The PHP named arguments are the names of the arguments through which the values are passed, allowing you to add a name for the argument beside the value, and that can be separated with a colon (:).

Let’s see an example.

function that_is_func( $val1, $val2 ) {
    echo $val1 . "this is a" . $val2;

  val2: "PHP Tutorial",
  val1: "CodedTag, " 

So, you don’t need to fill the function arguments in order. Anyway, this feature appeared in PHP 8. Before that, we were using the function arguments by order.

Let’s understand how it works.

How Named Arguments Work in PHP

Let’s say you have a function that’s like a recipe. In the old days, you had to add ingredients in the exact order the recipe said. First flour, then sugar, and so on. But what if you could just name the ingredients as you added them? That’s named arguments for you.

Here is an example:

// Old way: Just hope you remember the order right
mixCake('2 cups', '1 cup', '3 large');

// New way with named arguments: Much clearer!
mixCake(flour: '2 cups', sugar: '1 cup', eggs: '3 large');

So, you don’t have to remember the order of arguments anymore. Just name them, and you’re good to go. However, If a function lets you skip adding salt because not everyone likes it, named arguments make this easy. You just mention the ingredients you care about.

Additionally, you can mix named arguments with the old-school way if you want. Just remember to keep the unnamed (positional) arguments first.

PHP produces an error when named arguments are positioned incorrectly. Let’s understand this to avoid errors during the execution.

Incorrect Positioning of Named Arguments in PHP

Mixing up the order by putting a named argument before positional ones doesn’t work. PHP gets confused and throws an error. It’s like trying to read a sentence backward. PHP just can’t understand it.

Let’s see an example.

function concate_strings( $string, $value, $delimiter ) {
    return $string . $delimiter .  $value;

In this example, I will alter the positions of the arguments after assigning a name to only the last parameter.

  delimiter: ',',
  "string 1",
  "value 2"

This will show you the following error.

Fatal error: Cannot use positional argument after named argument in /file/path/name.php on line 9

Named arguments make your code cleaner and easier to read. It’s like writing a clearer recipe that anyone can follow, even if they start in the middle. So the correct code is like the below.

   "string 1",
   "value 2",
   delimiter: ','

In the following part, you will see additional examples to gain a deeper understanding.

Examples of Named arguments

Let’s say you have a function to greet someone. Before, you did this: Imagine trying to remember what goes where.

greet('Hello', 'John', 'Doe');

Now, you just say what each thing is.

greet(greeting: 'Hello', firstName: 'John', lastName: 'Doe');

Or creating a link in your webpage:

// Before: What does each '' mean again?
echo createLink('Click here', '', '', '_blank');

// Now: It's like telling a story
echo createLink(text: 'Click here', target: '_blank');

Anyway, Let’s summarize it.

Wrapping Up

Named arguments in PHP 8 are like giving names to stars. Before, you just pointed and hoped others saw the same star you did. Now, you just say, “Look at Orion’s Belt,” and everyone knows exactly where to look. It makes coding clearer, less error-prone, and honestly, just more fun.

So, there you have it: a simpler take on PHP 8’s named arguments. It’s all about making your code as easy to read as a good book, where every character (or argument) plays a clear role.

Thank you for reading. Happy Coding!