This is a polyglot function I've made out of fun.

The goal is to grab n arrays (or Javascript Objects) and 'extend' them in order to obtain a single array with all the values.

This function runs both in Javascript and PHP.

Please, try to ignore some kludges on my code.

Here is my 'art':

function array_extend() {

    //Detects if we are running in Javascript or PHP
    //In PHP, this will be false because PHP only parses
    //escape sequences in double-quoted strings (except the sequence \')
    $javascript = '\0' == "\0";

    //PHP arrays support 'key=>value' pairs, JS arrays don't.
    $result = $javascript ? new Object() : array();

    $arguments = $javascript? arguments : func_get_args();

    $get_keys = function($elem){
        if('\0' == "\0")//PHP complains if I use the var $javascript
            $object = Object;
            return $object['keys']($elem); //PHP doesn't like the Object.keys syntax
            return array_keys($elem);

    for($j = 0, $length_args = $javascript? $arguments['length']: count($arguments); $j < $length_args; $j++)
        $keys = $get_keys( $arguments[$j] );

        for($i = 0, $length_keys = $javascript? $keys['length']: count($keys); $i < $length_keys; $i++)
            $result[$keys[$i]] = $arguments[$j][$keys[$i]];

    return $result;

Example of usage:

//should return the last elements in the array:

array_extend({'a':1, 'b':2, 'c':3},{test:'nice'});
//Javascript: returns {'a':1, 'b':2, 'c':3, test:'nice'}

array_extend(array('a'=>1, 'b'=>2, 'c'=>3), array('test'=>'nice'));
//PHP: returns array('a'=>1, 'b'=>2, 'c'=>3, 'test'=>'nice')

What do you guys think?

What can I improve? Where should I have done something better?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Wait....so you made a function that compiles to both PHP AND Javascript??? \$\endgroup\$
    – jsanc623
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 20:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jsanc623 Yes, that's exactly it. You can fire up your console, paste it and use it OR you can slap it in a PHP file and run this bad boy! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 20:33
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Wh...why?? What are you trying to build? Please tell me this is just a learning exercise... \$\endgroup\$
    – jsanc623
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 20:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jsanc623 I was bored and simply made this. No, it isn't an exercise. I really just made this out of fun. I saw a question on stackoverflow to do something similar (it wasn't asking a polyglot) and did this. To be honest, I enjoy making this kind of stuff. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 20:53
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @jsanc623 I don't see much that I can improve. I could use better scoping (since this function is 'leaking' into the window object). But the var keyword isn't allowed outside classes, in PHP. If there was a way to make a single local variable with Javascript in a non-obstructive way that works for both languages, I would use it. But that's it. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 17:43

1 Answer 1


You may want to replace object key access notation with dot notation.

For example, instead of the following.


Write this.


This works, because Object is interpreted as a constant, dot as concatenation, and keys($elem) as function call. Use of undefined constant doesn't warn if the code with it is not executed. Unknown functions don't error if they aren't called.

  • \$\begingroup\$ For some reason it failed to me. A LOT! That's why I used that weird kludge. But it worked now and it's worth noticing. Also, you can add there that I forgot the order of the variables. $i should be in the first loop and $j should be in the 2nd. If you find a way to make a local variable for Javascript without the keyword var (sounds insane, I know), I would thank you a lot! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 14:50

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