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Comparing generators with Iterator objects

The primary advantage of generators is their simplicity. Much less boilerplate code has to be written compared to implementing an Iterator class, and the code is generally much more readable. For example, the following function and class are equivalent:

<?php
function getLinesFromFile($fileName) {
    if (!
$fileHandle fopen($fileName'r')) {
        return;
    }
 
    while (
false !== $line fgets($fileHandle)) {
        
yield $line;
    }
 
    
fclose($fileHandle);
}

// versus...

class LineIterator implements Iterator {
    protected 
$fileHandle;
 
    protected 
$line;
    protected 
$i;
 
    public function 
__construct($fileName) {
        if (!
$this->fileHandle fopen($fileName'r')) {
            throw new 
RuntimeException('Couldn\'t open file "' $fileName '"');
        }
    }
 
    public function 
rewind() {
        
fseek($this->fileHandle0);
        
$this->line fgets($this->fileHandle);
        
$this->0;
    }
 
    public function 
valid() {
        return 
false !== $this->line;
    }
 
    public function 
current() {
        return 
$this->line;
    }
 
    public function 
key() {
        return 
$this->i;
    }
 
    public function 
next() {
        if (
false !== $this->line) {
            
$this->line fgets($this->fileHandle);
            
$this->i++;
        }
    }
 
    public function 
__destruct() {
        
fclose($this->fileHandle);
    }
}
?>

This flexibility does come at a cost, however: generators are forward-only iterators, and cannot be rewound once iteration has started. This also means that the same generator can't be iterated over multiple times: the generator will need to either be rebuilt by calling the generator function again, or cloned via the clone keyword.

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