ยซ Multiple return typesOut parameters ยป

Non-extending class re-use

General idea

Re-using code through extending classes is not enough.

There are different models of reusing code that would be really useful, that aren't currently possible in PHP.


Imagine you have some enum:

enum ErrorCode {

And you want to re-use that case in another enum. That isn't currently possible due to enums being final for good reasons - see below.

You can imagine some sort of syntax like:

enum MoreErrorCode {
    use ErrorCode;

    case PEBKAC;

So the set of cases for both ErrorCode and MoreErrorCode would be a finite set aka sealed.

Class Composition

class A {}
    function foo();

class B delegate A {
    function __construct(private A $a) {}

$b = new B();

without having to wire up a pass through function:

class B {
    function __construct(private A $a) {}

    function foo() {

Hurdles to overcome

Someone needs to think about this hard

Although some scope of the problem to be solved is known, the exact scope of the problem this general idea could address isn't known.


Far too hard to predict.


Why enums aren't extendable

Classes have contracts on their methods:

class A {}
class B {}

function foo(A $a) {}

function bar(B $b) {

This is safe, as B follows the contract of A, and through the magic of co/contra-variance, any expectation you may have of the methods will be preserved, exceptions excepted.

Enums have contracts on their cases, not methods:

enum ErrorCode {

function quux(ErrorCode $errorCode)
    // When written, this code appears to cover all cases
    match ($errorCode) {
        ErrorCode::SOMETHING_BROKE => true,

The match statement in the function quux can be static analyzed to cover all of the cases in ErrorCode.

But imagine it was allowed to extend enums:

// Thought experiment code where enums are not final.
// This won't actually work in PHP. 
enum MoreErrorCode extends ErrorCode {
    case PEBKAC;

function fot(MoreErrorCode $errorCode) {


Under normal inheritance rules, a class that extends another will pass the type check.

The problem would be that the switch statement in quux() no longer covers all the cases. Because it doesn't know about MoreErrorCode::PEBKAC the match will throw an exception.

Because of this enums are final and can't be extended.