Union type for PHP

v1.0.0 2018-08-17 13:33 UTC


Provides utilities to define tagged unions.

Tagged unions?

I'm not good with words, yet folks from Folktale describe it nicely:

Modelling data is important for a range of reasons. From performance to correctness to safety. Tagged unions give you a way of modelling choices that forces the correct handling of them, unlike predicate-based branching, such as the one used by if statements and other common control flow structures.


composer require baethon/union


To create a tag union it's required to create a class which extends Baethon\Union\AbstractUnion.

class Maybe extends \Baethon\Union\AbstractUnion

Also you need to define tags which will represent state of the union.

class Maybe extends \Baethon\Union\AbstractUnion
	const SOME = 'Some:x';

	const NONE = 'None';


Each tag has a definition (called signature), which can be defined using following syntax:

{Name}[:[param1[, param2[, ...[, paramN]]]]]

Parameters define whether a tag will hold any value(s) (called arguments). They're optional.

Working with unions

Union can be invoked using static constructor:

$some = Maybe::Some(1);

To work with the state of the union you should use matchWith(). It will return the value returned by the matching callback:

function addTen(Maybe $maybe) {
	return $maybe->matchWith([
		'Some' => function ($x) {
			return $x + 10;
		'None' => function () {
			throw new \Exception('Sorry, can\'t add a number to nothing');

addTen($some); // 11

matchWith() will check if all possible branches are mapped:

  • if a tag is not covered by map UnderflowException will be thrown
  • if map covers more tags than defined ones it will throw 'OverflowException'.

It's possible to use wildcard map to cover all other cases:

	'*' => function () {
		return 100;
]); // 100

You can use defined const values in mapping:

	Maybe::SOME => function () {},
	Maybe::NONE => function () {}