When developing PHP using an object-oriented programming (OOP) approach, the recommendation is to place each class in its own file. The advantage of following this recommendation is the ease of long-term maintenance and improved readability. The disadvantage is that each class definition file must be included (that is, using
include or its variants). To address this issue, there is a mechanism built into the PHP language that will autoload any class that has not already been specifically included.
The minimum requirement for PHP autoloading is to define a global
__autoload() function. This is a magic function called automatically by the PHP engine when a class is requested but where said class has not ...