Definition of a Class

A class is user defined data type that contains attributes or data members; and methods which work on the data members. (You will learn more about data members and methods in following tutorials. This tutorial focuses only on learning how to create a Class in PHP5) To create a class, you need to use the keyword class followed by the name of the class. The name of the class should be meaningful to exist within the system (See note on naming a class towards the end of the article). The body of the class is placed between two curly brackets within which you declare class data members/variables and class methods. Example of a Class:
class Customer { private $first_name, $last_name; public function setData($first_name, $last_name) { $this->first_name = $first_name; $this->last_name = $last_name; } public function printData() { echo $this->first_name . " : " . $this->last_name; } }

In the above program, Customer is the name of the class and $first_name/$last_name are attributes or data members. setData() and printData() are methods of a class. We will discuss more about attributes and members in the upcoming articles on PHP5 OOPS Tutorials series.

Definition of an Object An object is a living instance of a class. This means that an object is created from the definition of the class and is loaded in memory. A good analogy to understand this is to compare objects with humans - and understand that all of us (you and I) are objects. If God wants to send a human to earth, what is easy for Him to do? Create and define properties and attributes of each human separately or create a one time template and generate objects out if it. Therefore, this onetime template is a Class and you, I & everyone in this world is an object - that is a living instance of class Human. Creating Objects in PHP5 Class To create an object of a PHP5 class we use the keyword new. Below is the syntax style of how to create objects in PHP5:

$obj_name = new ClassName();

In the above syntax style, $obj_name is a variable in PHP. ‘new’ is the keyword which is responsible for creating a new instance of ClassName.

class Customer { private $first_name, $last_name; public function getData($first_name, $last_name) { $this->first_name = $first_name; $this->last_name = $last_name; } public function printData() { echo $this->first_name . " : " . $this->last_name; } } $c1 = new Customer(); $c2 = new Customer();

In the above example $c1 and $c2 are two objects of the Customer Class. Both these objects are allocated different blocks in the memory. Look at the diagram below:

Therefore, an object is a living instance of a class. Each object / living instance has its own memory space that can hold independent data values. Definition of an class attribute An attribute is also know as data members and is used to hold data of a class. The data that it holds are specific to the nature of the class in which it has been defined. For example, a Customer class would hold data related to a customer, an Order class would hold data related a an order.

Attributes can either be public, private or protected - the default being public. These are called Access Specifiers.

Example Code:
class Customer { private $first_name, $last_name; private $outstanding_amount = 0; //example of default value public function getData($first_name, $last_name) { $this->first_name = $first_name; $this->last_name = $last_name; } public function printData() { echo $this->first_name . " : " . $this->last_name; } } $c1 = new Customer();

Objects as Attributes In addition to declaring attributes as intrinsic data types (int, string, etc), you can also declare data members as objects of another class. This is called aggregation in Object Oriented Analysis and Design (OOAD). Lets look at an example below:
class Customer { private $first_name, $last_name; private $outstanding_amount = 0; //example of default value public function getData($first_name, $last_name) { $this->first_name = $first_name; $this->last_name = $last_name; } public function printData() { echo $this->first_name . " : " . $this->last_name; }

}

class Order { private $order_id; private $customer; public setCust(Customer $c) { $this->customer = $c; } }

$c1 = new Customer(); $o1 = new Order(); $o1->setCust($c1); //storing $c1 object in $o1 order object

In the above example setCust() method accepts a Customer type of parameter which is stored internally in the $customer data member. The advantage of the above method is that it allows you to change the customer object independently of the order object. Imagine having to add 3 - 4 new data members to the Customer object. You only have to modify the Customer object without having the need to modify the Order Object.

Definition of Access Specifiers Access specifiers specify the level of access that the outside world (i.e. other class objects, external functions and global level code) have on the class methods and class data members. Access specifiers can either be public, private or protected. Why do we need Access specifiers Access specifiers are used as a key component of Encapsulation and Data Hiding. By using either of the access specifiers mentioned above i.e. public, private or protected you can hide or show the internals of your class to the outside world. Explanation of each access specifier 1. Private 2. Protected 3. Public 1. Private A private access specifier is used to hide the data member or member function to the outside world. This means that only the class that defines such data member and member functions have access them. Look at the example below: Example:
class Customer { private $name; public function setName($name) { $this->name = $name; } public function getName() { return $this->name; } }

//this works. the following line echo $c->getName() will display the name. $c->name = "New Name" . Look at the example below: Example: class Customer { public $name. A data member or member function declared as protected will be accessed by its class and its base class but not from the outside world (i. 3. //error. Therefore. echo $c->name.e. // this does not give an error. We can also say that a protected data member is public for the class . echo $c->name.$c = new Customer(). 2. $c->setName("Sunil Bhatia"). echo $c->name will work as it has been declared as public and hence can be accessed by class member functions and the rest of the script. as the methods of the class have access //to the private data members or methods In the above example. } } $c = new Customer(). In the above example. rest of the script). public function setName($name) { $this->name = $name. } public function getName() { return $this->name. $c->setName("Sunil Bhatia"). $name cannot be accessed from outside the class //$name can only be accessed from within the class echo $c->getName(). Protected A protected access specifier is mainly used with inheritance. // this will work as it is public. Public A public access specifier provides the least protection to the internal data members and member functions. echo $c->name will give you an error as $name in class Customer has been declared private and hence only be accessed by its member functions internally. A public access specifier allows the outside world to access/modify the data members directly unlike the private access specifier.

// this does not work as $name is protected and hence // only available in Customer and DiscountCustomer class In the above example. } public function getName() { return $this->name. $discount) { $this->name = $name. Look at the example below: class Customer { protected $name.that declares it and it’s child class. $dc->setData("Sunil Bhatia". This works // as it is a protected variable $this->discount = $discount. but is private for the rest of the program (outside world). } } $dc = new DiscountCustomer(). Examples could be a saveCustomer() method in the class Customer or a printDocument() in the Document class. public function setName($name) { $this->name = $name.e. . Important Note of Access Specifier in PHP5 In PHP5.10). echo $dc->name will not work work $name has been defined as a protected variable and hence it is only available in Customer and DiscountCustomer class. they provide the necessary code for the class in which it is defined. public function setData($name. } } class DiscountCustomer extends Customer { private $discount. This means that if you don’t specify an access specifier for a data member or method then the default ‘public’ is applicable Definition of an class method A class method/functions is the behavior/functionality of a class i. echo $dc->name. //this is storing $name to the Customer //class $name variable. access specifiers are public by default.

In the above example the setName() method accepts a customer’s name and validates to check if $name is blank. otherwise it stores the $name in the $this->name of the class and returns true. If $name is blank the setName() function returns false. } } $c1 = new Customer(). public functionsetName($name) { $this->name = $name. $name. . In the above example setName() is the class method of the Customer class. } } } $c1 = new Customer(). return true. it’s just that class functions are declared inside classes and accessed using the -> (arrow operator / dereferencing operator).e. $c1->setName("Sunil Bhatia"). Example Code: class Customer { private $name. $c1->setName("Sunil Bhatia"). public function setName($name) { if(trim($name) != "") { $this->name = $name. } else { return false.Methods act (perform operations) on the data members of the class and can be declared as private or public. A class method is exactly similar to PHP functions. protected or private. class Customer { private $name. Methods can also be declared as either public. The setName() class method is responsible for accepting the name of the customer and storing it in the internal data member i.

In PHP4. class Customer { public function __construct() { //code } } Example class Customer { private $first_name. the name of the constructor was the same name as that of the class. This naming style has been introduced in PHP5. $last_name = "". PHP5 searches for __construct() first. $outstanding_amount = 0. private $outstanding_amount. public function __construct() { $first_name = "". } . opening database connections or socket connections.Definition of a Constructor A constructor is a special function of a class that is automatically executed whenever an object of a class gets instantiated. It’s special because it is automatically executed or called when an object of a class is created. However. In PHP5 a constructor is defined by implementing the __construct() method. private $last_name. When an object is created. In simple terms. PHP5 to be backward complaint also supports the PHP4 rule. if you define both. otherwise it will execute the same class name function. PHP5 will first search for __construct() method and execute it if available. it is needed to setup the object before it can be used. If __construct() is not defined it then searches for a method with the same that of the class. etc. Why do we need a Constructor? It is needed as it provides an opportunity for doing necessary setup operations like initializing class variables.

__construct() defined starting from line no 7. } $c1 = new Customer(). In the above example on line number 26. "\n". $outstanding_amount) $this->first_name = $first_name. we create a new object of the Customer class. At this point PHP5 searches the Customer class to see if a constructor has been defined. Example: class Customer { private $first_name. it calls the constructor method i. " " . private $outstanding_amount. $outstanding_amount). $this->outstanding_amount = $outstanding_amount. $last_name. $this->outstanding_amount . Unlike other programming languages where overloaded argument constructors is possible. $this->last_name . echo "Outstanding Amount : " . The __construct() method sets the $first_name and $last_name to blank and sets the $outstanding_amount to zero.e. $this->last_name = $last_name. the ‘new’ operator is responsible for creating the Customer class. } public function printData() { . public function __construct($first_name. "\n".{ public function setData($first_name."Bhatia". $c1->setData("Sunil". Therefore. $this->last_name = $last_name. } public function printData() { echo "Name : " . } Parameterized Constructor or Argument Constructor A parameterized or argument constructor is a constructor which accepts values in the form of arguments in the constructor. $first_name . } { public function setData($first_name. $last_name. $outstanding_amount) { $this->setData($first_name. $outstanding_amount) $this->first_name = $first_name.0). in PHP5 you cannot overload constructors. $last_name. private $last_name. $last_name. $this->outstanding_amount = $outstanding_amount.

The constructor now takes 3 arguments and stores them in the internal private variable $first_name. it goes out of scope.0). . In PHP4 however. the concept of a destructor did not exist."Bhatia". echo "Outstanding Amount : " . "\n". In the above example on line number 24. Important Note: A destructor cannot take any arguments. $this->last_name . $last_name = "". “Bhatia” and zero to the constructor defined on line number starting 7. class Customer { public function __destructor() { //code } } Example: class Customer { private $first_name. A PHP5 destructor is defined by implementing the __destruct() method. " " . $this->outstanding_amount . $last_name and $outstanding_amount respectively. 2. when you unset it or when the program execution is over. we create a new object $c1 and pass values “Sunil”. when you specifically set it to null. "\n".echo "Name : " . 3. } An object of a class is destroyed Means 1. public function __construct() { $first_name = "". $first_name . private $last_name. } $c1 = new Customer("Sunil". Definition of a Destructor A destructor is a special function of a class that is automatically executed whenever an object of a class is destroyed. private $outstanding_amount.

$this->outstanding_amount = $outstanding_amount. $order_id and $customer object. } public function printData() { echo "Name : " . $this->last_name = $last_name. } } class Order { private $order_id. unset($this->customer).0). echo "Outstanding Amount : " . $first_name . The argument constructor of the Order class takes two parameters i. $c1). " " . $c1->setData("Sunil". In real OOAD practice most of the data members that you define would either be private or protected (more on this will be covered in the tutorial on Access specifiers). $outstanding_amount) $this->first_name = $first_name. $this->customer = $customer. therefore to access data of such data members . we create a new object of the Order class.} { $outstanding_amount = 0. } public function __destruct() { unset($this->order_id). the object goes out of scope because the program stops execution after line 45 and hence the destructor is automatically called. In the above example on line number 45. The reason why we need an accessor method is to be able to read the value of a property/attribute in a class object. public function setData($first_name. $c1 = new Customer(). } } $order_id = "L0001". $o = new Order($order_id. private $customer. After the program completes its execution."Bhatia". $customer) { $this->order_id = $order_id. "\n". "\n". Accessor Methods: Accessor methods are also know as getter methods.e. public function __construct($order_id. $last_name . $outstanding_amount . $last_name.

Mutator Methods: Mutator methods are opposite to accessor methods.that have been defined as either private or protected will require an implementation of accessor or getter methods. //mutator method public function setName($name) { if(trim($name) != "") { $this->name = $name. } else { return false. Output: Sunil Bhatia In the above example the setName() method accepts a customer’s name and validates to check if $name is blank. } } $c1 = new Customer(). Lets look at an example of accessor and mutator methods below: class Customer { private $name. otherwise it stores the $name in the $this->name of the class and returns true. Note: To make a property or data member as non-read only. Note: To make a property or data member as read only. echo $c1->getName(). you should not provide a setter or mutator method. you should not provide a getter or accessor method. If $name is blank the setName() function returns false. $c1->setName("Sunil Bhatia"). The reason why you should provide a mutator method is to provide necessary validation on the data that is to be stored in the data member of the class. } } //accessor method public getName() { return $this->name. Mutator methods provides a mechanism to store data in data members that have either been declared as private or protected. The getName() returns the name stored in the $name data member of the $c1 object. . return true.

Person. Behaviour of instanceOf operator in inheritance class Customer extends Person { . In this case $p1 is a Person type of object and hence the output is True. else echo "False". This check can also happen when an object is compared with a class name. Please note that line number 8 can also be written as if($p2 instanceof $p1) and will yield the same output. } $p1 = new Person().. instanceOf is used to check if two objects passed as operands belong to the same class.. .PHP5 introduces a new operator by the name of instanceOf. In the above example. look at the example below: class Person { . if($p1 instanceof Person) echo "True".e. In this case $p1 and $p2 both belong to the same class Person and hence the output is True. In the above example... In PHP4 a similar functionality existed with a method is_a(). else echo "False". which has been replaced by the instanceOf operator in PHP5. } $p1 = new Person().. $c1 = new Customer(). } $p1 = new Person(). $p2 = new Person(). You can also use instanceOf operator to compare an object with the name of the class. on line number 7 $p1 object is being compared to check if its a Person type of object. we are comparing to check if $p1 and $p2 belong to the same class i.. class Person { . if($p1 instanceof $p2) echo "True".

The next logical question is if we can create an object of the Customer class and using the scope resolution operator access the constant. However the reverse is not possible. In the above example. Observe that we don’t need to create an object of the class to make use of the constant. In the above example. Output: Echo from showConstant() : Anything . Outside the class definition we echo the value of the constant by using the scope resolution operator (::) like this Customer::TYPES. } } $c = new Customer().e. Customer::TYPES. const is a keyword and TYPES is the name of the constant. Constants To declare a constant in a class. on line number 8 $c1 child class object is being compared with $p1 which is a parent class object. we cannot compare if($p1 instanceof $c1) and will result in an error. public function showConstant() { echo "Echo from showConstant() : " . else echo "False". Example of accessing Constants within a function class Customer { const TYPES = "Anything". const. look at the example below: class Customer { const TYPES = "Anything". The answer is no. This is possible because Customer class is a child of the Person Class. $c->showConstant(). Customer::TYPES.if($c1 instanceof $p1) echo "True". reason .because a constant belongs to the class definition scope and not to an object. PHP5 provides developers with a new keyword i. just that the Customer class is a specialized form of the Person class and therefore this becomes possible. } echo "Types are : " .

5. 3. It allows a subclass / child class to share/inherit the attributes and behaviors of a base-class or parent class. private $address. } public getCustomerName() { return $this->getName(). 4. private $record_date. Objects & Expressions cannot be assigned to a constant. Look at the example below: class Person { private $name. These inherited attributes and behaviors are usually modified by means of extension. } } class Customer extends Person { private $customer_id. In PHP5 only single inheritance is allowed. Arrays. . public & protected) Definition of Inheritance: Inheritance is the mechanism of deriving a new class from an existing class. The child class Customer extends the method getName() and calls it in the getCustomerName() method of the Customer class. class Customer extends from the Person class. A class constant cannot have <a>access specifiers</a> assigned to it (private. 2.Some observations on Constants 1. public getCustomerId() { return $this->customer_id. PHP5 Inheritance To inherit in PHP5. A class constant can only be accessed via the scope resolution operator (::) executed on the class name. you should use the keyword ‘extends’ in the class definition. This means that Customer class is the child class and the Person base class. Only a string or numeric value can be assigned to a constant. Variables defined as constants cannot be changed. public function getName() { return $this->name.// getName() is in Person } } In the above example.

$age) { $this->name = $name. the statement."28"). public A public access specifier allows the data members and methods to be access from anywhere in the script. public $age. $c->name. echo "Name : " . Lets look at an example below: class Customer { private $name. public function __construct($name. public $age.Inheritance and Access Specifiers You can refer to the Access specifiers tutorial to understand what it means. public and protected behave in Inheritance: 1. Note: When you define a method as private that method can only be called from within that class and not from outside that is the global level script. private. $age) { . $c->name. $this->age = $age. public function __construct($name. causes an error as we are trying to access $name that has been declared as a private member variable. //causes an error In the above example. private A private access specifier is used to hide data and member functions. 2. A method or data member declared as private can only be accessed by the class itself and neither the outside program nor the derived class can have access to it. echo “Name : ” . Let’s understand the use of Access Specifiers with context to Inheritance. } } $c = new Customer("Sunil". Lets look at how three access specifiers viz. Access specifiers specify the level of access that the outside world (other objects and functions) have on the data members / member functions of the class. Please note that all data members and member functions are public by default. Lets look at an example below: class Customer { private $name. We can however access the $age data member without any limitation as its public.

//prints 28 In the above example. echo “Age : ” . } } $c = new Customer("Sunil".age. //this causes error as $name is protected and not public In the above example. raises an error as $name in the Person class has been declared as protected and not public. $c->. $this->age = $age. in the statement towards the end. $c->age. class Person { protected $name. } } $c1 = new Customer(). } class Customer extends Person { function setName($name) { //this works as $name is protected in Person $this->name = $name. prints 28 on the screen as $age is a public variable and hence can be accessed from anywhere in the script. $c1->name = “Sunil”. This access is only possible because the $name variable has been declared as protected. protected A protected access specifier allows the derived class to access the data member or member functions of the base class. Had this been private. Further. 3. . echo "Age : " . $c1->setName("Sunil")."28"). in the setName() function is referring to the $name data member of the Person class. the statement. whereas disallows global access to other objects and functions. $c1->name = "Sunil". Please note that if you declare any data member or method without a access specifier it is considered as ‘public’. $this->name = $name. the statement. the above statement would have raised an error.$this->name = $name.

} } class Swift extends Bird { public function fly() { echo "Fly method of the Swift Class called". .PHP5 Inheritance .Method Overriding Lets learn how to override methods in PHP5. Definition of Method Overriding: Method overriding is when the function of base class is re-defined with the same name. Eagle and Swift. $s = new Swift(). The reason to override method is to provide additional functionality over and above what has been defined in the base class. lets define method overriding. function signature and access specifier (either public or protected) of the derived class. but each of the specialized classes viz Eagle and Swift will have its own style of flying and hence would need to override the flying functionality. Lets look at an example with Bird: class Bird { public function fly() { echo "Fly method of Bird Class called". Imagine that you have a class by the name of Bird from which you derive two child classes viz. $e->fly(). we create two objects of class Eagle and Swift. $s->fly(). Output: Fly method of the Eagle Class called Fly method of the Swift Class called In the above example. but before we understand how to override methods in PHP5. The Bird class has methods defined to eat. echo "\n". } } $e = new Eagle(). } } class Eagle extends Bird { public function fly() { echo "Fly method of the Eagle Class called". Each of these classes have overridden the method fly() and have provided their own implementation of the fly() method that has been extended from the Bird class. fly. The manner in which they have been extended the Bird class fly() method is not called as both these classes have provided a new functionality for the fly() method. etc.

} } class Customer extends Person{ public function showData() { parent::showData(). $c1->calculateAge("something"). $c->showData(). } } $c = new Customer().Another example of function overriding in Inheritance class Person { function calculateAge($dob) { echo "calculateAge called of Person Class\n". Look at the example below: class Person { public function showData() { echo "This is Person's showData()\n". . Output: calculateAge called of Customer Class calculateAge called of Person Class PHP5 Inheritance . } } class Customer extends Person { function calculateAge($dob) { echo "calculateAge called of Customer Class\n". To invoke a parent class method you should use the keyword parent followed by the scope resolution operator followed by the name of the method as mentioned below: parent::function_name(). } } $c1 = new Customer(). echo "This is Customer's showData()\n". it’s functionality is completely hidden unless it has been explicitly invoked from the child class. $p1->calculateAge("something More").Invoking parent methods When you override a method of the base class. $p1 = new Person().

} } $c = new Customer(). When the program executes the showData() method if the Customer class is called which inturn calls the showData() function of the parent class. refer to the example below: class Person{ public function __construct() { echo "This is Person's __construct()\n". } public function __destruct() { parent::__destruct(). PHP5 Inheritance .Invoking parent Constructor and Destructor We can get the parent PHP5 constructor and PHP5 Destructor to be invoked in the same way as invoking the parent method. Output: This is Person’s __construct() This is Customer’s __construct() This is Person’s __destruct() This is Customer’s __destruct() What is an exception? . } } class Customer extends Person{ public function __construct() { parent::__construct(). look at the way in which the showData() function in the Customer child class is invoking the the Person parent class’s showData() function. echo "This is Customer's __construct()\n". After the parent class’s showData() function complets its execution the remaining code in showData() function of the Customer class is executed. echo "This is Customer's __destruct()\n". } public function __destruct() { echo "This is Person's __destruct()\n".Output: This is Person’s showData() This is Customer’s showData() In the above example.

the method check() is called between the try {} block. } } In the above example. The exception class accepts two parameters. Anatomy of PHP5 Exception class class Exception { protected protected protected protected $message. private $string. The exception could either be raised by the system or the program itself it the exception cannot be handled and the caller script/function needs to be informed about the same. public function __toString(). The left parameter is a string that is the error message and the right parameter is the integer error code that you wish to assign to that error. $file. Look at the example below. try { check(). $line. } function check() { if(some error condition) { throw new Exception("Error String". . The try{} block is the area where you will place your code that could raise an exception.Error Code). $e->getCode(). public function __construct($message = null. echo "Code : " . $code = 0). } catch(Exception $e) { echo "Message : " . Below the try{} block is the catch() {} block. Within the catch() {} block you will place your logic to either fix the issue or log the error. $code. The catch block expects the Exception type of object as a parameter. In the function check(). The statement following ‘throw’ is the syntax of creating a new object of Exception type. $e->getMessage(). we raise an Exception using the ‘throw’ keyword. The use of a try…catch block PHP5 introduces the try…catch block to trap exceptions. final public function getCode().An exception is a logical/system error that occurs during the normal execution of a script. private $trace.

echo "Error Code : " $e->getCode(). $code = 0) { $t_message = "Exception raised in CustomerException ". } try { testException().= "with message : " . except for __construct and __toString(). In the above example. public function getTrace(). } } function testException() { throw new CustomerException("CustomerException has been raised". } catch(CustomerException $e) { echo "Error Message : " $e->getMessage(). } Output: Error Message : CustomerException has been raised Error Code : 101 What is an Abstract Class? . public function getTraceAsString().101). $code). $t_message . private __clone().final final final final final final } public function getMessage(). public function getLine(). Extending the Exception class You can also extend the exception class as follows: class CustomerException extends Exception { public function __construct($message = null. no other method can be overridden as all other methods are ‘final’. $message. parent::__construct($t_message. public function getFile().

$l. the keyword abstract is to be used e. public setData($h. length. $p) { parent::setData($h. $w. $w. the method getPrice() in class Furniture has been declared as Abstract. } } In the above example. The BookShelf class is a child of the Furniture class and hence provides the function body for getPrice(). $w. } class BookShelf extends Furniture { private $price. public function setData($h. This means that its the responsibility of the child class to provide the functionality of getPrice(). $this->price = $p. $l). The child class must provide the functionality not provided by the abstract class or else the child class also becomes abstract. only objects of concrete class can be created To define a class as Abstract. abstract class ClassName {} Example of Abstract Class abstract class Furniture { private $height.e. Objects of an abstract and interface class cannot be created i.g. $l) { $this->height = $h. Private methods cannot be abstract . $this->width = $w. } //this is the function body of the parent abstract method public function getPrice() { return $this->price. width. } //this function is declared as abstract and hence the function //body will have to be provided in the child class public abstract function getPrice(). $this->length = $l.An abstract class is a class with or without data members that provides some functionality and leaves the remaining functionality for its child class to implement.

To extend from an Interface. //will cause error What is an Interface? An interface is a contract between unrelated objects to perform a common function. this means that it leaves for classes implementing an interface to define its behaviour. abstract class BaseClass { private abstract function myFun(). } } class Indexer { public function readAndIndex(Storable $s) { $textData = $s->getContentsAsText(). $i->readAndIndex($p). } class DerivedClass extends BaseClass { public function myFun() { //logic here } } $d = new DerivedClass(). This is because a private method cannot be inherited. An interface enables you to specify that an object is capable of performing a certain function.If a method is defined as abstract then it cannot be declared as private (it can only be public or protected). We can have a class extend from more than one Interface. interface Storable { function getContentsAsText(). . } } $p = new Document(). keyword implements is used. //do necessary logic to index echo $textData. } class Document implements Storable { public function getContentsAsText() { return "This is Text of the Document\n". but it does not necessarily tell you how the object does so. $i = new Indexer().

. we declare a method getContentsAsText() in the Document class. The meaning with Object Oriented languages changes. The child class extended from an abstract class should logically be related Interface 1. It only contains definitions of the methods 2. This way any class if it implements the method getContentsAsText() can get indexed Difference between Abstract Class and Interface Abstract Classes 1. This is how polymorphism is achieved in languages like C where in a function sum(int. Document and the Indexer class are two independant classes. In C you have two methods with the same name that have different function signatures and hence by passing the correct function signature you can invoke the correct method. hence we can call getContentsAsText() method on the object of Document. An interface cannot contain any functionality. Polymorphism means many forms. The Indexer class is designed to index the contents of any text. Poly (meaning many) and morph (meaning forms). The derived class may or may not override the concrete functions defined in base class 3. Completely different and non-related classes can be logically be grouped together using an interface Meaning of Polymorphism Polymorphism is derived from two Greek words. float). The derived class must provide code for all the methods defined in the interface 3. With Object Oriented language polymorphism happens: When the decision to invoke a function call is made by inspecting the object at runtime it is called Polymorphism Why method polymorphism cannot be achieved The reason why polymorphism for methods is not possible in PHP is because you can have a method that accepts two parameters and call it by passing three parameters. Therefore the method sum() has many forms depending on the parameters being passed to it. An abstract class can provide some functionality and leave the rest for derived class 2. int) differs from sum(float. Using the Storable interface above.In the above example. Because the Indexer class is only concerned with the TEXT. This is because PHP is not strict and contains methods like func_num_args() and func_get_arg() to find the number of arguments passed and get a particular parameter.

Lets look at an example: class BaseClass { public function myMethod() { echo "BaseClass method called". In the above example. this is why method polymorphism is not possible. This is because PHP is not strict and contains methods like func_num_args() and func_get_arg() to find the number of arguments passed and get a particular parameter. } } class DerivedClass extends BaseClass { public function myMethod() { echo "DerivedClass method called". } $c = new DerivedClass().Because PHP is not type strict and allows variable arguments. Within the processClass() the method myMethod() is being called. The parameter accepted in processClass() is that of BassClass. } } function processClass(BaseClass $c) { $c->myMethod(). Why method polymorphism cannot be achieved The reason why polymorphism for methods is not possible in PHP is because you can have a method that accepts two parameters and call it by passing three parameters. processClass($c). The reason why this happens is because the object of DerievedClass is being passed and hence the method myMethod() of DerievedClass will be called. polymorphism is possible with class methods. But. object $c of class DerievedClass is executed and passed to the processClass() method. . it would not be wrong to assume that myMethod() of class BaseClass will be called. myMethod() will be called on object DerievedClass. The basis of polymorphism is Inheritance and overridden methods. PHP 5 Polymorphism Since PHP 5 introduces the concept of Type Hinting. Since the method is being called on the class variable of BaseClass. as per the definition “When the decision to invoke a function call is made by inspecting the object at runtime it is called Polymorphism”.

In the above example. this is why method polymorphism is not possible. PHP magic methods .Because PHP is not type strict and allows variable arguments. } $c = new DerivedClass(). processClass($c). PHP 5 Polymorphism Since PHP 5 introduces the concept of Type Hinting. } } function processClass(BaseClass $c) { $c->myMethod(). myMethod() will be called on object DerievedClass. Lets look at an example: class BaseClass { public function myMethod() { echo "BaseClass method called". But. object $c of class DerievedClass is executed and passed to the processClass() method. The reason why this happens is because the object of DerievedClass is being passed and hence the method myMethod() of DerievedClass will be called. } } class DerivedClass extends BaseClass { public function myMethod() { echo "DerivedClass method called". Since the method is being called on the class variable of BaseClass. as per the definition “When the decision to invoke a function call is made by inspecting the object at runtime it is called Polymorphism”. it would not be wrong to assume that myMethod() of class BaseClass will be called. The parameter accepted in processClass() is that of BassClass. Within the processClass() the method myMethod() is being called. polymorphism is possible with class methods. The basis of polymorphism is Inheritance and overridden methods.

Last Name = Bhatia. “. In the background the magic method __toString() is automatically called when such a conversion happens. $this->lastName . $this->firstName . $email) { $this->firstName = $firstName. $lastName. Email = ” .com See how in this example $c Customer Object got converted into a string type when used with the dot (. $c. } public function __toString() { return “Debug message from Customer Class : First Name = ” .PHP5 provides a magic method by the name of __toString() (double underscore followed by toString()) which is useful for debugging purposes. } } $c = new Customer(”Sunil”. $lastName. $this->email = $email.”email@domain.) concatenation operator. ?> Output: Customer Object is >> Debug message from Customer Class : First Name = Sunil.”Bhatia”. Email = email@domain. $this->email. echo “Customer Object is >>” .com”). Many applications are written to write object states in a log file. The __toString() method is automatically called when an object in PHP5 is converted into a string for the purpose of display or concatenation Following is the example of the __toString() method: <?php class Customer { private $firstName. public function __construct($firstName. “. Security Tip: Be careful not to include sensitive data as part of the output as you could compromise security by leaking secure information. $email. Last Name = ” . $this->lastName = $lastName. therefore you should ensure that sensitive information like Credit Card information. etc is not made available through the magic method __toString() .

$c->name = “Sunil”. <?php class Customer { public $name. Look at an example below. } $c = new Customer(). // $name is set because its public $c->email = “email@domain.com to the $email variable. //assigning email@domain. } public function __get($dt) { return $this->data[$dt]. } } $c = new Customer(). . private $data = array(). But. PHP engine provides two magic methods __get() and __set(). //assigning email@domain. // $name is set because its public $c->email = “email@domain. Because of the above limitation. __set() allows you to provide functionality to validate data being stored. This also holds true for using class members. See example below: <?php class Customer { public $name. $c->name = “Sunil”.com”.com to the $email variable. $vl) { $this->data[$dt] = $vl.com”. with PHP this works perfectly well as you can assign values to an undefined variable. public function __set($dt. __get() is used when value from an undefined variable is to be read and __set() is used when a value is to be assigned to a undefined variable of a class.By default PHP is a Loosely typed language and therefore it is not necessary to declare variables before using them. ?> Ideally in a strict language this would have been an error.

Tip: It is possible to stop this behavior of PHP to assign values to undefined issues.1). __get() method is called and the name email is passed in the $dt of the __get() method.the value of which is the name of the variable that the program wants to test if the variable is set or not. The magic method __unset() method receives an argument .com is passed to $vl variable of the __set() method.com is assigned to the undefined variable $email. email@domain. //this will cause an exception to be raised ?> magic methods __isset() and __unset() These methods are automatically called internally when isset() and unset() is called on undeclared data members. The solution is that you raise an exception from within __set() method.e.echo $c->email. When you echo $c->email. The __get() method works in the similar fashion. The magic method __isset() method receives an argument . $vl) { throw new Exception(”Cannot assign values to undefined variables”. Look at the code below: <? class Customer { private $name. public function __set($dt.com”. . ?> In the above example when email@domain. To this __set() method the name of the variable is passed into $dt variable of __set() method and the value i. The next step is to store these values into the $data array so that you could retrieve it later. the magic method __set() is called.the value of which is the name of the variable that the program wants to unset. $c->email = “email@domain. } } $c = new Customer().

$c->name has been set or not using the PHP method isset(). The magic method __call() is to undeclared methods what __get() and __set() are to undeclared data member. $c->name. The program ties to check if the undeclared variable i. ‘name’ and unsets the internal array $data[’name’]. when the program calls unset() on the undeclared variable i. $vl) { $this->data[$dt] = $vl. public function __set($dt. } public function __unset($dt) { return unset($this->data[dt]).e. echo isset($c->name).e. the PHP5 magic method __unset() is invoked that takes the name of the undeclared variable i. $c->name. In the example above the script creates a new Customer Object. } public function __isset($dt) { return isset($this->data[$dt]). Since $c->name is an undeclared variable the PHP5 magic method __isset() is invoked that takes the name of the undeclared variable i. The undeclared variable is handled by the magic method __set(). } public function __get($dt) { return $this->data[$dt].e. } } $c = new Customer(). Similarly.e. ‘name’ and checks if the internal array $data[’name’] is set or not. .e.Look at the example below: class Customer { private $data = array(). echo unset($c->name).”\n”. The program assigns a string value to an undeclared variable i. These methods are automatically called internally when the program tires to execute a method that has not been defined within the class at the time of development. $c->name = “Sunil Bhatia”..

The magic method __call() is internally executed which accepts two parameters. $c->setName("Sunil". you can provide code to handle calls to undeclared method. To disallow programs to call an undeclared method. $args) { var_dump($name). you should raise an exception from within __call() magic method. Look at the example below: class Customer { public function __call($name. var_dump($args).10). $args) { throw new Exception("Undeclared method execution not allowed". The first parameter ‘$name’ contains the name of the method i.The magic method __call() takes two arguments. echo "\n".e ‘Sunil’ & ‘Bhatia’. Output: string(7) “setName” array(2) { [0]=> string(5) “Sunil” [1]=> string(6) “Bhatia” } In the example above. $c->setName is called. Look at the example below: class Customer { public function __call($name."Bhatia"). The first argument is the name of the undeclared method invoked by the program and the second is an array that contains a list of parameters passed to the undeclared array. echo "\n". ’setName’ and the second parameter ‘$args’ contains the arguments passed to the ’setName’ method i. } } $c = new Customer().e. Using this method. an object of the Customer class is created and an undeclared method viz. } } .

we only need the customers. In the example displayed above.php”. Array) #1 D:sunilbwebsiteprogsmagic_call.php(11): Customer->setName(’Sunil’."Bhatia"). orders.. To avoid this performance hit. $c->setName("Sunil". when the script calls an undeclared variable $c->setName().php is not needed. This means that we should only have included the customer.catch statements) Many people debate that the magic method __autoload() causes a performance overhead. an exception is raised and the execution of the program stops there (unless we use the try. Each time the above script is executed. Well. In fact. what if during execution on the basis of a condition.php on line 6 In the above program. an instance of class Orders would have to be created.php is included. Using the magic method __autoload has the beneficial side effect of requiring strict naming conventions for files that hold class definitions. Look at the example below: include “customer. $c = new Customer(). Therefore. There is no performance penalty to pay. Output: Fatal error: Uncaught exception ‘Exception’ with message ‘Undeclared method execution not allowed’ in D:sunilbwebsiteprogsmagic_call.php file. Look at the example below: . we would have to do additional programming to ensure that the file orders.$c = new Customer(). This is the reason why magic method __autoload() should be used.php But this causes performance issues. ‘Bhatia’) #2 {main} thrown in D:sunilbwebsiteprogsmagic_call.php:6 Stack trace: #0 [internal function]: Customer->__call(’setName’. customer. an instance of class Customer is created. This is explained below. that is not the case.php”.php is loaded only when needed. The file orders. there may be performance improvements if not all classes are used all the time. But. On executing the magic method __call().php file. Therefore you need to include both the files i. include “orders. the magic method __call() is executed.php and orders.e.

Therefore.php (with capital 'C') } $c = new Customer(). the PHP engine checks to see if the file Customer.php.’php’ file i. The __autoload() method is called only once for each new class that needs to be loaded. magic method __autoload() is called with the parameter $class containing value ‘Customer’. private $credit_card_number. you should not include it in the array.php is loaded. '. The __autoload() magic method accepts a parameter which is the name of the class that needs to be loaded Therefore.php has not been loaded. This means that if you don’t wish to serialize a particular class member.e. Subsequent instantiation of the Customer class object will not call the __autoload() method again. the PHP engine does not have to parse and compile an unnecessary file. Therefore. In the above program. we don’t explicitly include customer. as stated earlier. Therefore.e. The require method tries to load $class. it in turn calls the magic method __autoload(). unless the class is needed . on the line when an instance of the customer class is created i. this offers performance improvements in your scripts because.php and orders. The array should contain a list of class members that should be serialized. object $c.function __autoload($class) { require $class . public function setName($name) { $this->name = $name. When an instance of the customer class is to be created. Working with the magic method __sleep() __sleep() magic method is called when the object of a class is about to be serialized.files are not loaded. .php'. Customer. Within the __autoload() method we call the ‘require’ method. //is substituted as require Customer. This magic method __sleep() does not accept any parameter and returns an array. } public function getName() { return $this->name. the __autoload() method has its beneficial side effect of requiring strict file naming convention. } public function setCC($cc) { $this->credit_card_number = $cc. Look at the example below: class Customer { private $name.php file. It does not raise an warning on finding that Customer.

The __wakeup() method is responsible for setup operations after an object has been unserialized. //because of this. private $credit_card_number. It is called when the object of a class is about to be unserialized. Look at the example below: class Customer { private $name. Working with the magic method __wakeup() __wakeup() magic method is the opposite of the __sleep() method. } public function __sleep() { return array("name"). $c->setName("Sunil")."\n". $data = serialize($c). echo $data. } ."\n". Output: O:8:”Customer”:1:{s:14:” Customer name”. only name is serialized } } $c = new Customer().} public function getCC() { return $this->credit_card_number. This magic method __wakeup() does not accept any parameter nor returns anything. } public function getCC() { return $this->credit_card_number.} In the above example. } public function setCC($cc) { $this->credit_card_number = $cc.s:5:”Sunil”. } public function getName() { return $this->name. This is because the __sleep() magic method returned an array containing only the ‘name’ data member. $c->setCC("1234567890123456"). public function setName($name) { $this->name = $name. you can see that the serialized string data only contains the name of the Customer Object.

you can see that after the $c object has been serialized and the output stored in $data variable. } } } $c = new Customer()."\n". Output: object(Customer)#2 (2) { [”name:private”]=> string(5) “Sunil” [”credit_card_number:private”]=> string(16) “1234567890123456″ } In the above example. When we execute $obj2 = $obj1. This means that $obj1 and $obj2 point to the same memory space. . $obj2 gets created. the reference of $obj1 is assigned to $obj2. } public function __wakeup() { if($this->name == "Sunil") { //you would ideally fetch CC data from Database $this->credit_card_number = "1234567890123456".public function __sleep() { return array("name"). var_dump(unserialize($data)). In the __wakeup() method you should ideally make a database call to fetch data of the missing member variable. $data = serialize($c). $c->setName("Sunil"). With regular variables $a = $b means that a new variable $a gets created that contains the value of $b. To clone an object means to create a duplicate of an object. the __wakeup() method is called. Before the object is unserizlied and object created. Look at the diagram below.e. $c->setCC("1234567890123456"). we use the $data variable and pass it to the unserialize(). With objects $obj2 = $obj1 does not mean that a new object i. This means that 2 variables get created.

when you set a new name in the $c2 object . changes made to one object are also reflected in the other. Output: Vishal Vishal In the above example.Lets look at an example where only references are assigned to another object: class Customer { private $name. clone is used. After the above line is executed $obj2 with a new memory space is created with the data members having the same value as that of $obj1. To clone an PHP5 Object a special keyword i. to create a new $obj2 object we must clone an object to create a new one."\n". $c2 has the reference of $c1. } } $c1 = new Customer(). } public function getName() { return $this->name. //only reference or memory assigned to $c2 $c2->setName("Vishal"). echo $c1->getName(). therefore. Therefore. public function setName($name) { $this->name = $name. $c2 = $c1."\n". $c1->setName("Sunil"). when an object is assigned as a reference. Example below: $obj2 = clone $obj1. . Therefore. This is also referred to as shallow copy. echo $c2->getName().e.$c1 object changes as well.

} } $c1 = new Customer(). echo $c1->getName(). $c->setName($this->name). This is internally represented as $c2 = $c1. return $c."\n". So. $c1->setName("Sunil"). In such a scenario."\n". observe the line where the statement $c2 = clone $c1 is executed.e. However. float. $c2 = clone $c1. int. conversions or validations. } public function __clone() { $c = new Customer(). //new object $c2 created $c2->setName("Vishal").__clone(). you cannot explicitly call the __clone() . the cloned object continues to share the reference of the data member object of the class that was cloned.e. Output: Sunil Vishal In the above example.The above technique works with a class having data members that are of intrinsic type i. this technique will not work with a class that has a data member which is an object of another class. Lets explore a very simple example of cloning intrinsic data types: class Customer { private $name. public function setName($name) { $this->name = $name. } public function getName() { return $this->name. To implement a ‘deep copy‘ you should implement the magic method __clone(). You would want to do this for providing necessary clean up operations.. To allow aggregated objects (i. string. how do we resolve this issue? Doing a regular shallow copy won’t help us. You could also provide the implementation of __clone() magic method even when you don’t have an aggregated object. data members that are objects of another class) to also get cloned properly we need to use the concept of ‘deep copy‘ as opposed to ‘shallow copy‘. boolean. etc. However. echo $c2->getName().

public function setName($name) { $this->name = $name. return $o. otherwise //it takes the same instance. } public function getCustomer() { return $this->customer. you should perform ‘deep copy‘. Please refer to the example below: class Order { private $order_id.method on an object as the __clone() is automatically called. private $customer. } public function getOrderId() { return $this->order_id. } public function __clone() { . Now that $c1 and $c2 are two individual objects. } public function getName() { return $this->name. data members that are objects of another class) To clone a class having aggregated objects. $o->setCustomer($this->customer). public function setOrderId($order_id) { $this->order_id = $order_id. changes made to one object is not reflected in the other.e. } } class Customer { private $name. $o->setOrderId($this->order_id). Seems like a bug to me $this->customer = clone $this->customer. Cloning aggregate objects (i. } public function __clone() { $o = new Order(). //force a copy of the same object to itself. } public function setCustomer(Customer $customer) { $this->customer = clone $customer.

$c = new Customer(). $o1->setOrderId("OD0001"). This example implements the concepts of ‘deep copy‘. $c->setName($this->name). therefore changes made to one object is not reflected in another. return $c. $o1->setCustomer($c). $o2->getCustomer()->setName("Vishal"). . $o2 = clone $o1. var_dump($o2). $o1 = new Order(). var_dump($o1). $c->setName("Sunil"). var_dump($c).} } $c = new Customer(). Output: object(Customer)#1 (1) { [”name:private”]=> string(5) “Sunil” } object(Order)#2 (2) { [”order_id:private”]=> string(6) “OD0001″ [”customer:private”]=> object(Customer)#3 (1) { [”name:private”]=> string(5) “Sunil” } } object(Order)#4 (2) { [”order_id:private”]=> string(6) “OD0001″ [”customer:private”]=> object(Customer)#6 (1) { [”name:private”]=> string(6) “Vishal” } } In the above example both $o1 and $o2 have their own set of customer objects.

A special note on $this->customer = clone $this->customer. . For some reason it is necessary to do this for proper working of aggregated cloning.

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