Request for Comments: Function autoloading through spl_autoload*


The topic of supporting function autoloading was brought up many times in the past, this RFC introduces a potential implementation which would be consistent with what we have for autoloading classes.


The suggested change would be pretty straightforward and BC compatible:

  • Add two new constants to spl: SPL_AUTOLOAD_CLASS, SPL_AUTOLOAD_FUNCTION.
  • Add a fourth optional parameter for spl_autoload_register called $types with the default value of SPL_AUTOLOAD_CLASS (this would keep the BC), supported values would be any combination of SPL_AUTOLOAD_CLASS and SPL_AUTOLOAD_FUNCTION for now.
    • As you would guess, this would work the same way as the $error_types parameter works for set_error_handler: you can specify for which type(s) of missing tokens the autoloader should be called.
  • The type for the missing token should also be passed to the $autoload_function callback as a second param.
    • This is needed to be able to handle multiple types of tokens with a common callback.
    • Note that passing more parameters to a function than it has in its definition is valid, this would also be a backward compatible change.
  • Change the current class autoloading to only call the autoloaders which match with the SPL_AUTOLOAD_CLASS types.
  • Add the function autoloading to only call the autoloaders which match with the SPL_AUTOLOAD_FUNCTION types.

Future improvements

Notice that currently only functions are proposed, but we could implement autoloading other tokens (SPL_AUTOLOAD_CONSTANT, etc.) with this interface.



Patches welcome! :)


* 2011.08.17 - replace the T_* constants with SPL_AUTOLOAD_*

rfc/autofunc.txt · Last modified: 2014/04/09 00:46 by levim