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Class Abstraction

PHP 5 introduces abstract classes and methods. Classes defined as abstract may not be instantiated, and any class that contains at least one abstract method must also be abstract. Methods defined as abstract simply declare the method's signature - they cannot define the implementation.

When inheriting from an abstract class, all methods marked abstract in the parent's class declaration must be defined by the child; additionally, these methods must be defined with the same (or a less restricted) visibility. For example, if the abstract method is defined as protected, the function implementation must be defined as either protected or public, but not private. Furthermore the signatures of the methods must match, i.e. the type hints and the number of required arguments must be the same. For example, if the child class defines an optional argument, where the abstract method's signature does not, there is no conflict in the signature. This also applies to constructors as of PHP 5.4. Before 5.4 constructor signatures could differ.

Example #1 Abstract class example

<?php
abstract class AbstractClass
{
    
// Force Extending class to define this method
    
abstract protected function getValue();
    abstract protected function 
prefixValue($prefix);

    
// Common method
    
public function printOut() {
        print 
$this->getValue() . "\n";
    }
}

class 
ConcreteClass1 extends AbstractClass
{
    protected function 
getValue() {
        return 
"ConcreteClass1";
    }

    public function 
prefixValue($prefix) {
        return 
"{$prefix}ConcreteClass1";
    }
}

class 
ConcreteClass2 extends AbstractClass
{
    public function 
getValue() {
        return 
"ConcreteClass2";
    }

    public function 
prefixValue($prefix) {
        return 
"{$prefix}ConcreteClass2";
    }
}

$class1 = new ConcreteClass1;
$class1->printOut();
echo 
$class1->prefixValue('FOO_') ."\n";

$class2 = new ConcreteClass2;
$class2->printOut();
echo 
$class2->prefixValue('FOO_') ."\n";
?>

The above example will output:

ConcreteClass1
FOO_ConcreteClass1
ConcreteClass2
FOO_ConcreteClass2

Example #2 Abstract class example

<?php
abstract class AbstractClass
{
    
// Our abstract method only needs to define the required arguments
    
abstract protected function prefixName($name);

}

class 
ConcreteClass extends AbstractClass
{

    
// Our child class may define optional arguments not in the parent's signature
    
public function prefixName($name$separator ".") {
        if (
$name == "Pacman") {
            
$prefix "Mr";
        } elseif (
$name == "Pacwoman") {
            
$prefix "Mrs";
        } else {
            
$prefix "";
        }
        return 
"{$prefix}{$separator} {$name}";
    }
}

$class = new ConcreteClass;
echo 
$class->prefixName("Pacman"), "\n";
echo 
$class->prefixName("Pacwoman"), "\n";
?>

The above example will output:

Mr. Pacman
Mrs. Pacwoman

Old code that has no user-defined classes or functions named 'abstract' should run without modifications.

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