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Make any PHP Exception serializable by flattening complex values in backtrace.
function flattenExceptionBacktrace(\Exception $exception) {
$traceProperty = (new \ReflectionClass('Exception'))->getProperty('trace');
$flatten = function(&$value, $key) {
if ($value instanceof \Closure) {
$closureReflection = new \ReflectionFunction($value);
$value = sprintf(
'(Closure at %s:%s)',
} elseif (is_object($value)) {
$value = sprintf('object(%s)', get_class($value));
} elseif (is_resource($value)) {
$value = sprintf('resource(%s)', get_resource_type($value));
do {
$trace = $traceProperty->getValue($exception);
foreach($trace as &$call) {
array_walk_recursive($call['args'], $flatten);
$traceProperty->setValue($exception, $trace);
} while($exception = $exception->getPrevious());

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@Thinkscape Thinkscape commented Mar 6, 2015


class Foo {
    public function bar(callable $param, $baz) {
        throw new Exception();

try {
    $foo = new Foo;
    $foo->bar(function(){}, new Foo);
} catch (Exception $exception) {
    $serialized = serialize($exception);
    $unserialized = unserialize($serialized);

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@SOF3 SOF3 commented Mar 25, 2018

Shouldn't it unset $call after the foreach-by-reference?


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@nh-mike nh-mike commented Mar 28, 2019

I have found that with the way that PHP 7 handles errors now, treating them as exceptions, my error handlers receive Error type throwables too. As per PHP's reccomendation, we must now expect to receive Throwables, rather than just Exceptions.

Unfortunately, while we can change the type hint to throwable, we cannot just change the reflection class type to Throwable as it does not contain the property trace, but if we check if the throwable is an instance of Error or Exception, we can then get the trace property as expected.

If we do not do this, then any throwable type errors sent to this function will raise an exception that they are not an instance of the object type exception (in a more cryptic manner). For the PHP 7 ready modifications, see my fork.


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@den4j den4j commented Jan 13, 2021

Be aware to use this function.
As it changes real method arguments passed by reference.

function foo(&$bar)
    flattenExceptionBacktrace(new \Exception());

$bar = new \DateTime();
var_dump($bar); // outputs: string(16) "object(DateTime)"
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