PHP 5.1 and Type Hinting

By Deane Barker on November 25, 2005

PHP: Type Hinting: PHP 5.1 was just released and has introduced type hinting. Is this the first step down the road to a more strongly typed language?

PHP 5 introduces Type Hinting. Functions are now able to force parameters to be objects (by specifying the name of the class in the function prototype) or arrays



  1. The way I see it, it’s just a convenient way to check for input parameters. You can do that with PHP 4 too, only it requires much more code:

    function doSomething($param1, $param2) {
        if (!is_array($param1)) trigger_error('Error!', E_USER_ERROR);
        if (!is_a($param2, 'MyClass')) trigger_error('Error!', E_USER_ERROR);

    instead of

    function doSomething(array $param1, MyClass $param2) {
  2. I agree that this is an innocent first step, but it’s really the first thing PHP has ever done in terms of typing. I bet future versions will let you type hint for string and numeric as well. How far beyond that is a config switch to strongly type the whole shindig?

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