Fluently and efficiently compose functions, methods, and lambda-expression strings

0.3.0 2019-10-01 22:23 UTC

This package is auto-updated.

Last update: 2022-09-29 02:11:13 UTC


Tired of typing function($x) use($y) { return $z; } when all you want is a simple lamba expression, or to chain a few property accesses or method calls? Like being able to compose functions but hate using huge "functional" libraries for PHP that nest closures ten levels deep and aren't particularly idiomatic for PHP?

Enter fun-factory. Just composer require dirtsimple/fun-factory and use function dirtsimple\fun; to get the following functional programming shortcuts:

Fun FactoryPHP Equivalent


$f = fun();
$f = function ($arg=null) { return $arg; };

Lambda Strings

$f = fun('$_ * 2');
$f = function ($arg=null) { return $arg * 2; };


(Any number of methods, keys, and properties)

$f1 = fun()->foo($bar)->baz();

$f2 = fun()->aProp[$key];

$f1 = function ($arg=null) use ($bar) {
    return $arg->foo($bar)->baz();

$f2 = function ($arg=null) use ($key) {
    return $arg->aProp[$key];


(Any number of PHP callables or lambda strings)

$f1 = fun('array_flip', 'array_reverse');

$f2 = fun('func', [$ob, 'meth'], '$_*2');

$f1 = function ($arg=null) {
    return array_flip(array_reverse($arg));

$f2 = function ($arg=null) use ($ob) {
    return func($ob->meth($arg * 2));

Chainable Array Item Operators

$set = fun()->offsetSet($foo, $bar);

$unset = fun()->offsetUnset($foo);

$exists = fun()->offsetExists($foo);

$set = function ($arg=null) use ($foo, $bar) {
    $arg[$foo] = $bar;
    return $arg;

$unset = function ($arg=null) use ($foo) {
    return $arg;

$exists = function ($arg=null) use ($foo) {
    return is_array($arg)
        ? array_key_exists($foo, $arg)
        : $arg->offsetExists($foo);

The fun() function accepts zero or more PHP callables (or lambda expression strings), returning the functional composition of those arguments. String arguments that aren't syntactically PHP function or static method names are assumed to be PHP expressions, and converted to lambda functions taking $_ as a parameter. (The resulting closures are cached, so repeated calls to say, fun('$_ * 2'), don't use excess memory or waste time recompiling.)

The callable objects returned by fun() support chained property/element access and method calls, returning new callables that stack those accesses, making it easy to incrementally compose functional pipelines. But since PHP isn't optimized for recursion, fun-factory represents composed functions as opcode arrays that are iterated over instead of recursed into, cutting function call overhead and stack depth in half compared to functional libraries based on closures.

This and other aspects of fun-factory's design are done that way to make it easy for other libraries to offer lambda expression and chaining support to their clients. If your API calls fun() on supplied callback arguments, it gives your clients the ability to pass in lambda expressions as well as standard PHP callbacks.

You can then compose or stack the result, or expose composable/stackable results back to your clients. (And, sincefun() is idempotent, and calling it on something already wrapped by it is a fast no-op, it's okay to use even when somebody passes you a fun() to start with.)

Additional APIs

But wait, there's more! Add use dirtsimple\fun; to your code now, and you'll also get these fine static methods at no additional cost:

Composition and Binding


Return a pipelined composition of $callables, with the result of each callable passed to the next in the chain. For example, fun::_('array_reverse', 'array_flip') returns a callable that calls array_reverse() on its input, and then calls array_flip() on the result.

This method behaves exactly the same as fun(), including support for lambda strings, except that its arguments are called in the opposite order. That is, fun($f, $g) is equivalent to fun::_($g, $f) is equivalent to function ($x) { return $f( $g( $x ) ); }.

fun::bind($callable, ...$args)

Returns a fun() that when called with $x returns $callable(...$args, $x). (That is, any arguments after $callable are passed in first.) Note that fun() objects take exactly one parameter (which defaults to null if omitted), so $callable() will always receive exactly one argument after $args.

$callable must be a PHP callable (not a lambda expression string), and it is checked for validity at bind time. (Which may cause autoloading, if it names a static method.)

(Note that fun() objects themselves only take one parameter, so passing a fun() as the $callable to bind() effectively makes it act as if it were always being passed the first element of $args, instead of whatever argument is actually given.)


Returns a fun() that appliesfun(...$callables) to its argument, but throws away the return value and returns the original argument instead. Useful for creating side effects, this is roughly equivalent to:

$f = fun(...$callables);
function ($_) use ($f) { $f($_); return $_; }

Except that a fun() is returned rather than a closure.


Returns a callable that returns $value. Shorthand for function() use ($value) { return $value; }.


fun::when($cond, $ifTrue, $ifFalse='$_')

Returns a fun() roughly equivalent to function($_) { return $cond($_) ? $ifTrue($_) : $ifFalse($_); }, except that all three arguments can be lambda expression strings as well as PHP callables.

fun::unless($cond, $ifFalse, $ifTrue='$_')

The same as fun::when(), but with the arguments swapped.

Structure Transforms

fun::transform($schema, $input=null, $out=array(), $reducer=null)

Transform $input according to $schema. The schema must be an array or iterable object of callables. The results of invokng each callable on $input will be placed in the corresponding key of $out, which is then returned.

The behavior of this function can be further customized by passing a $reducer: a callable taking four arguments: the current $out value, a $key, the original $input, and the callable found in $schema[$key]. The return value of the reducer is then fed back into the next call or returned if there are no more entries in the schema. The default reducer looks like this:

function ($out, $key, $fn, $input) {
    $out[$key] = $fun($input);
    return $out;

With an appropriate $out and $reducer, you can set properties, call methods, transform the keys, skip keys, filter the results, etc.


A shortcut for currying fun::transform with the given schema; i.e., it returns a function that, given an input, transforms it using the given schema. (The $out and $reducer transform arguments can be passed as the second and third arguments to the returned function.)

Other Functions


Returns true if $string is a syntactically valid PHP callable. That is, if $string matches a regular expression for a possibly-namespaced function or static method. The existence of the function, class, or method is not checked, only the syntax. fun() uses this internally to distinguish callables from lambda expressions, while deferrring any class loading or function lookups until the resulting object is actually called.

API Version Compatibility

Please note that this library's API is only what is documented in this README, not what is public in the classes or tested by the specs! Anything not explicitly documented here is subject to change between even minor versions. (In particular, note that whenever this document says a "callable" is returned, you should not assume what type of callable will be returned, except that PHP is_callable() will return true for it.)