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Can I create a PHP function that I can call without parentheses?

Posted by: admin November 29, 2017 Leave a comment


I have a function that is effectively a replacement for print, and I want to call it without parentheses, just like calling print.

# Replace
print $foo, $bar, "\n";

# with
myprint $foo, $bar, "\n";

In Perl, you can create subroutines with parameter templates and it allows exactly this behavior if you define a subroutine as

sub myprint(@) { ... }

Anything similar in PHP?


print is not a variable functions

Because this is a language construct
and not a function, it cannot be
called using variable functions

And :

Variable functions

PHP supports the concept of variable
functions. This means that if a
variable name has parentheses appended
to it, PHP will look for a function
with the same name as whatever the
variable evaluates to, and will
attempt to execute it. Among other
things, this can be used to implement
callbacks, function tables, and so


Only by editing the PHP codebase and adding a new language construct.



No, you can’t do that in PHP.
Print isn’t actually a function, it’s a “language construct”.


I was looking for a way to code a echoh to do something like:

echoh "hello";

and get:


I guess one solution could be defining a constant and use it:

const PHP_BR_EOL = "<br>\n";
echo "Hello" . PHP_BR_EOL;

Now I get:


I know it requires more typing, but it is more complient with the examples on the PHP manual, and I use gvim with omnicomplete to save on the typing. Also it would be easy to do a global search/replace PHP_EOL by PHP_BR_EOL.


Nope, PHP won’t allow you to do that.