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Zend_Http_Cookie and Zend_Http_CookieJar

Introduction

Zend_Http_Cookie, as expected, is a class that represents an HTTP cookie. It provides methods for parsing HTTP response strings, collecting cookies, and easily accessing their properties. It also allows checking if a cookie matches against a specific scenario, IE a request URL, expiration time, secure connection, etc.

Zend_Http_CookieJar is an object usually used by Zend_Http_Client to hold a set of Zend_Http_Cookie objects. The idea is that if a Zend_Http_CookieJar object is attached to a Zend_Http_Client object, all cookies going from and into the client through HTTP requests and responses will be stored by the CookieJar object. Then, when the client will send another request, it will first ask the CookieJar object for all cookies matching the request. These will be added to the request headers automatically. This is highly useful in cases where you need to maintain a user session over consecutive HTTP requests, automatically sending the session ID cookies when required. Additionally, the Zend_Http_CookieJar object can be serialized and stored in $_SESSION when needed.

Instantiating Zend_Http_Cookie Objects

Instantiating a Cookie object can be done in two ways:

  • Through the constructor, using the following syntax: new Zend_Http_Cookie(string $name, string $value, string $domain, [int $expires, [string $path, [boolean $secure]]]);

    • $name: The name of the cookie (eg. 'PHPSESSID') (required)

    • $value: The value of the cookie (required)

    • $domain: The cookie's domain (eg. '.example.com') (required)

    • $expires: Cookie expiration time, as UNIX time stamp (optional, defaults to null). If not set, cookie will be treated as a 'session cookie' with no expiration time.

    • $path: Cookie path, eg. '/foo/bar/' (optional, defaults to '/')

    • $secure: Boolean, Whether the cookie is to be sent over secure (HTTPS) connections only (optional, defaults to boolean FALSE)

  • By calling the fromString() static method, with a cookie string as represented in the 'Set-Cookie' HTTP response header or 'Cookie' HTTP request header. In this case, the cookie value must already be encoded. When the cookie string does not contain a 'domain' part, you must provide a reference URI according to which the cookie's domain and path will be set.

Example #1 Instantiating a Zend_Http_Cookie object



            

Note:

When instantiating a cookie object using the Zend_Http_Cookie::fromString() method, the cookie value is expected to be URL encoded, as cookie strings should be. However, when using the constructor, the cookie value string is expected to be the real, decoded value.

A cookie object can be transferred back into a string, using the __toString() magic method. This method will produce a HTTP request "Cookie" header string, showing the cookie's name and value, and terminated by a semicolon (';'). The value will be URL encoded, as expected in a Cookie header:

Example #2 Stringifying a Zend_Http_Cookie object

__toString();

// This is actually the same:
echo (string) $cookie;

// In PHP 5.2 and higher, this also works:
echo $cookie;

Zend_Http_Cookie getter methods

Once a Zend_Http_Cookie object is instantiated, it provides several getter methods to get the different properties of the HTTP cookie:

  • string getName(): Get the name of the cookie

  • string getValue(): Get the real, decoded value of the cookie

  • string getDomain(): Get the cookie's domain

  • string getPath(): Get the cookie's path, which defaults to '/'

  • int getExpiryTime(): Get the cookie's expiration time, as UNIX time stamp. If the cookie has no expiration time set, will return NULL.

Additionally, several boolean tester methods are provided:

  • boolean isSecure(): Check whether the cookie is set to be sent over secure connections only. Generally speaking, if true the cookie should only be sent over HTTPS.

  • boolean isExpired(int $time = null): Check whether the cookie is expired or not. If the cookie has no expiration time, will always return true. If $time is provided, it will override the current time stamp as the time to check the cookie against.

  • boolean isSessionCookie(): Check whether the cookie is a "session cookie" - that is a cookie with no expiration time, which is meant to expire when the session ends.

Example #3 Using getter methods with Zend_Http_Cookie

getName();   // Will echo 'foo'
echo $cookie->getValue();  // will echo 'two words'
echo $cookie->getDomain(); // Will echo '.example.com'
echo $cookie->getPath();   // Will echo '/'

echo date('Y-m-d', $cookie->getExpiryTime());
// Will echo '2005-02-28'

echo ($cookie->isExpired() ? 'Yes' : 'No');
// Will echo 'Yes'

echo ($cookie->isExpired(strtotime('2005-01-01') ? 'Yes' : 'No');
// Will echo 'No'

echo ($cookie->isSessionCookie() ? 'Yes' : 'No');
// Will echo 'No'

Zend_Http_Cookie: Matching against a scenario

The only real logic contained in a Zend_Http_Cookie object, is in the match() method. This method is used to test a cookie against a given HTTP request scenario, in order to tell whether the cookie should be sent in this request or not. The method has the following syntax and parameters: boolean Zend_Http_Cookie->match(mixed $uri, [boolean $matchSessionCookies, [int $now]]);

  • mixed $uri: A Zend_Uri_Http object with a domain name and path to be checked. Optionally, a string representing a valid HTTP URL can be passed instead. The cookie will match if the URL's scheme (HTTP or HTTPS), domain and path all match.

  • boolean $matchSessionCookies: Whether session cookies should be matched or not. Defaults to true. If set to false, cookies with no expiration time will never match.

  • int $now: Time (represented as UNIX time stamp) to check a cookie against for expiration. If not specified, will default to the current time.

Example #4 Matching cookies

match('https://www.example.com/somedir/foo.php');
// Will return true

$cookie->match('http://www.example.com/somedir/foo.php');
// Will return false, because the connection is not secure

$cookie->match('https://otherexample.com/somedir/foo.php');
// Will return false, because the domain is wrong

$cookie->match('https://example.com/foo.php');
// Will return false, because the path is wrong

$cookie->match('https://www.example.com/somedir/foo.php', false);
// Will return false, because session cookies are not matched

$cookie->match('https://sub.domain.example.com/somedir/otherdir/foo.php');
// Will return true

// Create another cookie object - now, not secure, with expiration time in two hours
$cookie = Zend_Http_Cookie::fromString('foo=two+words; domain=www.example.com; expires=' . date(DATE_COOKIE, time() + 7200));

$cookie->match('http://www.example.com/');
// Will return true

$cookie->match('https://www.example.com/');
// Will return true - non secure cookies can go over secure connections as well!

$cookie->match('http://subdomain.example.com/');
// Will return false, because the domain is wrong

$cookie->match('http://www.example.com/', true, time() + (3 * 3600));
// Will return false, because we added a time offset of +3 hours to current time

The Zend_Http_CookieJar Class: Instantiation

In most cases, there is no need to directly instantiate a Zend_Http_CookieJar object. If you want to attach a new cookie jar to your Zend_Http_Client object, just call the Zend_Http_Client->setCookieJar() method, and a new, empty cookie jar will be attached to your client. You could later get this cookie jar using Zend_Http_Client->getCookieJar().

If you still wish to manually instantiate a CookieJar object, you can do so by calling "new Zend_Http_CookieJar()" directly - the constructor method does not take any parameters. Another way to instantiate a CookieJar object is to use the static Zend_Http_CookieJar::fromResponse() method. This method takes two parameters: a Zend_Http_Response object, and a reference URI, as either a string or a Zend_Uri_Http object. This method will return a new Zend_Http_CookieJar object, already containing the cookies set by the passed HTTP response. The reference URI will be used to set the cookie's domain and path, if they are not defined in the Set-Cookie headers.

Adding Cookies to a Zend_Http_CookieJar object

Usually, the Zend_Http_Client object you attached your CookieJar object to will automatically add cookies set by HTTP responses to your jar. If you wish to manually add cookies to your jar, this can be done by using two methods:

  • Zend_Http_CookieJar->addCookie($cookie[, $ref_uri]): Add a single cookie to the jar. $cookie can be either a Zend_Http_Cookie object or a string, which will be converted automatically into a Cookie object. If a string is provided, you should also provide $ref_uri - which is a reference URI either as a string or Zend_Uri_Http object, to use as the cookie's default domain and path.

  • Zend_Http_CookieJar->addCookiesFromResponse($response, $ref_uri): Add all cookies set in a single HTTP response to the jar. $response is expected to be a Zend_Http_Response object with Set-Cookie headers. $ref_uri is the request URI, either as a string or a Zend_Uri_Http object, according to which the cookies' default domain and path will be set.

Retrieving Cookies From a Zend_Http_CookieJar object

Just like with adding cookies, there is usually no need to manually fetch cookies from a CookieJar object. Your Zend_Http_Client object will automatically fetch the cookies required for an HTTP request for you. However, you can still use 3 provided methods to fetch cookies from the jar object: getCookie(), getAllCookies(), and getMatchingCookies().

It is important to note that each one of these methods takes a special parameter, which sets the return type of the method. This parameter can have 3 values:

  • Zend_Http_CookieJar::COOKIE_OBJECT: Return a Zend_Http_Cookie object. If the method returns more than one cookie, an array of objects will be returned.

  • Zend_Http_CookieJar::COOKIE_STRING_ARRAY: Return cookies as strings, in a "foo=bar" format, suitable for sending in a HTTP request "Cookie" header. If more than one cookie is returned, an array of strings is returned.

  • Zend_Http_CookieJar::COOKIE_STRING_CONCAT: Similar to COOKIE_STRING_ARRAY, but if more than one cookie is returned, this method will concatenate all cookies into a single, long string separated by semicolons (;), and return it. This is especially useful if you want to directly send all matching cookies in a single HTTP request "Cookie" header.

The structure of the different cookie-fetching methods is described below:

  • Zend_Http_CookieJar->getCookie($uri, $cookie_name[, $ret_as]): Get a single cookie from the jar, according to it's URI (domain and path) and name. $uri is either a string or a Zend_Uri_Http object representing the URI. $cookie_name is a string identifying the cookie name. $ret_as specifies the return type as described above. $ret_type is optional, and defaults to COOKIE_OBJECT.

  • Zend_Http_CookieJar->getAllCookies($ret_as): Get all cookies from the jar. $ret_as specifies the return type as described above. If not specified, $ret_type defaults to COOKIE_OBJECT.

  • Zend_Http_CookieJar->getMatchingCookies($uri[, $matchSessionCookies[, $ret_as[, $now]]]): Get all cookies from the jar that match a specified scenario, that is a URI and expiration time.

    • $uri is either a Zend_Uri_Http object or a string specifying the connection type (secure or non-secure), domain and path to match against.

    • $matchSessionCookies is a boolean telling whether to match session cookies or not. Session cookies are cookies that have no specified expiration time. Defaults to true.

    • $ret_as specifies the return type as described above. If not specified, defaults to COOKIE_OBJECT.

    • $now is an integer representing the UNIX time stamp to consider as "now" - that is any cookies who are set to expire before this time will not be matched. If not specified, defaults to the current time.

    You can read more about cookie matching here: Zend_Http_Cookie: Matching against a scenario.

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