jon_darkstar jon_darkstar - 7 months ago 27
PHP Question

PHP 5.4 - 'closure $this support'

I see that the new planned features for PHP 5.4 are: traits, array dereferencing, a JsonSerializable interface and something referred to as '

closure $this support

While the others are either immediately clear (JsonSerialiable, array dereferencing) or i looked up the specifics (traits), I am not sure what 'closure $this support' is. I have been unsuccessful googling for it or finding anything about it on

Does anyone know what this is supposed to be?

If i had to guess, it would mean something like this:

$a = 10; $b = 'strrrring';
//'old' way, PHP 5.3.x
$myClosure = function($x) use($a,$b)
if (strlen($x) <= $a) return $x;
else return $b;

//'new' way with closure $this for PHP 5.4
$myNewClosure = function($x) use($a as $lengthCap,$b as $alternative)
if(strlen($x) <= $this->lengthCap)) return $x;
$this->lengthCap++; //lengthcap is incremented for next time around
return $this->alternative;

The significance (even if this example is trivial) being that in the past once the closure is constructed the bound 'use' variables are fixed. With 'closure $this support' they are more like members you can mess with.

Does this sound correct and/or close and/or reasonable? Does anyone know what this 'closure $this support' means?


This was already planned for PHP 5.3, but

For PHP 5.3 $this support for Closures was removed because no consensus could be reached how to implement it in a sane fashion. This RFC describes the possible roads that can be taken to implement it in the next PHP version.

It indeed means you can refer to the object instance (live demo)

class A {
  private $value = 1;
  public function getClosure() 
    return function() { return $this->value; };

$a = new A;
$fn = $a->getClosure();
echo $fn(); // 1

For a discussion, see the PHP Wiki

and for historic interest: