According to the Doctrine docs, you should use Array hydration rather than record hydration when retrieving data for read-only purposes.

Unfortunately, this means I have to use array syntax (as opposed to object syntax) to reference the data.

$q = Doctrine_Query::create()
    ->from('Post p')
    ->leftJoin('p.PostComment pc')
    ->leftJoin('pc.User u')
    ->where('p.post_id = ?', $id);

$p = $q->fetchOne(array(), Doctrine_Core::HYDRATE_ARRAY);


foreach ($p['PostComment'] as $comment) {
    $this->Controls->Add(new CommentPanel($comment['text'], 

Maybe it's just me, but all of those string literals as array indexes are kinda scary. Does anyone have some ideas for cleaning this up?

  • \$\begingroup\$ from what i understand if you would fetch an object you would to $comment->text; or would you do $comment->getText() ? (Not to familiar with the "old/current" doctrine ;) ) \$\endgroup\$
    – edorian
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 10:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @edorian: It would be $comment->text; \$\endgroup\$
    – BenV
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 14:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ I believe you can use all three. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 22:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was trying to write a longer answer but it really bowls down to "cast to stdClass (and thats already said now) if you don't like it" but maybe i don't get your reasoning behind that looking "scary". The difference between -> and [''] shoudn't matter so much ? \$\endgroup\$
    – edorian
    Commented Jan 27, 2011 at 8:40

1 Answer 1


Scary? In what way? I don't really get that.

It's just syntax. If you really care, just cast the arrays as stdClass objects

foreach ( $p['PostComment'] as $comment )
  $comment = (object) $comment;
  $this->Controls->Add( new CommentPanel(
    , $comment->User->nickname
    , $comment->last_updated_ts
  • \$\begingroup\$ He'd need to cast User to an object too, else it would be $comment->User["nickname"]; But yeah, casting it was also in my mind \$\endgroup\$
    – edorian
    Commented Jan 27, 2011 at 8:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess I'm just used to other languages where a typo in a literal would not be caught until run time but a typo in a property name would be caught at compile time. But with a scripting language like PHP both will not be noticed until run time. \$\endgroup\$
    – BenV
    Commented Jan 27, 2011 at 14:47
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ If that's the concern, you could use define()s or constants to reference your fields, rather than string literals. But that's probably only making things worse. Object hydration may take a little more time and memory but unless you have problems with either, I'd still use it for the very reason you outline here. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 27, 2011 at 20:53

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