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Johannes Schluter's Blog: Features in PHP trunk: Array dereferencing

Note: This article was originally published at PHPDeveloper on 3 August 2010.
PHPDeveloper

In a recent post to his blog Johannes Schluter talks about a new feature that's just been added to the PHP project's trunk - array dereferencing.

Now you might wonder what this typical short entry means. when doing OO-style PHP you might make use of a syntax feature which one might call "object dereferencing". [...] So one can chain method calls or property access. Now for a long time people requested the same thing for array offset access. This was often rejected due to uncertainties about memory issues, as we don't like memory leaks. But after proper evaluation Felipe committed the patch.

This new feature allows you to return an array from a method and reference it in a new way outside the call - foo()[2] - where the array is like "array(1,2,3)". Johannes includes a few other examples, including how to set the information in an array (using referneces) inside a method.