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The Hoa\Option library. 2017-08-29 13:53 UTC

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Hoa is a modular, extensible and structured set of PHP libraries.
Moreover, Hoa aims at being a bridge between industrial and research worlds.


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This library is an implementation of the famous Option polymorphic type (also called Maybe). An Option represents an optional value, either there is Some value, or there is None which is the equivalent of null. This is a convenient and safe way to manipulate an optional value.

Learn more.


With Composer, to include this library into your dependencies, you need to require hoa/option:

$ composer require hoa/option '~1.0'

For more installation procedures, please read the Source page.


Before running the test suites, the development dependencies must be installed:

$ composer install

Then, to run all the test suites:

$ vendor/bin/hoa test:run

For more information, please read the contributor guide.

Quick usage

The following examples illustrate how to use the Hoa\Option\Option class.

Build an optional value

There are two static methods to allocate an optional value:

  • Hoa\Option\Option::some($value) for some value,
  • Hoa\Option\Option::none() for no value.

Two functional aliases exist, respectively:

  • Hoa\Option\Some($value), and
  • Hoa\Option\None().

In the next examples, it is assumed that use function Hoa\Option\{Some, None} is declared, so that we can use Some and None directly.

Basic operations

The isSome and isNone methods respectively return true if the option contains some value or none:

$x = Some(42);
$y = None();


The unwrap method returns the contained value if there is some, or throws a RuntimeException if there is none:

assert(Some(42)->unwrap() === 42);
assert(None()->unwrap()); // will throw a `RuntimeException`.

In general, because of the unexpected exception, its use is discouraged. Prefer to use either: expect, unwrapOr, isSome, or isNone for instance.

One common mistake is to think that it is required to extract/unwrap the value from the option. Actually, the Hoa\Option\Option API is designed to always manipulate an option without having the need to extract its contained value. New options can be constructed or mapped, see next sections.

The unwrap method can throw a RuntimeException with a default message. To have a custom message, please use the expect method:

$x = None();

assert($x->expect('Damn…') === 42);

The unwrapOr method returns the contained value if there is some, or a default value if none:

$x = Some(42);
$y = None();

assert($x->unwrapOr(153) === 42);
assert($y->unwrapOr(153) === 153);

The unwrapOrElse method returns the contained value if there is some, or computes a default value from the given callable if none:

$x = Some(42);
$y = None();

$else = function (): int { return 153; };

assert($x->unwrapOrElse($else) === 42);
assert($y->unwrapOrElse($else) === 153);


Mappers transform an option into another option by applying a callable to the contained value if some.

$x = Some('Hello, World!');
$y = None();

assert($x->map('strlen') == Some(13));
assert($x->map('strlen') == None());

The mapOr mapper transform an option into another option but use a default value if there is no contained value:

$x = None();

assert($x->mapOr('strlen', 0) == Some(0));

The result of mapOr is always an option with some value.

The mapOrElse mapper is similar to mapOr but computes the default value from a callable:

$x    = None();
$else = function (): int { return 0; };

assert($x->mapOrElse('strlen', $else) == Some(0));

Boolean operations

It is possible to apply boolean operations on options. The and method returns a none option if the current option has no value, otherwise it returns the right option:

assert(Some(42)->and(Some(153)) == Some(153));
assert(Some(42)->and(None())    == None());
assert(None()->and(Some(153))   == None());

The andThen method returns a none option if the current option has no value, otherwise it returns a new option computed by a callable. Some languages call this operation flatmap.

$square = function (int $x): Option {
    return Some($x * $x);
$nop = function (): Option {
    return None();

assert(Some(2)->andThen($square)->andThen($square) == Some(16));
assert(Some(2)->andThen($nop)->andThen($square)    == None());

The or method returns the current option if it has some value, otherwise it returns the right option:

assert(Some(42)->or(Some(153)) == Some(42));
assert(None()->or(Some(153))   == Some(153));

Finally the orElse option returns the option if it has some value, otherwise it returns a new option computed by a callable:

$somebody = function (): Option {
    return Some('somebody');

assert(None()->orElse($somebody) == Some('somebody'));


The hack book of Hoa\Option contains detailed information about how to use this library and how it works.

To generate the documentation locally, execute the following commands:

$ composer require --dev hoa/devtools
$ vendor/bin/hoa devtools:documentation --open

More documentation can be found on the project's website: hoa-project.net.

Getting help

There are mainly two ways to get help:


Do you want to contribute? Thanks! A detailed contributor guide explains everything you need to know.


Hoa is under the New BSD License (BSD-3-Clause). Please, see LICENSE for details.