rants from the dark side of marketing

Deferred chain

A few months ago, I wrote a small PHP class to help me create chainable interfaces (PHP people like to call these “fluent interfaces”) without having to retrofit old code. I call this DeferredChain.

Here is the source for DeferredChain.

The idea is that you extend DeferredChain and write a bunch of methods prefixed with ‘_’. These don’t have to return $this to enable you to chain them.

class MyChain extends DeferredChain {

protected function _doSomething() {
$f = file_get_contents('something.txt');
return $f;

// you can have method arguments of course
protected function _doSomethingElse($x) {
return $x*2;

$m = new MyChain;

//do whatever

// execute your chain step by step
while($res = $m->doNext()) {
$results[] = $res ;
echo $res;

// or all steps at once
$results = $m->doAll();

If you are still reading this post, here is a more interesting example.

$d = new DiggChain($user,$pass);


$c = new CurlBase;

while(($requests = $d->doNext())) {

Here is the incomplete DiggChain.

This is how I like to write glue for loosely coupled cURL requests. For example, I wouldn’t use chains for just a series of HTTP requests that login at a website. I have been using the Curl Objects library, which provides a specialized class for tightly coupled HTTP requests. You should probably check that out if you use php-cURL.

Well that’s it for today. Stay tuned for more coding related posts.

Posted on Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 at 9:33 am under Code. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.


seozero Says:

There is an infinitive loop in DeferredChain->doNext. Am I right?

countzero Says:

There is no infinite loop. There were some problems with doAll(), which I just fixed though.

me again Says:

My mistake, no loop of course.

I wanted to say that $this->pos is always -1.
$k = $this->pos+1;
doNext() always executes steps[0].

countzero Says:

Seems I messed it up when I rewrote it. Thanks for pointing that out.

Victory Says:

This chaining is only concerned with function side affects i take it.

Am i missing something or won’t that digg chain blaze through the requests at super human speeds?

countzero Says:

Yeah it would. You could either sleep() in the while() loop or use CurlObject’s sleeping options.

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