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First class callable syntax

The first class callable syntax is introduced as of PHP 8.1.0, as a way of creating anonymous functions from callable. It supersedes existing callable syntax using strings and arrays. The advantage of this syntax is that it is accessible to static analysis, and uses the scope at the point where the callable is acquired.

CallableExpr(...) syntax is used to create a Closure object from callable. CallableExpr accepts any expression that can be directly called in the PHP grammar:

Example #1 Simple first class callable syntax

<?php

class Foo {
public function
method() {}
public static function
staticmethod() {}
public function
__invoke() {}
}

$obj = new Foo();
$classStr = 'Foo';
$methodStr = 'method';
$staticmethodStr = 'staticmethod';


$f1 = strlen(...);
$f2 = $obj(...); // invokable object
$f3 = $obj->method(...);
$f4 = $obj->$methodStr(...);
$f5 = Foo::staticmethod(...);
$f6 = $classStr::$staticmethodStr(...);

// traditional callable using string, array
$f7 = 'strlen'(...);
$f8 = [$obj, 'method'](...);
$f9 = [Foo::class, 'staticmethod'](...);
?>

Note:

The ... is part of the syntax, and not an omission.

CallableExpr(...) has the same semantics as Closure::fromCallable(). That is, unlike callable using strings and arrays, CallableExpr(...) respects the scope at the point where it is created:

Example #2 Scope comparison of CallableExpr(...) and traditional callable

<?php

class Foo {
public function
getPrivateMethod() {
return [
$this, 'privateMethod'];
}

private function
privateMethod() {
echo
__METHOD__, "\n";
}
}

$foo = new Foo;
$privateMethod = $foo->getPrivateMethod();
$privateMethod();
// Fatal error: Call to private method Foo::privateMethod() from global scope
// This is because call is performed outside from Foo and visibility will be checked from this point.

class Foo1 {
public function
getPrivateMethod() {
// Uses the scope where the callable is acquired.
return $this->privateMethod(...); // identical to Closure::fromCallable([$this, 'privateMethod']);
}

private function
privateMethod() {
echo
__METHOD__, "\n";
}
}

$foo1 = new Foo1;
$privateMethod = $foo1->getPrivateMethod();
$privateMethod(); // Foo1::privateMethod
?>

Note:

Object creation by this syntax (e.g new Foo(...)) is not supported, because new Foo() syntax is not considered a call.

Note:

The first-class callable syntax cannot be combined with the nullsafe operator. Both of the following result in a compile-time error:

<?php
$obj
?->method(...);
$obj?->prop->method(...);
?>

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User Contributed Notes 1 note

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bienvenunet at yahoo dot com
10 months ago
There's a major gotcha with this syntax that may not be apparent until you use this syntax and find you're getting "Cannot rebind scope of closure created from method" exceptions in some random library code.

As the documentation indicates, the first-class callable uses the scope at the point where the callable is acquired. This is fine as long as nothing in your code will attempt to bind the callable with the \Closure::bindTo method.

I found this the hard way by changing callables going to Laravel's Macroable functionality from the array style to the first-class callable style. The Macroable functionality \Closure::bindTo calls on the callable.

AFAIK, the only workaround is to use the uglier array syntax.
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