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An object-oriented tool for building HTML documents
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SensioLabsInsight Scrutinizer Code Quality

html-document is an object oriented tool for building HTML documents. It's intended to be more practical than the standard DOM implementation, but it's not exactly a by-the-book DOM implementation.

What does it do?

  • Provides all standard HTML5 elements as classes
  • Provides methods to compose these elements into a document hierarchy
  • Renders a hierarchy of elements into a single string for output to the browser

What does it not do?

  • Provide any validation for the documents you create (for now)
  • Prevent XSS or other injection-related attacks
  • Read or manipulate already existing documents


Install with Composer. Add the library to your composer.json:

    "require": {
        "royallthefourth/html-document": "^1.0"

Then install:

composer install --no-dev

This library has no dependencies.


Building all or part of an HTML document with this library is easy. Take a look:

use RoyallTheFourth\HtmlDocument\Document;
use RoyallTheFourth\HtmlDocument\Element\Body;
use RoyallTheFourth\HtmlDocument\Element\Head;
use RoyallTheFourth\HtmlDocument\Element\Html;
use RoyallTheFourth\HtmlDocument\Element\Paragraph;
use RoyallTheFourth\HtmlDocument\Element\Text;
use RoyallTheFourth\HtmlDocument\Element\Title;

echo (new Document())
    ->add((new Html())
        ->withChild((new Head())
            ->withChild((new Title())
                ->withChild(new Text('HTML Document'))
        ->withChild((new Body())
            ->withChild((new Paragraph())
                ->withChild(new Text('Build a whole document at once like this, or piece existing parts together'))

This returns a complete HTML page as a string:

<!DOCTYPE html>
HTML Document


Build a whole document at once like this, or piece existing parts together



Of course, you're unlikely to want to build whole documents in place like this. The real idea behind this library is to allow objects to represent themselves as elements to put on a page. For example, you might have an object that can take a Layout object to provide presentation behavior. Injecting a TableRowLayout object will provide the behaviors of the layout object without breaking encapsulation. Now your object can represent itself as a <tr> without the need for a templating engine, public properties, or getter methods. With this approach, a thoughtfully composed system of objects leads directly to a finished HTML document. See my blog for a more detailed example.

One important difference from the usual conception of HTML documents is that these elements do not have values. Instead, the library provides a special element type called Text that can be used to place arbitrary text within any node that has open and close tags.

There are also Arbitrary and ArbitraryEmpty elements in case you need a nonstandard element. The only difference between these two is that Arbitrary has a closing tag while ArbitraryEmpty does not. For example, <br> could be implemented as an ArbitraryEmpty.

For more examples, see the tests directory. My intention is for this library to be very straightforward and self-documenting.


This library does not sanitize its inputs at all. Treat everything you pass into this library as if it's getting echoed directly onto the page. htmlspecialchars() should be enough to prevent any unwanted markup from appearing.

If I am mistaken about any of this, please notify me right away.


Bug reports, bug fixes, tests, and documentation are heartily welcomed. If something in the library is missing or out of date, I'd love for it to be brought up to standard. If it's a simple bugfix, go ahead and open a pull request. Please include a test that exposes the bug along with your bugfix.

For anything more complex, open an issue first so we can discuss how to handle it.

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