments, or pass an associative array with multiple properties and values as first argument.
  • comment($text): Adds a new drmad\semeele\Comment node.

The final XML is generated with the getXML() method, or just using the object in a string context.


This class extends Node, and adds an XML declaration (using a drmad\semeele\ProcessingInstruction class) before the node content. Its constructor has these parameters:

  • $rootNodeName: Required. It will be the name of the main Node in the XML document.
  • $version: Optional. XML version, defaults to 1.0.
  • $encoding: Optional. XML encoding, defaults to UTF-8.

You can obtain the XML declaration node with getDeclaration(), perhaps to add new attributes, etc.


Used instead a string for a CDATA value. Only useful if a human needs to read the XML, because all string are always converted to XML entities when needed. E.g.:

$xml = new drmad\semeele\Node('test');
$xml->add('without_cdata', 'Love this song from <strong>KC & The Sunshine</strong>')
    ->add('with_cdata', new drmad\semeele\Cdata('Love that song from <strong>KC & The Sunshine</strong>'))
echo $xml;


<test><without_cdata>Love this song from &lt;strong&gt;KC &amp; The Sunshine&lt;/strong&gt;</without_cdata><with_cdata><![CDATA[Love that song from <strong>KC & The Sunshine</strong>]]></with_cdata></test>
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