[wp-trac] [WordPress Trac] #13395: Introduce _ex to replace echo _x

WordPress Trac wp-trac at lists.automattic.com
Sat May 15 17:59:40 UTC 2010

#13395: Introduce _ex to replace echo _x
 Reporter:  westi                  |        Owner:  westi 
     Type:  enhancement            |       Status:  closed
 Priority:  normal                 |    Milestone:  3.0   
Component:  i18n                   |      Version:  3.0   
 Severity:  normal                 |   Resolution:  fixed 
 Keywords:  has-patch 2nd-opinion  |  

Comment(by hakre):

 Replying to [comment:7 nacin]:
 > Yes, constant string usage throws a E_NOTICE. That suggestion seems
 invalid to me, it only makes things more complicated.

 complicated ... i would say that this can be the one or the other.

 let's play and compare one by one:

 {{{echo _x(}}}

 Made short:


 in terms of complexity all four variants have pretty much the same. all
 three short ones are especially totally equal when it comes to the
 shortcut identifier length .

 maybe the first one is the easiest to understand, because it's clear that
 something is send to output. but that aside, as this is about removing the

 all 3 short variants have the same length and even look pretty much the
 same. let's say, they save us the same amount of typing. thanks to
 standard wordpress settings, E_NOTICE is not an issue here. And even if it
 would be, just define x as 'x' and so on would solve that (to spare us the

 but even better, by implementing some little parser, this could be further
 improved (keep in mind that this is very much under the theoretical model,
 that typing less to invoke a function is more important regardless
 anything else). i dunno whether we have _() in use or not. let's assume it
 can be used

 sample code:

 {{{ _(ex, 'Slug', 'Taxonomy Slug'); }}}



 as in:

 function _() {
  $p = func_get_args();
  $f = $p[0];
  $l = strlen($f);
  $d = 'wp_shortcutfunc_';
  while ( $i<$l && ($d.= $f[$i++]) )
    if (function_exists($d))
      return call_user_func($f, $p);

  # since wp is php 4, call an undefined function
  # instead of throwing an execption:

 function wp_shortcutfunc_e($p) {
   p[0] = substr($p[0], 1);
   if (!strlen(p[0])) { #echo parameter(s)
     foreach($p as $s)
       echo $s;
   } else { #something left to parse
     echo call_user_func_array('_', $p);

 function wp_shortcutfunc_n($p) {
   # quick and dirty here for _n & _nx,
   # let's say you can not combine with n
   # any further
   if ('nx' == array_shift($p)) {
     return call_user_func('_nx', $p));
   return call_user_func('_n', $p));

 function wp_shortcutfunc_x($p) {
   return call_user_func('_x', array_splice($p, 1));

 this would be an function-name based shortcutting machine. it's not
 perfect (right now it can not overload itself so the parser can't change
 the parsing which could be a usefull to gain more modularity), but for the
 example, it will save you from writing any more echo and is already
 somehow flexible. I would say it has about the same level of modularity as
 the current system has but it's more easy to extend in two directions:
 combinations of functions (just add an e in front if you want to echo some
 other function out) and adding new functions.

 This works now with just some lines of code.

 _(e, 'Hello world'); // <- hello there :D
 _(x, $param1, $param2);
 _(ex, $param1, $param2);
 _(n, $param1, $param2);
 _(en, $param1, $param2);
 _(nx, $param1, $param2);
 _(enx, $param1, $param2);

 pretty impressive for those some 30 lines of code, right? combination is
 not perfect in the end, but it's pretty straight forward: the smaller a
 function name is, the higher is its priority in combinations. so for the
 implementation of _nx, there was need to actually parse the input in
 wp_shortcutfunc_n. but that can be a seen as a sign of shortcomming in
 naming the existing shortcut function names. whatever, the parser can
 handle that.

 ready for some more fun?

 let's extend this, because when it comes to the end of day, all this is
 about input, output, so echo and return while calling some functions. so
 what's missing here would be to actually grab output and return it or do
 invokes and calls. let's introduce two new, very simple shortcut functions
 to step on with the new "shortcut machine":

 c - as for call, namely:[[BR]]
 ... ca - with array of parameters[[BR]]
 ... cp - with parameters[[BR]]
 ... ci - invoke on parser

 the call shortcut introduced complexity, so some sample usage for
 clarification first:

 _(ca, $callback, $array_of_parameters);
 _(cp, $callback, $param_1, $param_2, ... );
 _(cie, 'hello word'); // will invoke e which will do echo

 this one would help to streamline our own implementation a bit as well. i
 do not do that here in the examples but maybe i'll attach some sample code
 where i would. please note that this code is just typed in as a mock-up, i
 have not run that.

 r - as for return output

 this is just to loop some echoed stuff back in, e.g. for template tags
 (well those could have benefited from something comparable in the
 beginning ... ) just two examples here:

 {{{ _(e, 'This Post MD5:', md5(_(rcp,'the_content'))); }}}

 or for the double-power of both approaches:
 {{{ _(e, strrev((_r('the_content'))); }}}

 here is the pro-forma code:

 function wp_shortcutfunc_c($p) {
   if ('ci' == substr($p[0],0,2)) {
     return _(substr(array_shift($p),2), $p);
   $c = array_shift($p);
   $f = array_shift($p);
   if ('cp' == $c && ($c = 'ca'))
     $p[0] = $p; # if that works?
   if ('ca' == $c || 'c' == $c)
     return call_user_func_array($f, $p[0]);

   wp_shortcutfunc_c(array('__UNDEFINED__', $f)); # do stack overflow,
 reached an end here

 function _r() {
   $p = array_get_args();
   $p[0] = substr($p[0], 1);
   call_user_func_array($c, $p);
   return ob_get_clean();

 function wp_shortcutfunc_r($p) {
   $p[0] = substr($p[0], 1);
   array_unshift($p, '_');
   return call_user_func('_r', $p);

 just imagine all the possibility..., remember all those escape-this and
 esc-that? this is a short-cutters paradise but i stop here since this is
 enough for some minutes typing fun. hopefully this is of some inspiration.

 take care, it's not always shorter:

 _(e, 'yay');
 echo 'yay';

 especially not if I had typed that according to the wp standard. would we
 would have saved in typing by not adding space everywhere where see fit...
 :) .

Ticket URL: <http://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/13395#comment:8>
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