Here are some syntax additions I’d like to see in PHP:
When a() returns a callable object (such as a closure) the second set of brackets would call it. That would allow to write some neat code. I am working on a patch for that but it’s a bit harder than I thought.
This is kind of obvious, I wonder why don’t we have it? Should also be able to be an lvalue, though unless a() returns by-ref or return value is an object it may not do what one wanted.
Syntax to skip a parameter in a call, which then will be substituted with the default as defined by the function. Would come handy if you have function with many defaults, and you only want to change the last one but leave the rest alone – now you don’t have to look up the actual default’s values.
4. foo(“a” => 1, “c” => 2, “d” => 4)
Named parameters call, which allows you to specify parameters in arbitrary order by name. Would allow to build nice APIs which could accept wider ranges of parameters without resorting to using arrays. That’d also imply call_user_func_array() would accept named arguments.
The problem here might be what to do with unknown arguments – i.e. ones that the function did not expect. I guess the function could just ignore them.
5. $a = ["a", "b" => "c"];
I’d really like to have short array syntax. Yes, I know it was rejected so many times already, but I still like it.