PHP RFC: Add support for parsing request body in JSON format


Currently PHP only parse request body when the Content-Type is application/x-www-form-urlencoded or multipart/form-data.[1] This RFC proposes to parse request body with Content-Type application/json or text/json.


It's very common for javascript library to send JSON payload now, however, PHP doesn't have built-in support for it. Userland developers have to deserialize it by themselves, which is inefficient and inconvenient. This RFC proposes to reuse the ability from ext/json to deserialize the payload and fill in $_POST.

For example,

curl -i -H "Content-Type: application/json" -X POST http://localhost:8000 -d '{"foo":"123","bar":456}'

will get

array(2) {
  string(3) "123"

Some edge cases:

  1. illegal data: If the payload cannot be decoded, $_POST will be an empty array.
  2. scalar type value: If the payload is a simple scalar type value, like numbers, string, TRUE or FALSE, $_POST will be an empty array.
  3. large number value: Large number will be stored as string, which means JSON_BIGINT_AS_STRING is enabled. There won't be an option/setting for this because this is how $_POST deal with large numbers.

Backward Incompatible Changes

$_POST will be filled instead of an empty value when Content-Type is application/json or text/json.

Proposed PHP Version(s)

Next PHP 7.x

RFC Impact


New SAPI_POST_HANDLER_FUNC will be introduced to implement this RFC.

php.ini Defaults

This RFC doesn't introduce any new settings.

Proposed Voting Choices

Requires a 2/3 majority to pass.

Patches and Tests

Links to any external patches and tests go here.

If there is no patch, make it clear who will create a patch, or whether a volunteer to help with implementation is needed.

Make it clear if the patch is intended to be the final patch, or is just a prototype.

For changes affecting the core language, you should also provide a patch for the language specification.


After the project is implemented, this section should contain

  1. the version(s) it was merged into
  2. a link to the git commit(s)
  3. a link to the PHP manual entry for the feature
  4. a link to the language specification section (if any)


rfc/parse_request_body_in_json.txt · Last modified: 2018/10/02 16:57 by jhdxr