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Request for Comments: Short syntax for arrays
- Version: 0.9
- Author: Ryusuke Sekiyama <rsky0711 at gmail . com>, Sebastian Deutsch <sebastian.deutsch at 9elements . com>
- Status: Implemented
- First Published at: Jan 10, 2008
- Last update: May 9, 2011
- Votes (+9/-14):
- Pro: Andrei Zmievski, Andi Gutmans, Pierre Joye, Rasmus Lerdorf, Stanislav Malyshev, Brian Moon, Kalle Sommer Nielsen, Edin Kadribasic, Philip Olson
- Contra: Antony Dovgal, Derick Rethans, Jani Taskinen, Lokrain, Felipe Pena, Marcus Boerger, David Soria Parra, Johannes Schlüter, Maciek Sokolewicz, Ilia Alshanetsky, Daniel Brown, Jochem Maas, Hannes Magnusson, David Coallier
- Userland Votes (+17/-3):
- Pro: Sebastian Deutsch, Ryusuke Sekiyama, Stefan Marr, Alexey Zakhlestin, Carl P. Corliss, Darius Jahandarie, Giedrius D, Eric Coleman, Max Antonov, Mike Ford, Larry Garfield, Sam Barrow, Taylor Luk, Hans Ahlin, Karoly Negyesi, Guilherme Blanco, Jonathan-Bond Caron
- Contra: Geoffrey Sneddon, Tomi Kaistila, David Zühlke
- Note: This list was created by guessing (cvs name vs. real name) who has commit rights - please correct mistakes
This RFC will discuss an language enhancement for simple and easy array definition.
Update: May 2011
This topic has come up again on the list.
Another solution would be to implement named parameters.
Ryusuke suggested two possibly syntaxes and also provides two patches for a solution:
Square bracket array shortcut - keys and values are separated by colons:
$a = [1, 2, 3]; $b = ['foo': 'orange', 'bar': 'apple', 'baz': 'lemon'];
Square bracket array shortcut - keys and values are separated by double arrows:
$a = [1, 2, 3]; $b = ['foo' => 'orange', 'bar' => 'apple', 'baz' => 'lemon'];
Proposal and Patch
The first solution is more compact: http://www.opendogs.org/pub/php-5.3dev-080109-sbar.patch
The second solution is more “The PHP Way”: http://www.opendogs.org/pub/php-5.3dev-080109-sbar2.patch
Pro / Contra
Pro and contra arguments that were derived from the list.
- Good for framework development when dealing with long parameterlists
- Other web languages have similar syntax
- Yet another alias
- Would take distinctness from 
- Not searchable through search engines
- Patch may be difficult to maintain in future
This patch will not be accepted because slight majority of the core developers voted against. Though if you take a accumulated mean between core developers and userland votes seems to show the opposite it would be irresponsible to submit a patch witch is not supported or maintained in the long run.
Discussion on the List
- 2003-11-04 : Proposal: Array syntax
- 2007-02-03 : Syntactic improvement to array
- 2008-01-08 : [RFC] Square brackets shortcut
- 2008-01-11 : SUMMARY: Array syntax
- 2008-05-21 : Short syntax for array literals
- 2011-05-09 : 5.4 again