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; } }

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

causes an error as we are trying to access $name that has been declared as a private member variable. public $age. Lets look at an example below: class Customer { private $name. the statement. 2. $age) { . $this->age = $age. 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. 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. $c->name.Inheritance and Access Specifiers You can refer to the Access specifiers tutorial to understand what it means. //causes an error In the above example. public function __construct($name."28"). $age) { $this->name = $name. echo "Name : " . private A private access specifier is used to hide data and member functions. } } $c = new Customer("Sunil". public A public access specifier allows the data members and methods to be access from anywhere in the script. echo “Name : ” . Lets look at how three access specifiers viz. 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. $c->name. Lets look at an example below: class Customer { private $name. public and protected behave in Inheritance: 1. public function __construct($name. public $age. private. We can however access the $age data member without any limitation as its public. Let’s understand the use of Access Specifiers with context to Inheritance.

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

} } class Swift extends Bird { public function fly() { echo "Fly method of the Swift Class called". Output: Fly method of the Eagle Class called Fly method of the Swift Class called In the above example. Eagle and Swift. . $s->fly(). we create two objects of class Eagle and Swift.PHP5 Inheritance . lets define method overriding. $e->fly(). 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. but before we understand how to override methods in PHP5. The Bird class has methods defined to eat. etc. } } $e = new Eagle().Method Overriding Lets learn how to override methods in PHP5. 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. 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. Imagine that you have a class by the name of Bird from which you derive two child classes viz. Definition of Method Overriding: Method overriding is when the function of base class is re-defined with the same name. function signature and access specifier (either public or protected) of the derived class. The reason to override method is to provide additional functionality over and above what has been defined in the base class. echo "\n". $s = new Swift(). } } class Eagle extends Bird { public function fly() { echo "Fly method of the Eagle Class called". Lets look at an example with Bird: class Bird { public function fly() { echo "Fly method of Bird Class called".

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

} public function __destruct() { parent::__destruct(). } } $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. 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. refer to the example below: class Person{ public function __construct() { echo "This is Person's __construct()\n". echo "This is Customer's __destruct()\n". } public function __destruct() { echo "This is Person's __destruct()\n". 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. 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? .Output: This is Person’s showData() This is Customer’s showData() In the above example. } } class Customer extends Person{ public function __construct() { parent::__construct().

$e->getMessage(). private $string. $file. The try{} block is the area where you will place your code that could raise an exception. $e->getCode(). Look at the example below. The use of a try…catch block PHP5 introduces the try…catch block to trap exceptions. try { check(). private $trace. Within the catch() {} block you will place your logic to either fix the issue or log the error. $line. The exception class accepts two parameters. we raise an Exception using the ‘throw’ keyword. The statement following ‘throw’ is the syntax of creating a new object of Exception type. Below the try{} block is the catch() {} block. the method check() is called between the try {} block. public function __toString(). public function __construct($message = null. echo "Code : " .Error Code). $code = 0). Anatomy of PHP5 Exception class class Exception { protected protected protected protected $message. The catch block expects the Exception type of object as a parameter. In the function check().An exception is a logical/system error that occurs during the normal execution of a script. 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. } } In the above example. $code. } function check() { if(some error condition) { throw new Exception("Error String". 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. . final public function getCode(). } catch(Exception $e) { echo "Message : " .

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

the method getPrice() in class Furniture has been declared as Abstract. $p) { parent::setData($h. width. only objects of concrete class can be created To define a class as Abstract. public setData($h. $l) { $this->height = $h. } //this function is declared as abstract and hence the function //body will have to be provided in the child class public abstract function getPrice(). the keyword abstract is to be used e. abstract class ClassName {} Example of Abstract Class abstract class Furniture { private $height. } //this is the function body of the parent abstract method public function getPrice() { return $this->price.g. $l). This means that its the responsibility of the child class to provide the functionality of getPrice(). $w. Objects of an abstract and interface class cannot be created i. $this->length = $l. $w. $l. $this->width = $w. $this->price = $p. The BookShelf class is a child of the Furniture class and hence provides the function body for getPrice(). The child class must provide the functionality not provided by the abstract class or else the child class also becomes abstract. public function setData($h. Private methods cannot be abstract .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. } } In the above example.e. $w. } class BookShelf extends Furniture { private $price. length.

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

This way any class if it implements the method getContentsAsText() can get indexed Difference between Abstract Class and Interface Abstract Classes 1. It only contains definitions of the methods 2. An interface cannot contain any functionality. The child class extended from an abstract class should logically be related Interface 1.In the above example. 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. hence we can call getContentsAsText() method on the object of Document. Polymorphism means many forms. 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. Therefore the method sum() has many forms depending on the parameters being passed to it. Document and the Indexer class are two independant classes. 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. 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. int) differs from sum(float. The derived class may or may not override the concrete functions defined in base class 3. The meaning with Object Oriented languages changes. . Poly (meaning many) and morph (meaning forms). float). This is how polymorphism is achieved in languages like C where in a function sum(int. Using the Storable interface above. The Indexer class is designed to index the contents of any text. we declare a method getContentsAsText() in the Document class. An abstract class can provide some functionality and leave the rest for derived class 2. The derived class must provide code for all the methods defined in the interface 3.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

$o1->setCustomer($c). $o1 = new Order(). $o2->getCustomer()->setName("Vishal"). $c = new Customer(). . $o2 = clone $o1. $c->setName("Sunil"). var_dump($o2). return $c. 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 $o2 have their own set of customer objects. var_dump($c). $c->setName($this->name). This example implements the concepts of ‘deep copy‘. $o1->setOrderId("OD0001"). therefore changes made to one object is not reflected in another.} } $c = new Customer(). var_dump($o1).

.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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