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PHP7 More strict! (but only if you want it to be)
March 18, 2015 @ 10:48:38

In this new article Er Galvao Abbott talks about the struggle (and finally, inclusion) of type hinting in PHP, more specifically coming in PHP7, and how strict they can be.

It wasn't easy (we knew it wouldn't be) and certainly wasn't pretty (we sort of knew that as well), but it's finally official: PHP7 will come with Scalar Type Hints (STH) and an optional "strict mode". [...] This is basically a step towards a more strict way of coding in PHP. Will we see more steps in that direction in the future? We don't know and we're OK with that for now. What's brilliant about the body of work represented by these RFCs is that by implementing their concepts and specially making the "strict mode" optional the choice of being more strict remains with the programmer.

He talks some about the background of the want and need for strict typing in PHP and mentions three RFCs that will influence the type hints and handling in PHP7:

He summarizes each RFC and what it contributes to the language. He ends the post by dispelling one thing about all of this new typing functionality - PHP will remain loosely typed, this new functionality is in a "strict mode" only used when specified.

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php7 strict type hint mode rfc introduction feature


Anthony Ferrara:
Scalar Types and PHP
February 12, 2015 @ 11:25:47

Anthony Ferrara has tossed his own hat into the ring around the debate that's been going about the RFC for scalar type hints in PHP. In his post he agrees with (most of) the suggestions made in the proposal around strict, weak and the "compromise" of mixed typing.

There's currently a proposal that's under vote to add Pascal Martin's excellent post about it. What I want to talk about is more of an opinion. Why I believe this is the correct approach to the problem.

He starts off talking about the "all strict" angle that some suggested as the proper approach then moves into the "weak argument" explaining the difference between the two. He shares a bit of history around the problems detecting subtle bugs caused by typing issues and how it is definitely a problem that needs solving. Finally, he talks about the mixed-typing compromise and provides some code samples showing a common bug that can happen with weak typing.

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scalar type hint rfc opinion example weak compromise mixedtype


Pascal Martin:
In favor of RFC "Scalar Type Hints"
February 09, 2015 @ 09:40:18

Pascal Martin has a new post today sharing some of his thoughts around one of the currently proposed PHP RFCs for < href="">scalar type hinting. PHP has had type hints for custom objects and some things like arrays but this proposal would add in additional ones for things like "string", "int" and "float".

The Scalar Type Hints RFC for PHP 7 has first been initialized in December 2014. It went on with version 0.2 at the middle of January 2015, after changing several major ideas, and is now in version 0.3, integrating return types, as RFC Return Type Declarations has been accepted a few days ago. [...] I've been following this RFC (and the previous ones) with some interest, and, as I've taken some time to play with it a bit last week, building PHP from the sources of the corresponding Git branch, I'll try summarizing here why I think it is interesting. Please note this is my personal opinion.

He starts with a look at what the proposal entails around these new scalar type hints and why he thinks they're a good idea. He looks at some of the things that PHP's current weak typing allows and how it has made the language very flexible as a result. He also shows how the proposal suggests the use of the "declare" function to define a strict typing constant to essentially turn on the checking only where needed. He provides a few code snippet example including object/method handling, setting a custom error handler and which of the calls work in which typing method. He finishes the post looking at the "per-file" idea of enabling the strict typing checks and some of his confusion around the point. He also talks about return types, the directives that are proposed to enable the feature and the current status of the RFC.

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scalar type hint rfc summary proposal php7 opinion overview

Type Hinting in PHP
March 05, 2012 @ 13:19:24

On today there's a new tutorial posted about using type hinting in your PHP applications to restrict the values passed into your methods.

Since PHP 5 you can use type hinting to specify the expected data type of an argument in a function declaration. When you call the function, PHP will check whether or not the arguments are of the specified type. If not, the run-time will raise an error and execution will be halted.

Included in the post are code examples showing how to define custom types in a function definition and what happens if you pass the wrong type in. Also mentioned is one of the main limitations to hinting - the fact that it can't be used on default PHP variable types.

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type hint example method default

Andrew Eddie's Blog:
Making the most out of Code Assist in Eclipse/PDT and Zend Studio for PHP
December 01, 2011 @ 12:55:32

Andrew Eddie has posted a helpful tutorial for Eclipse users out there showing how to get the most our of code assist in Eclipse PDT/Zend Studio.

One of the powerful features of an IDE like Eclipse is the ability for it to "read" your code and give you some assistance about your API as you type. This could include things like class property or methods names, constants, functions, argument lists, and so on. Eclipse/PDT and ZendStudio do this by parsing a PHP class directly, but they also look at your docblocks and some other special comments where the raw PHP is not enough. This article is a bag of tricks that help you get the most out of code assistance using Eclipse/PDT or Zend Studio in those awkward corners of your code that you might have through previously inaccessible.

Among his tips are things like adding "@var" declarations to help with code completion, type hinting on methods/functions, using the "@property" annotation and using a "this" trick to override what class the IDE sees as the local object. ,/p>

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eclipse zendstudio ide hint trick docblock annotation codeassist

Zoomzum Blog:
10 Powerful PHP Regular Expression For Developers
July 27, 2011 @ 09:02:10

On the Zoomzum blog there's a new post with ten regular expressions PHP developers can use to accomplish some common tasks (like email validation and date formatting checks).

Regular expression for the PHP developers, on of the most popular tool for validating data is the regular expression. In this list we provides some validation - string match, password match validation, email address validation, date format and many more which helps developer to make their application more fast and easy to execute. [...] Have you note that, regular expressions are more slower than the basic string function, its takes a short time to execute than any others.

Included in their list are things like:

  • Password Match Validation
  • Validate URL
  • Validate URL using Preg_match
  • UK Postcode Validation
  • SSN,ISBN and Zipcode Validation

A few of these could be done with either one or two string calls or some of the filtering functions that are included in PHP.

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regular expression hint list validate regexp

Chris Shiflett's Blog:
Sorting Multi-Dimensional Arrays in PHP
July 01, 2011 @ 09:48:26

In a sort of "remind himself later" kind of post, Chris Shiflett has shared a quick example of a common task PHP developers face sorting a multi-dimensional array.

Every time I need to sort a multi-dimensional array in PHP, I have to remind myself how to do it. It's not quite as quick and easy to look up as most things, so I'm going to blog a quick example. I've always felt like there must be a better way to do this, so please let me know if there is, and I'll update this post accordingly.

His method sorts a multi-dimensional array of user data using the array_multisort function together with a list of the usernames in each record. In the comments, people recommend using usort instead with a callback+closure combo that keeps things nice and clean.

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sort multidimensional array hint

Sebastian Bergmann's Blog:
Scalar Type Hints in PHP 5.3.99
November 24, 2010 @ 10:04:06

In the theme of other recent posts mentioning the scalar type hinting that has been included in the main line of code that is headed towards the next PHP release, Sebastian Bergmann has a new post about their inclusion in PHP 5.3.99 (yes, that's PHP 5.4) and the new syntax it introduces.

In a nutshell, this means that PHP 5.3.99 introduces new syntax -- scalar type hints -- but no new semantics. The latter can either be implemented as an extension written in C/C++, in userland PHP code, or in a tool that statically analyzes the code.

He includes an example fro userland with a "php_check_parameters" function that looks at the arguments of the current method and uses Reflection to check against the type hints for the correct value type.

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reflection scalar type hint feature userland

Johannes Schluter's Blog:
Scalar type hints in PHP trunk
August 09, 2010 @ 08:44:23

As Johannes Schluter mentions in his latest blog post, another new feature has been added to the trunk of the PHP project - scalar type hints.

So in my blog series I try to cover all additions to PHP trunk so I have to mention scalar type hints.

He gives examples of both simple hinting (ensuring a value is a float) and a more complex example setting an attribute on a PDO connection (checking for an integer). Sample error messages are included as well. He also gives some advice on mixing strong and weak typing in your apps - it's like "opening a can of worms".

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scalar type hint trunk feature language

Ilia Alshanetsky's Blog:
Scalar Type Hints are Here!
May 24, 2010 @ 11:48:19

Ilia Alshanetsky has a quick new post with some great news for some PHP developers out there - scalar type hinting has been introduced into the latest trunk of the PHP project.

About an hour ago, something I've been fighting for almost 2 years happened. The Scalar Type Hinting patch for PHP (the one I wrote almost a year ago) has been adjusted for PHP's trunk tree and committed by Derick.

You can see some of the type hinting features already included in PHP in the manual. This patch adds hinting ability for the other (non-object and non-array) variable types.

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scalar type hint trunk patch

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