[wp-hackers] Passing class methods by reference

Jacob Santos wordpress at santosj.name
Thu Aug 5 13:21:43 UTC 2010

Actually for plugins, it is better to always reference when passing an 
object in an array. Classes aren't passed automatically by reference as 
in to the area of memory, but reference to the handle (Sara Golomen has 
a really good article or was it the Release Master of PHP5.2?).

Therefore, you can still change the object in $this without changing the 
original, whereas &$this will. When using objects in plugins in 
WordPress, the object should always be referenced explicitly in order to 
assure that it can be removed in the future.

Jacob Santos

On 8/4/2010 11:06 AM, Dan Gayle wrote:
> I see some plugins that have a callback to a class method by reference like so:
> array(&$this, 'function_name' ));
> The codex says "if the function is a member of a class within the
> plugin it should be referenced as array( $this, 'function_name' )"
> I assume that passing a reference is an attempt to save memory, but in
> PHP 5 aren't objects automatically passed by reference? What is the
> benefit, if any, of this style of callback?
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