Map-based autoloader across php and phar resources

⌈⌋ branch:  Canonic Autoloader

Update of "rfc:function_autoloading"

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Artifact ID: 4b15e9a39c6df7d6d9dfdb7ba7c2a848bbdaaa3d
Page Name:rfc:function_autoloading
Date: 2014-09-04 02:25:52
Original User: mario
Parent: 08e479d70a348a0f024bd705dc151b2b04d1ee3e

Function autoloading

PHP is a hybrid language. It however unevenly implements autoloading for classes only as of now. There are long-standing feature requests for supporting it with all language symbols. A more recent attempt to bring some systematization here was:


The ensuing php-dev discussion wasn't overly constructive. (Fatal errors provide a higher performance than autoloading a function). Backhandedly however to prevent functions becoming first class language constructs, due to their implied and unfavored coding paradigm.

Meanwhile PHP 5.6 introduced use function imports, which however are aliases only, thus magnifying the dichotomy only further.

Why is it in shared.phar ?

It's a proof-of-concept mostly.

Implementing function declaration lookups is a trivial by-product of doing things properly anyway.

How can I use it now?

For current PHP versions, you need a workaround like this to shoehorn globally-autoloaded functions into your code:

     * Userland workaround for function_autoloading.
     * Implements a static class, which random global functions can be
     * invoked with.
     *    x::autoload_me(1,2,3);

    class x {
        function __callStatic($name, $args=array()) {
            if (!function_exists($name)) {

                static $ca;

                // find suitable autoloaders
                if (!isset($ca)) {
                    $ca = array();

                    foreach (array_filter("is_object", spl_autoload_functions()) as $spl) {
                        if (is_a($spl, "Canonic_Autoloader")) {
                            $ca[] = $spl;

                // invoke each autoloader
                foreach ($ca as $autoload) {
                    $autoload($name, 2);

            return call_user_func_array($name, $args);

Which obviously is hardly as enchanting as having PHP adhere to its hybrid heritage. And x:: while an acceptably readable prefix, is not a standard denomination for such a feature.

Though the bemusing part here is, you just need to place x.php in your classpath. Then shared.phar will autoload both subsequently; first the static x:: class, then your autoloaded_func() prior calling it.