Events library for PHP5.3

1.0.0 2012-12-27 11:24 UTC

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Last update: 2021-10-15 22:51:09 UTC


Events library for PHP 5.3+

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Events provide an event dispatcher with various ways of listening to events.

$dispatcher = new Events\EventDispatcher();

$dispatcher->on('car.forward', function($e) {
    echo "The car is goind forward";

$dispatcher->notify(new Events\Event(null, 'car.forward'));

Check out example.php for a complete example.


The easiest way to install Events is using Composer with the following requirement:

    "require": {
        "maximebf/events": ">=1.0.0"

Alternatively, you can download the archive and add the src/ folder to PHP's include path:

set_include_path('/path/to/src' . PATH_SEPARATOR . get_include_path());

Events does not provide an autoloader but follows the PSR-0 convention.
You can use the following snippet to autoload Events classes:

spl_autoload_register(function($className) {
    if (substr($className, 0, 6) === 'Events') {
        $filename = str_replace('\\', DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR, trim($className, '\\')) . '.php';
        require_once $filename;

Listening to events

Events are notified through the Events\EventDispatcher class. The easiest way to register listeners to handle events is using the on() method:

  • on($event_name, $callback): listens to event with the specified name, the wildcard (*) character can be used
  • on($regexp, $callback): listens to event which name matches the regexp
  • on($callback): listens to all events
  • on($object): listens using "on" methods of an object (see below)

$callback can be any PHP callable (ie. a callback - string or array - or a closure). It will receive an Events\Event object as its only argument.

$dispatcher->on('car.forward', function($e) {});
$dispatcher->on('car.*', function($e) {});
$dispatcher->on('/^car\.(.+)$/', function($e) {});
$dispatcher->on(function($e) {});

When using on($object) the object should have methods named with the camelized event name prefixed witn "on". eg: the method onCarForward() would listen to event named car.forward (or car_forward or car-forward).

class CarListener {
    public function onCarForward($e) {}

$dispatcher->on(new CarListener());

Multiple listeners can listen to the same event. However, some of them may be more important than others. This can be specified using an integer as the third parameter to the on() method. The higher, the more important.

$dispatcher->on('car.forward', function($e) {}, 100);

Events are made of a sender, a name and some parameters. The event object has the following methods:

  • getSender(): returns the object that emitted the event
  • getName(): returns the event's name
  • getParam($name, $default=null): returns the $name parameter
  • getParams()

For some events a return value may be needed. Listeners can specify a return value using setReturnValue($value).

Some events may allow the action they represent to be cancelled. This can be perform using cancel().

Finally, if multiple listeners handle an event, on of them can stop the event from propagating to the other one using stopPropagation().

$dispatcher->on('method_call', function($e) {
    if ($e->getParam('method_name') === 'foobar') {
    } else {

Under the hood, when the on() method is called, the event dispatcher creates a listener object of type Events\EventListener. You can create custom listener objects and add them using addListener().

Dispatching events

Events can be dispatched using the notify($event) method of the event dispatcher. The event must be an object of type Events\Event.

$dispatcher->notify(new Events\Event($sender, $name, $params));

notify() returns a boolean indicating if the event has been processed by one or more listeners.

If you want to ensure that your event is delivered to at least one listener, you can use notifyUntil($event, $callback=null). This method will try to deliver the event and if that fails, will try with any listeners added in the future. $callback will be called once the event has been processed.

$dispatcher->notifyUntil(new Events\Event(null, 'foo'), function() {
    echo "Event processed!";

To ease the process of notifying events, an Events\Notifier object can be used to create and dispatch events. Its constructor takes an event dispatcher and the sender object as mandatory arguments. You can optionaly provide a prefix for event names and specify a different event class to use. notify() and notifyUntil() are both available but under a different form. Instead of taking an event object, they take the name of the event and optionaly and array of params.

$notifier = new Events\Notifier($eventDispatcher, $sender);
$notifier->notify('foobar', array('param1' => 'value'));

Other utilities

You can use Events\GenericEmitter to create objects which emits event and on which listeners can be registered.

class Car extends Events\GenericEmitter {
    protected $eventPrefix = 'car.';
    public function forward() {

$car = new Car();
$car->on('car.forward', function($e) {});

Events emitter can act as relay. Thus if you have a global event dispatcher, events of a specific emitter could be relayed by adding the later as a listener to the former:

$car = new Car();
$dispatcher = new Events\EventDispatcher();

$car->on('car.forward', function($e) {});
$dispatcher->on('car.forward', function($e) {});


The Events\EventProxy class can be used as proxy to any objects and will emit events whenever a property is accessed or a method is called.

$object = new Events\EventProxy(new MyClass(), $dispatcher);
$dispatcher->on('', function($e) {
    if ($e->getParam('method') === 'foobar') {
        echo "Foobar was called!";

You can create custom event listeners by implementing the Events\EventListener interface.

class CustomListener implements Events\EventListener {
    public function match(Event $e) {
        // checks if the event can be handled by this listener
        return $e->getName() === 'foobar';
    public function handle(Event $e) {
        // do something with $e when match() returned true
        echo $e->getName();

$dispatcher->addListener(new CustomListener());