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PHP RFC: Make empty() a Variadic


This RFC aims to make the empty language construct accept any number of arguments.

// example current usage #1:
if (empty($a) || empty($b) || empty($c)) {}
// example current usage #2:
if (!empty($a) && !empty($b) && !empty($c)) {}
// new example usage #1:
if (empty($a, $b, $c)) {}
// new example usage #2:
if (!empty($a, $b, $c)) {}


By changing empty() to have a variable arity, we can write more compact code when checking for the emptiness of multiple expressions. This seems like a common scenario for web applications...

Backward Incompatible Changes

No BC breakages.

Proposed PHP Version(s)

PHP 7.0

RFC Impact



To Existing Extensions


To Opcache


New Constants


php.ini Defaults


Open Issues


Unaffected PHP Functionality

The current functionality of empty() will be completely preserved.

Future Scope

This sections details areas where the feature might be improved in future, but that are not currently proposed in this RFC.

Proposed Voting Choices

Include these so readers know where you are heading and can discuss the proposed voting options.

State whether this project requires a 2/3 or 50%+1 majority (see voting)

Patches and Tests

Links to any external patches and tests go here.

If there is no patch, make it clear who will create a patch, or whether a volunteer to help with implementation is needed.

Make it clear if the patch is intended to be the final patch, or is just a prototype.


After the project is implemented, this section should contain

  1. the version(s) it was merged to
  2. a link to the git commit(s)
  3. a link to the PHP manual entry for the feature


Links to external references, discussions or RFCs

Rejected Features

Keep this updated with features that were discussed on the mail lists.

rfc/variadic_empty.1424478700.txt.gz · Last modified: 2017/09/22 13:28 (external edit)