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<?php class Foo { public function & bar() { return ($this->var = $this->baz()); } public function baz() { return 'hello'; } } $foo = new Foo(); $var = $foo->bar(); var_dump($var); $var = & $foo->bar(); var_dump($var); var_dump($foo->baz());
Output for 5.1.0 - 5.3.29, 5.6.0 - 5.6.28, 7.0.0 - 7.1.0
Notice: Only variable references should be returned by reference in /in/nBIDp on line 9 string(5) "hello" Notice: Only variable references should be returned by reference in /in/nBIDp on line 9 string(5) "hello" string(5) "hello"
Output for hhvm-3.10.0 - 3.12.0
string(5) "hello" string(5) "hello" string(5) "hello"
Output for 5.4.0 - 5.5.38

Process exited with code 139.
Output for 5.0.0 - 5.0.5
Strict Standards: Only variable references should be returned by reference in /in/nBIDp on line 9 string(5) "hello" Strict Standards: Only variable references should be returned by reference in /in/nBIDp on line 9 string(5) "hello" string(5) "hello"
Output for 4.4.2 - 4.4.9
Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING, expecting T_OLD_FUNCTION or T_FUNCTION or T_VAR or '}' in /in/nBIDp on line 7
Process exited with code 255.
Output for 4.3.0 - 4.3.1, 4.3.5 - 4.4.1
Parse error: parse error, unexpected T_STRING, expecting T_OLD_FUNCTION or T_FUNCTION or T_VAR or '}' in /in/nBIDp on line 7
Process exited with code 255.
Output for 4.3.2 - 4.3.4
Parse error: parse error, expecting `T_OLD_FUNCTION' or `T_FUNCTION' or `T_VAR' or `'}'' in /in/nBIDp on line 7
Process exited with code 255.