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Chaining in programming allows you to run muitple functions in a single statement like this: $obj->function()->function(). How do you do this in PHP? All you do is return $this in the function you wish to chain — as is demonstrated below.

class A {
    public $value = 0;
    public function increment() {
        $this->value ++; 
        // Returning $this is what allows chaining to work
        return $this;

$a = new A;


echo $a->value; // $value is now 2
Tim Bennett is a web designer and developer. He has a First Class Honours degree in Computing from Leeds Metropolitan University and currently runs his own one-man web design company, Texelate.