Flourish PHP Unframework


The fBuffer class is a fairly straight-forward static class designed to make the output buffer functions in PHP a little more user-friendly. Only a single level of buffering is supported, however it has been supplemented with buffer capture support and replace functionality.

Output buffering is essential if you wish to change the headers a page sends after some of the output has been sent, and is also utilized by the fTemplating class for fully buffered output that allows changing values until right before the buffer is sent to the user.

Starting and Stopping

Normally when using the output buffer function you call ob_start() to start output buffering and one of the ob_end_*() methods to stop buffering. The fBuffer class instead uses the start() and stop() methods. Here is an example:

// Execute code that produces output
// Send a header
// Execute more code that creates output

Gzip compression of the output buffer can be turned (if the zlib extension is installed) by passing TRUE to start().

// Start the output buffer with gzip compression

You can check to see if buffering has been started by calling isStarted():

if (!fBuffer::isStarted()) {

Getting, Erasing and Replacing

To get the current contents of the output buffer, simply call get():

$current_buffer = fBuffer::get();

If you wish to get rid of the buffered contents, call erase():

// Get rid of the current buffer contents

Also sometimes useful is the ability to replace a given string in the buffer with another. In this situation you can use the replace() method:

// Output stuff

// This would replace every instance of 'foo' with 'bar'
fBuffer::replace('foo', 'bar');


Some of the built-in PHP functions (and other third party code) will only output content, as opposed to returning it for further processing. The fBuffer class provides two methods, startCapture() and stopCapture(), that make it easy to intercept such output.

// Begin capturing, everything passed to print or echo after here will be captured

// Execute code to output content
// ...

// Grab the captured output
$captured_content = fBuffer::stopCapture();