The block instance is passed to the «*.phtml» templates as $block variable, not $this

This is a change from Magento 1.x where a template can access the block by the $this variable.

Let’s compare, for example, the standard catalog/product/list templates.

Magento 1.x:

Magento 2:

The $this variable is also available, but now it is a reference to a \Magento\Framework\View\TemplateEngine\Php instance

As you can see, a template also has the following local variables:

  • $fileName — its own file name
  • $tmpBlock — the parent block

A template has also has the local variables extracted from a $dictionary, it is set from the block’s _viewVars property

You can make a local variable available in a template by calling the \Magento\Framework\View\Element\Template::assign method:

See also: