CascadiaPHP 2024

Magic Methods

Magic methods are special methods which override PHP's default's action when certain actions are performed on an object.

Attenzione

All methods names starting with __ are reserved by PHP. Therefore, it is not recommended to use such method names unless overriding PHP's behavior.

The following method names are considered magical: __construct(), __destruct(), __call(), __callStatic(), __get(), __set(), __isset(), __unset(), __sleep(), __wakeup(), __serialize(), __unserialize(), __toString(), __invoke(), __set_state(), __clone(), and __debugInfo().

Avviso

All magic methods, with the exception of __construct(), __destruct(), and __clone(), must be declared as public, otherwise an E_WARNING is emitted. Prior to PHP 8.0.0, no diagnostic was emitted for the magic methods __sleep(), __wakeup(), __serialize(), __unserialize(), and __set_state().

Avviso

If type declarations are used in the definition of a magic method, they must be identical to the signature described in this document. Otherwise, a fatal error is emitted. Prior to PHP 8.0.0, no diagnostic was emitted. However, __construct() and __destruct() must not declare a return type; otherwise a fatal error is emitted.

__sleep() and __wakeup()

public __sleep(): array
public __wakeup(): void

serialize() checks if the class has a function with the magic name __sleep(). If so, that function is executed prior to any serialization. It can clean up the object and is supposed to return an array with the names of all variables of that object that should be serialized. If the method doesn't return anything then null is serialized and E_NOTICE is issued.

Nota:

It is not possible for __sleep() to return names of private properties in parent classes. Doing this will result in an E_NOTICE level error. Use __serialize() instead.

Nota:

As of PHP 8.0.0, returning a value which is not an array from __sleep() generates a warning. Previously, it generated a notice.

The intended use of __sleep() is to commit pending data or perform similar cleanup tasks. Also, the function is useful if a very large object doesn't need to be saved completely.

Conversely, unserialize() checks for the presence of a function with the magic name __wakeup(). If present, this function can reconstruct any resources that the object may have.

The intended use of __wakeup() is to reestablish any database connections that may have been lost during serialization and perform other reinitialization tasks.

Example #1 Sleep and wakeup

<?php
class Connection
{
protected
$link;
private
$dsn, $username, $password;

public function
__construct($dsn, $username, $password)
{
$this->dsn = $dsn;
$this->username = $username;
$this->password = $password;
$this->connect();
}

private function
connect()
{
$this->link = new PDO($this->dsn, $this->username, $this->password);
}

public function
__sleep()
{
return array(
'dsn', 'username', 'password');
}

public function
__wakeup()
{
$this->connect();
}
}
?>

__serialize() and __unserialize()

public __serialize(): array
public __unserialize(array $data): void

serialize() checks if the class has a function with the magic name __serialize(). If so, that function is executed prior to any serialization. It must construct and return an associative array of key/value pairs that represent the serialized form of the object. If no array is returned a TypeError will be thrown.

Nota:

If both __serialize() and __sleep() are defined in the same object, only __serialize() will be called. __sleep() will be ignored. If the object implements the Serializable interface, the interface's serialize() method will be ignored and __serialize() used instead.

The intended use of __serialize() is to define a serialization-friendly arbitrary representation of the object. Elements of the array may correspond to properties of the object but that is not required.

Conversely, unserialize() checks for the presence of a function with the magic name __unserialize(). If present, this function will be passed the restored array that was returned from __serialize(). It may then restore the properties of the object from that array as appropriate.

Nota:

If both __unserialize() and __wakeup() are defined in the same object, only __unserialize() will be called. __wakeup() will be ignored.

Nota:

This feature is available as of PHP 7.4.0.

Example #2 Serialize and unserialize

<?php
class Connection
{
protected
$link;
private
$dsn, $username, $password;

public function
__construct($dsn, $username, $password)
{
$this->dsn = $dsn;
$this->username = $username;
$this->password = $password;
$this->connect();
}

private function
connect()
{
$this->link = new PDO($this->dsn, $this->username, $this->password);
}

public function
__serialize(): array
{
return [
'dsn' => $this->dsn,
'user' => $this->username,
'pass' => $this->password,
];
}

public function
__unserialize(array $data): void
{
$this->dsn = $data['dsn'];
$this->username = $data['user'];
$this->password = $data['pass'];

$this->connect();
}
}
?>

__toString()

public __toString(): string

The __toString() method allows a class to decide how it will react when it is treated like a string. For example, what echo $obj; will print.

Avviso

As of PHP 8.0.0, the return value follows standard PHP type semantics, meaning it will be coerced into a string if possible and if strict typing is disabled.

A Stringable object will not be accepted by a string type declaration if strict typing is enabled. If such behaviour is wanted the type declaration must accept Stringable and string via a union type.

As of PHP 8.0.0, any class that contains a __toString() method will also implicitly implement the Stringable interface, and will thus pass type checks for that interface. Explicitly implementing the interface anyway is recommended.

In PHP 7.4, the returned value must be a string, otherwise an Error is thrown.

Prior to PHP 7.4.0, the returned value must be a string, otherwise a fatal E_RECOVERABLE_ERROR is emitted.

Avviso

It was not possible to throw an exception from within a __toString() method prior to PHP 7.4.0. Doing so will result in a fatal error.

Example #3 Simple example

<?php
// Declare a simple class
class TestClass
{
public
$foo;

public function
__construct($foo)
{
$this->foo = $foo;
}

public function
__toString()
{
return
$this->foo;
}
}

$class = new TestClass('Hello');
echo
$class;
?>

Il precedente esempio visualizzerà:

Hello

__invoke()

__invoke( ...$values): mixed

The __invoke() method is called when a script tries to call an object as a function.

Example #4 Using __invoke()

<?php
class CallableClass
{
public function
__invoke($x)
{
var_dump($x);
}
}
$obj = new CallableClass;
$obj(5);
var_dump(is_callable($obj));
?>

Il precedente esempio visualizzerà:

int(5)
bool(true)

Example #5 Using __invoke()

<?php
class Sort
{
private
$key;

public function
__construct(string $key)
{
$this->key = $key;
}

public function
__invoke(array $a, array $b): int
{
return
$a[$this->key] <=> $b[$this->key];
}
}

$customers = [
[
'id' => 1, 'first_name' => 'John', 'last_name' => 'Do'],
[
'id' => 3, 'first_name' => 'Alice', 'last_name' => 'Gustav'],
[
'id' => 2, 'first_name' => 'Bob', 'last_name' => 'Filipe']
];

// sort customers by first name
usort($customers, new Sort('first_name'));
print_r($customers);

// sort customers by last name
usort($customers, new Sort('last_name'));
print_r($customers);
?>

Il precedente esempio visualizzerà:

Array
(
    [0] => Array
        (
            [id] => 3
            [first_name] => Alice
            [last_name] => Gustav
        )

    [1] => Array
        (
            [id] => 2
            [first_name] => Bob
            [last_name] => Filipe
        )

    [2] => Array
        (
            [id] => 1
            [first_name] => John
            [last_name] => Do
        )

)
Array
(
    [0] => Array
        (
            [id] => 1
            [first_name] => John
            [last_name] => Do
        )

    [1] => Array
        (
            [id] => 2
            [first_name] => Bob
            [last_name] => Filipe
        )

    [2] => Array
        (
            [id] => 3
            [first_name] => Alice
            [last_name] => Gustav
        )

)

__set_state()

static __set_state(array $properties): object

This static method is called for classes exported by var_export().

The only parameter of this method is an array containing exported properties in the form ['property' => value, ...].

Example #6 Using __set_state()

<?php

class A
{
public
$var1;
public
$var2;

public static function
__set_state($an_array)
{
$obj = new A;
$obj->var1 = $an_array['var1'];
$obj->var2 = $an_array['var2'];
return
$obj;
}
}

$a = new A;
$a->var1 = 5;
$a->var2 = 'foo';

$b = var_export($a, true);
var_dump($b);
eval(
'$c = ' . $b . ';');
var_dump($c);
?>

Il precedente esempio visualizzerà:

string(60) "A::__set_state(array(
   'var1' => 5,
   'var2' => 'foo',
))"
object(A)#2 (2) {
  ["var1"]=>
  int(5)
  ["var2"]=>
  string(3) "foo"
}

Nota: When exporting an object, var_export() does not check whether __set_state() is implemented by the object's class, so re-importing objects will result in an Error exception, if __set_state() is not implemented. Particularly, this affects some internal classes. It is the responsibility of the programmer to verify that only objects will be re-imported, whose class implements __set_state().

__debugInfo()

__debugInfo(): array

This method is called by var_dump() when dumping an object to get the properties that should be shown. If the method isn't defined on an object, then all public, protected and private properties will be shown.

Example #7 Using __debugInfo()

<?php
class C {
private
$prop;

public function
__construct($val) {
$this->prop = $val;
}

public function
__debugInfo() {
return [
'propSquared' => $this->prop ** 2,
];
}
}

var_dump(new C(42));
?>

Il precedente esempio visualizzerà:

object(C)#1 (1) {
  ["propSquared"]=>
  int(1764)
}
add a note

User Contributed Notes 10 notes

up
49
jon at webignition dot net
15 years ago
The __toString() method is extremely useful for converting class attribute names and values into common string representations of data (of which there are many choices). I mention this as previous references to __toString() refer only to debugging uses.

I have previously used the __toString() method in the following ways:

- representing a data-holding object as:
- XML
- raw POST data
- a GET query string
- header name:value pairs

- representing a custom mail object as an actual email (headers then body, all correctly represented)

When creating a class, consider what possible standard string representations are available and, of those, which would be the most relevant with respect to the purpose of the class.

Being able to represent data-holding objects in standardised string forms makes it much easier for your internal representations of data to be shared in an interoperable way with other applications.
up
3
tyler at nighthound dot us
1 year ago
Please note that as of PHP 8.2 implementing __serialize() has no control over the output of json_encode(). you still have to implement JsonSerializable.
up
16
jsnell at e-normous dot com
15 years ago
Be very careful to define __set_state() in classes which inherit from a parent using it, as the static __set_state() call will be called for any children. If you are not careful, you will end up with an object of the wrong type. Here is an example:

<?php
class A
{
public
$var1;

public static function
__set_state($an_array)
{
$obj = new A;
$obj->var1 = $an_array['var1'];
return
$obj;
}
}

class
B extends A {
}

$b = new B;
$b->var1 = 5;

eval(
'$new_b = ' . var_export($b, true) . ';');
var_dump($new_b);
/*
object(A)#2 (1) {
["var1"]=>
int(5)
}
*/
?>
up
10
kguest at php dot net
7 years ago
__debugInfo is also utilised when calling print_r on an object:

$ cat test.php
<?php
class FooQ {

private
$bar = '';

public function
__construct($val) {

$this->bar = $val;
}

public function
__debugInfo()
{
return [
'_bar' => $this->bar];
}
}
$fooq = new FooQ("q");
print_r ($fooq);

$
php test.php
FooQ Object
(
[
_bar] => q
)
$
up
5
ctamayo at sitecrafting dot com
3 years ago
Due to a bug in PHP <= 7.3, overriding the __debugInfo() method from SPL classes is silently ignored.

<?php

class Debuggable extends ArrayObject {
public function
__debugInfo() {
return [
'special' => 'This should show up'];
}
}

var_dump(new Debuggable());

// Expected output:
// object(Debuggable)#1 (1) {
// ["special"]=>
// string(19) "This should show up"
// }

// Actual output:
// object(Debuggable)#1 (1) {
// ["storage":"ArrayObject":private]=>
// array(0) {
// }
// }

?>

Bug report: https://bugs.php.net/bug.php?id=69264
up
6
daniel dot peder at gmail dot com
6 years ago
http://sandbox.onlinephpfunctions.com/code/4d2cc3648aed58c0dad90c7868173a4775e5ba0c

IMHO a bug or need feature change

providing a object as a array index doesn't try to us __toString() method so some volatile object identifier is used to index the array, which is breaking any persistency. Type hinting solves that, but while other than "string" type hinting doesn't work on ob jects, the automatic conversion to string should be very intuitive.

PS: tried to submit bug, but withot patch the bugs are ignored, unfortunately, I don't C coding

<?php

class shop_product_id {

protected
$shop_name;
protected
$product_id;

function
__construct($shop_name,$product_id){
$this->shop_name = $shop_name;
$this->product_id = $product_id;
}

function
__toString(){
return
$this->shop_name . ':' . $this->product_id;
}
}

$shop_name = 'Shop_A';
$product_id = 123;
$demo_id = $shop_name . ':' . $product_id;
$demo_name = 'Some product in shop A';

$all_products = [ $demo_id => $demo_name ];
$pid = new shop_product_id( $shop_name, $product_id );

echo
"with type hinting: ";
echo (
$demo_name === $all_products[(string)$pid]) ? "ok" : "fail";
echo
"\n";

echo
"without type hinting: ";
echo (
$demo_name === $all_products[$pid]) ? "ok" : "fail";
echo
"\n";
up
7
rayRO
18 years ago
If you use the Magical Method '__set()', be shure that the call of
<?php
$myobject
->test['myarray'] = 'data';
?>
will not appear!

For that u have to do it the fine way if you want to use __set Method ;)
<?php
$myobject
->test = array('myarray' => 'data');
?>

If a Variable is already set, the __set Magic Method already wont appear!

My first solution was to use a Caller Class.
With that, i ever knew which Module i currently use!
But who needs it... :]
There are quiet better solutions for this...
Here's the Code:

<?php
class Caller {
public
$caller;
public
$module;

function
__call($funcname, $args = array()) {
$this->setModuleInformation();

if (
is_object($this->caller) && function_exists('call_user_func_array'))
$return = call_user_func_array(array(&$this->caller, $funcname), $args);
else
trigger_error("Call to Function with call_user_func_array failed", E_USER_ERROR);

$this->unsetModuleInformation();
return
$return;
}

function
__construct($callerClassName = false, $callerModuleName = 'Webboard') {
if (
$callerClassName == false)
trigger_error('No Classname', E_USER_ERROR);

$this->module = $callerModuleName;

if (
class_exists($callerClassName))
$this->caller = new $callerClassName();
else
trigger_error('Class not exists: \''.$callerClassName.'\'', E_USER_ERROR);

if (
is_object($this->caller))
{
$this->setModuleInformation();
if (
method_exists($this->caller, '__init'))
$this->caller->__init();
$this->unsetModuleInformation();
}
else
trigger_error('Caller is no object!', E_USER_ERROR);
}

function
__destruct() {
$this->setModuleInformation();
if (
method_exists($this->caller, '__deinit'))
$this->caller->__deinit();
$this->unsetModuleInformation();
}

function
__isset($isset) {
$this->setModuleInformation();
if (
is_object($this->caller))
$return = isset($this->caller->{$isset});
else
trigger_error('Caller is no object!', E_USER_ERROR);
$this->unsetModuleInformation();
return
$return;
}

function
__unset($unset) {
$this->setModuleInformation();
if (
is_object($this->caller)) {
if (isset(
$this->caller->{$unset}))
unset(
$this->caller->{$unset});
}
else
trigger_error('Caller is no object!', E_USER_ERROR);
$this->unsetModuleInformation();
}

function
__set($set, $val) {
$this->setModuleInformation();
if (
is_object($this->caller))
$this->caller->{$set} = $val;
else
trigger_error('Caller is no object!', E_USER_ERROR);
$this->unsetModuleInformation();
}

function
__get($get) {
$this->setModuleInformation();
if (
is_object($this->caller)) {
if (isset(
$this->caller->{$get}))
$return = $this->caller->{$get};
else
$return = false;
}
else
trigger_error('Caller is no object!', E_USER_ERROR);
$this->unsetModuleInformation();
return
$return;
}

function
setModuleInformation() {
$this->caller->module = $this->module;
}

function
unsetModuleInformation() {
$this->caller->module = NULL;
}
}

// Well this can be a Config Class?
class Config {
public
$module;

public
$test;

function
__construct()
{
print(
'Constructor will have no Module Information... Use __init() instead!<br />');
print(
'--> '.print_r($this->module, 1).' <--');
print(
'<br />');
print(
'<br />');
$this->test = '123';
}

function
__init()
{
print(
'Using of __init()!<br />');
print(
'--> '.print_r($this->module, 1).' <--');
print(
'<br />');
print(
'<br />');
}

function
testFunction($test = false)
{
if (
$test != false)
$this->test = $test;
}
}

echo(
'<pre>');
$wow = new Caller('Config', 'Guestbook');
print_r($wow->test);
print(
'<br />');
print(
'<br />');
$wow->test = '456';
print_r($wow->test);
print(
'<br />');
print(
'<br />');
$wow->testFunction('789');
print_r($wow->test);
print(
'<br />');
print(
'<br />');
print_r($wow->module);
echo(
'</pre>');
?>

Outputs something Like:

Constructor will have no Module Information... Use __init() instead!
--> <--

Using of __init()!
--> Guestbook <--

123

456

789

Guestbook
up
6
martin dot goldinger at netserver dot ch
18 years ago
When you use sessions, its very important to keep the sessiondata small, due to low performance with unserialize. Every class shoud extend from this class. The result will be, that no null Values are written to the sessiondata. It will increase performance.

<?
class BaseObject
{
function __sleep()
{
$vars = (array)$this;
foreach ($vars as $key => $val)
{
if (is_null($val))
{
unset($vars[$key]);
}
}
return array_keys($vars);
}
};
?>
up
4
jeffxlevy at gmail dot com
18 years ago
Intriguing what happens when __sleep() and __wakeup() and sessions() are mixed. I had a hunch that, as session data is serialized, __sleep would be called when an object, or whatever, is stored in _SESSION. true. The same hunch applied when session_start() was called. Would __wakeup() be called? True. Very helpful, specifically as I'm building massive objects (well, lots of simple objects stored in sessions), and need lots of automated tasks (potentially) reloaded at "wakeup" time. (for instance, restarting a database session/connection).
up
5
ddavenport at newagedigital dot com
19 years ago
One of the principles of OOP is encapsulation--the idea that an object should handle its own data and no others'. Asking base classes to take care of subclasses' data, esp considering that a class can't possibly know how many dozens of ways it will be extended, is irresponsible and dangerous.

Consider the following...

<?php
class SomeStupidStorageClass
{
public function
getContents($pos, $len) { ...stuff... }
}

class
CryptedStorageClass extends SomeStupidStorageClass
{
private
$decrypted_block;
public function
getContents($pos, $len) { ...decrypt... }
}
?>

If SomeStupidStorageClass decided to serialize its subclasses' data as well as its own, a portion of what was once an encrypted thingie could be stored, in the clear, wherever the thingie was stored. Obviously, CryptedStorageClass would never have chosen this...but it had to either know how to serialize its parent class's data without calling parent::_sleep(), or let the base class do what it wanted to.

Considering encapsulation again, no class should have to know how the parent handles its own private data. And it certainly shouldn't have to worry that users will find a way to break access controls in the name of convenience.

If a class wants both to have private/protected data and to survive serialization, it should have its own __sleep() method which asks the parent to report its own fields and then adds to the list if applicable. Like so....

<?php

class BetterClass
{
private
$content;

public function
__sleep()
{
return array(
'basedata1', 'basedata2');
}

public function
getContents() { ...stuff... }
}

class
BetterDerivedClass extends BetterClass
{
private
$decrypted_block;

public function
__sleep()
{
return
parent::__sleep();
}

public function
getContents() { ...decrypt... }
}

?>

The derived class has better control over its data, and we don't have to worry about something being stored that shouldn't be.
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