In Chapter 4, we introduced the basic concepts of object-oriented programming, showing how classes are defined and how objects are created and used with PHP. The techniques shown in Chapter 4 can be used to help build reusable, modular code, and are applicable when using object-oriented packages such as the PEAR packages we describe in Chapter 7. However, much of the power of object-oriented programming doesn’t come from simply reusing code.
In this chapter, we show some more powerful techniques available with object-oriented programming, including:
Class type hints
Abstract classes and interfaces
In Chapter 4, we
showed you how inheritance can be used as a powerful tool in
object-oriented programming. Using the
extends keyword, a class can inherit the capabilities from a
parent class. As we explained in Chapter 4, PHP allows an inheritance
from only one parent class, but a class can be extended to create any
number of child classes.
Inheritance allows functionality to be built up from related classes. Each class provides specialized support that’s specific to a class’s purpose. It’s common that functionality in an object-oriented application is provided by class hierarchies rather than single, unrelated classes.
Example 14-1 shows how a class hierarchy is formed to provide functionality that describes shapes.
<?php class ...