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Courteous Autoload Method

edited January 2010 in Feedback
Vanilla 2 Code Suggestion:

use spl_autoload_register('your_autoload_function'); instead of __autoload($ClassName); so other code may register their own autoload function.

in /library/core/functions.general.php


  • Let's say you had a preexisting __autoload that isn't going to change. Is it possible to rename the Vanilla 2 version?
  • In case others come across this, the answer was to literally rename the Vanilla 2 __autoload function to something else (like "vanillaAutoload"), then call this function AFTER it.

  • ToddTodd Chief Product Officer Vanilla Staff
    I think this is a good idea. I will get it in the core.

    @andyblackwell, @chriscoyier, are there any drawbacks to sp_autoload_register that you know of?
  • There are a couple of other places that call __autoload directly that will need to be changed as well, like class.controller.php -- I think there are 2-3 files that need the function name change.
  • I bump into this limitation, see here :

    I got difficulties to add a third party library which made use of spl_autoload_register to register its autoloader.

    It's not very hard once we know the tricks to register the __autoload method on the __autoload stack (see but it won't be a solution if 2 enabled plugins do the same, so vanilla definitely need to register its autoloader with spl_autoload_register.
  • ToddTodd Chief Product Officer Vanilla Staff
    This has been changed in our unstable branch, so it will be getting released shortly. Actually, I put the following method in which I guess I should ask here if people know whether or not it will cause any problems (it doesn't seem to).
    if (!function_exists('__autoload')) {
    function __autoload($ClassName) {
    trigger_error('__autoload() is deprecated. Use sp_autoload_call() instead.', E_USER_DEPRECATED);
  • Why not totally remove it ?
    the main change was to rename __autoload to for example vanillaAutoloader and call spl_autoload_register just after the function declaration as suggested by chriscoyier.

    While googling for my autoload problem with vanilla I found this :

    And one of his rule is that "Custom autoload functions should not have a failure consequence"

    I think this his because a third party library could check also with function_exist if an autoload is already defined and add it to the stack if TRUE with spl_autoload_register('__autoload').

    So imo it's better to remove the __autoload method if it's not needed anymore and "just let it crash" if another part of the code use it instead of spl_autoload_call
  • ToddTodd Chief Product Officer Vanilla Staff
    I want to stop with removing functions in case plugins call them. It's one of those things where it gets deprecated for a few versions and then removed once people have had time to remove it.

    Our code doesn't call it anymore though.
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