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Davey Shafik's Blog: The Closure Puzzle

Note: This article was originally published at PHPDeveloper on 17 January 2012.
PHPDeveloper

Davey Shafik has posted about an interesting find with closures in PHP revolving around an update to add "$this" access inside the closure.

However, it didn't stop there; there was also the addition of Closure::bind() and Closure-bindTo(). These methods are identical except one is a static method into which the closure is passed, the second an instance method on the closure itself. These methods both take two arguments (on top of the closure for the static version): $newthis and $newscope. What this means is that unlike the regular object model the concept of $this and lexical scope (what is in scope for the function with regards to private/protected methods inside objects) are completely separated.

He also mentions that you can change the "$this" to a different object (complex) or swapping out the object the closure is bound to while keeping "$this" the same (simpler). He mentions that it could be useful for unit testing but can have its drawbacks. He's included code to illustrate the breakage it can cause in the PHP OOP model (with an explanation).