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Main assumption of the model is that the problem that we are to solve is the
problem of the very long class names in PHP libraries. We would not attempt
to take autoloader's job or create packaging model - only make names
Namespaces are defined the following way:
namespace Zend::DB;
class Connection {
function connect() {
Namespace definition does the following:
All class and function names inside are automatically prefixed with
namespace name. Inside namespace, local name always takes precedence over
global name. It is possible to use the same namespace in several PHP files.
The namespace declaration statement must be the very first statement in
Every class and function from namespace can be referred to by the full name
- e.g. Zend::DB::Connection or Zend::DB::connect - at any time.
require 'Zend/Db/Connection.php';
$x = new Zend::DB::Connection;
Namespace or class name can be imported:
require 'Zend/Db/Connection.php';
import Zend::DB;
import Zend::DB::Connection as DbConnection;
$x = new Zend::DB::Connection();
$y = new DB::connection();
$z = new DbConnection();
import statement only defines name aliasing. It may create name alias for
namespace or class. The simple form of statement "import A::B::C::D;" is
equivalent to "import A::B::C::D as D;". Import statement can be used at any
time in global scope (not inside function/class) and takes effect from the
point of definition down to the end of file. It is recommended however to
place imports at the beginning of the file. Import statements have effect
only on file where they are written.
The special "empty" namespace (:: prefix) is useful as explicit global
namespace qualification. All class and function names started from ::
interpreted as global. <?php namespace A::B::C;
$con = ::mysql_connect(...);
A special constant __NAMESPACE__ indicates the current namespace. It can be
used to construct fully-qualified names to pass them as callbacks.
namespace A::B::C;
function foo() {
set_error_handler(__NAMESPACE__ . "::foo");
In global namespace __NAMESPACE__ constant has value of empty string.
Names inside namespace are resolved according to the following rules.
1) all qualified names are translated during compilation according to
current import rules. So if we have "import A::B::C;" and then "C::D::e();"
it is translated to "A::B::C::D::e()"
2) unqualified class names translated during compilation according to
current import rules. So if we have "import A::B::C;" and then "new C();" it
is translated to "new A::B::C()"
3) calls to unqualified functions that are defined in current namespace
interpreted as calls to corresponding functions
4) calls to unqualified functions that are not defined in current namespace
are resolved in run-time. The call to function foo() inside namespace (A::B)
first tries to find and call function from current namespace A::B::foo() and
if it doesn't exist PHP tries to call internal function foo(). Note that
using foo() in namespace you can call only internal PHP functions, however
using ::foo() you are able to call any function from global namespace.
5) unqualified class names are resolved at run-time. E.q. "new Exception()"
first tries to use (end even __autoload()) class from current namespace and
in case of failure uses internal PHP class. Note that using "new A" in
namespace you can call only create internal PHP class, however using "new
::A" you are able to create any class from global namespace
6) Calls to qualified functions are resolved at run-time. Call to
"A::B::foo()" first tries to call function foo() from namespace "A::B", then
it tries to find class "A::B (__autoload() it if necessary) and call its
static function foo()
7) qualified class names are interpreted as class from corresponding
namespace. So "new A::B::C()" creates class "C" from namespace "A::B".
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