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Volker Dusch's Blog: Autoloading for legacy, non-framework projects

Note: This article was originally published at PHPDeveloper on 10 March 2011.
PHPDeveloper

In his latest post Volker looks at something he sees more and more projected implementing as a simple way to not have to manually define paths all over their applications - creating autoloaders. His post shows how to create one such autoloader for a legacy, non-framework type of project.

The first argument usually is "ease of use". It can get pretty annoying when you have to clutter your whole application with "require this file here and that file over there" statements. [...] The main motivation for autoloading usually is "getting rid of all the require statements and the problems resulting from forgetting one at one point where you don't notice it because on your machine it worked.

In some projects you're lucky enough to have class name to file name mapping to make it simpler. His project didn't have that, so he needed a way around it. His answer came in the PHP Autoload Builder tool - a handy command line script that works through your code and builds an index of sorts you can refer to for the correct class-to-file map.