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Discussion on: is_initialized() helper function

williamstam profile image
William Stam • Edited on

Isn't using reflection here somewhat adding extra load on the server unnecessarily? Normal execution, stop, check reflection, go on. Sure might be easier for developer but at the cost of runtime? The more your program does the more CPU cycles it consumes. At some point just throwing hardware at it won't be enough. And doing something like this kinda feels like that trap to me.

Not the most liked opinion unfortunately :(

Cool solution tho.

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doekenorg profile image
Doeke Norg Author • Edited on

You're right, performance is something we absolutely have to keep in mind. So I'm glad you point this out.

The Reflection API is actually pretty fast. Of course it adds some extra load, but only on execution time, and even then the differences are minuscule. I ran a phpbench test over 4 situations:

  1. multiple calls on the same instance with isset()
  2. multiple calls on new instances with isset() (every call is a new instance)
  3. multiple calls on the same instance with is_initialized()
  4. multiple calls on new instances with is_initialized() (every call is a new instance)

I ran the test with 10.000 calls, and repeated them 100 times. These are the results:

subject revs its mem_peak mode rstdev
benchIsset 10000 100 656.328kb 0.087μs ±6.93%
benchIssetNew 10000 100 656.328kb 0.172μs ±5.01%
benchReflection 10000 100 656.328kb 0.334μs ±4.14%
benchReflectionNew 10000 100 656.344kb 0.433μs ±3.72%

The memory consumption is exactly the same for every situation, except situation 4. But that is not really helpfull with memoization. Even then, the extra memory is negligible.

isset() is definitely faster, but only marginal. You would probably not notice this in your request.

Still, I would only suggest you use this method if you have a memoization situation where the value of your (typed) parameter could also be null. Otherwise, definitely use isset() or ??(=).

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williamstam profile image
William Stam

This benchmark thing is super super interesting! Thank you!!