Overriding Composer packages at the source level

I think we all have been in that situation where we had to extend some library class but there was something preventing us from doing it the normal way. A common example of this would be overriding private methods, or accessing private variables, or dealing with final classes. Another maybe less obvious case is when the class you want to extend is a hardwired dependency for code that you have no control over. In that that case, even if everything were public and overridable you would not be able to inject your subclass.

The scenario

In a previous blog post I wrote about wanting to override the function cleanBindings on the Builder class (source) from the Laravel framework. Extending the class itself is no problem because the function is public and the class is not marked final. The real problem here is that the Builder is a hard-coded dependency multiple levels deep in the framework code.

Now, as a disclaimer, there are other ways to accomplish this task that are a lot more conventional than what I am about to show you. And I generally do not recommend that you use my solution for production code. With that out of the way, let’s look at the mechanism.

Continue reading “Overriding Composer packages at the source level”