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Bug #73238 Function called from call_user_func() emits additional errors with newer PHPs
Submitted: 2016-10-04 01:10 UTC Modified: 2016-10-10 23:00 UTC
From: Assigned:
Status: Open Package: Unknown/Other Function
PHP Version: 7.0.11 OS: Irrelevant
Private report: No CVE-ID: None
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 [2016-10-04 01:10 UTC]
As you can see, newer PHPs have additional errors with call_user_func().

Warning: Parameter 1 to foo() expected to be a reference, value given in /in/oBnkT on line 10

Warning: Parameter 1 to foo() expected to be a reference, value given in /in/oBnkT on line 11

I found this errors from Wordpress installation.


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 [2016-10-10 22:10 UTC]
More test code (array) (string) (return value check)

Removing error from call_user_func('foo', $value), when $value is object, is preferred. foo() could be.

function foo(&$value) {
  if (is_string($value)) {
      $value = 'update $value';
  } else if (is_object($value)) {
      $value->some_var = 'add some_var';
  } else {
      trigger_error('You should pass string or object');
 [2016-10-10 22:15 UTC]
These changes are intentional -- they bring the call_user_func VM implementation in line with the actual function. call_user_func() categorically cannot pass references, so you get a warning. (At least this is part of it.)

However, in PHP 7.1 we have changed call_user_func() to still proceed with the call even if such a warning occurs. Previously the call would be aborted (which would be a BC break). Now it will continue as normal, only with the warning.
 [2016-10-10 23:00 UTC]
I agree that errors should be raised for bogus calls like

call_user_func('foo', 'abc'); // Literal cannot be reference
call_user_func('foo', [$o]); // There is no modifiable value
call_user_func('foo', array_slice($a, 0, 1)); // There is no modifiable value

when foo() is

function foo(&$value) { ... }

These call_user_func() calls cannot be pass by reference. I'll update and others to document behavior precisely.

The issue remained is error on

call_user_func('foo', $o);

$o could be actual value like $o="abc". (We also should consider functions return reference which should be able to be updated)

Could this error be fixed/removed? If not, I'll just document call_user_func() parameter cannot be a reference for any type of variables.
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