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Examine PHP V5.3.0 features under the microscope

Nov 17, 2009, 00:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Stephen B. Morris)

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"Class method overloading

"The term overloading in PHP is a little different from the usual object-oriented context. In the Java™ language or C#, an "overloaded" method is one that provides code for a range of different parameter lists. For example, if I have a method called draw(String str), an overloaded version can have the following form: draw(String str, int i). This use of the method symbol name is referred to as the method signature and, for the purposes of overloading, the return type is ignored.

"In PHP, "overloading" is used to refer to dynamically created methods and properties. This is in effect dynamic code, and any such dynamic entities are processed by what are called magic methods. You can create these magic methods in a class for a variety of action types. Then, the overloading methods are invoked at the point in your code where you interact with undeclared or invisible properties or methods. This style of language overloading provides you with a substantial degree of flexibility.

"This all sounds complicated, so look at an example to make it more concrete. Listing 4 illustrates using PHP overloading to invoke object and class methods."

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