PhpRiot
Become Zend Certified

Prepare for the ZCE exam using our quizzes (web or iPad/iPhone). More info...


When you're ready get 7.5% off your exam voucher using voucher CJQNOV23 at the Zend Store

Traits

As of PHP 5.4.0, PHP implements a method of code reuse called Traits.

Traits are a mechanism for code reuse in single inheritance languages such as PHP. A Trait is intended to reduce some limitations of single inheritance by enabling a developer to reuse sets of methods freely in several independent classes living in different class hierarchies. The semantics of the combination of Traits and classes is defined in a way which reduces complexity, and avoids the typical problems associated with multiple inheritance and Mixins.

A Trait is similar to a class, but only intended to group functionality in a fine-grained and consistent way. It is not possible to instantiate a Trait on its own. It is an addition to traditional inheritance and enables horizontal composition of behavior; that is, the application of class members without requiring inheritance.

Example #1 Trait example

<?php
trait ezcReflectionReturnInfo {
    function 
getReturnType() { /*1*/ }
    function 
getReturnDescription() { /*2*/ }
}

class 
ezcReflectionMethod extends ReflectionMethod {
    use 
ezcReflectionReturnInfo;
    
/* ... */
}

class 
ezcReflectionFunction extends ReflectionFunction {
    use 
ezcReflectionReturnInfo;
    
/* ... */
}
?>

Precedence

An inherited member from a base class is overridden by a member inserted by a Trait. The precedence order is that members from the current class override Trait methods, which in return override inherited methods.

Example #2 Precedence Order Example

An inherited method from a base class is overridden by the method inserted into MyHelloWorld from the SayWorld Trait. The behavior is the same for methods defined in the MyHelloWorld class. The precedence order is that methods from the current class override Trait methods, which in turn override methods from the base class.

<?php
class Base {
    public function 
sayHello() {
        echo 
'Hello ';
    }
}

trait 
SayWorld {
    public function 
sayHello() {
        
parent::sayHello();
        echo 
'World!';
    }
}

class 
MyHelloWorld extends Base {
    use 
SayWorld;
}

$o = new MyHelloWorld();
$o->sayHello();
?>

The above example will output:

Hello World!

Example #3 Alternate Precedence Order Example

<?php
trait HelloWorld {
    public function 
sayHello() {
        echo 
'Hello World!';
    }
}

class 
TheWorldIsNotEnough {
    use 
HelloWorld;
    public function 
sayHello() {
        echo 
'Hello Universe!';
    }
}

$o = new TheWorldIsNotEnough();
$o->sayHello();
?>

The above example will output:

Hello Universe!

Multiple Traits

Multiple Traits can be inserted into a class by listing them in the use statement, separated by commas.

Example #4 Multiple Traits Usage

<?php
trait Hello {
    public function 
sayHello() {
        echo 
'Hello ';
    }
}

trait 
World {
    public function 
sayWorld() {
        echo 
'World';
    }
}

class 
MyHelloWorld {
    use 
HelloWorld;
    public function 
sayExclamationMark() {
        echo 
'!';
    }
}

$o = new MyHelloWorld();
$o->sayHello();
$o->sayWorld();
$o->sayExclamationMark();
?>

The above example will output:

Hello World!

Conflict Resolution

If two Traits insert a method with the same name, a fatal error is produced, if the conflict is not explicitly resolved.

To resolve naming conflicts between Traits used in the same class, the insteadof operator needs to be used to chose exactly one of the conflicting methods.

Since this only allows one to exclude methods, the as operator can be used to allow the inclusion of one of the conflicting methods under another name.

Example #5 Conflict Resolution

In this example, Talker uses the traits A and B. Since A and B have conflicting methods, it defines to use the variant of smallTalk from trait B, and the variant of bigTalk from trait A.

The Aliased_Talker makes use of the as operator to be able to use B's bigTalk implementation under an additional alias talk.

<?php
trait {
    public function 
smallTalk() {
        echo 
'a';
    }
    public function 
bigTalk() {
        echo 
'A';
    }
}

trait 
{
    public function 
smallTalk() {
        echo 
'b';
    }
    public function 
bigTalk() {
        echo 
'B';
    }
}

class 
Talker {
    use 
A{
        
B::smallTalk insteadof A;
        
A::bigTalk insteadof B;
    }
}

class 
Aliased_Talker {
    use 
A{
        
B::smallTalk insteadof A;
        
A::bigTalk insteadof B;
        
B::bigTalk as talk;
    }
}
?>

Changing Method Visibility

Using the as syntax, one can also adjust the visibility of the method in the exhibiting class.

Example #6 Changing Method Visibility

<?php
trait HelloWorld {
    public function 
sayHello() {
        echo 
'Hello World!';
    }
}

// Change visibility of sayHello
class MyClass1 {
    use 
HelloWorld sayHello as protected; }
}

// Alias method with changed visibility
// sayHello visibility not changed
class MyClass2 {
    use 
HelloWorld sayHello as private myPrivateHello; }
}
?>

Traits Composed from Traits

Just as classes can make use of traits, so can other traits. By using one or more traits in a trait definition, it can be composed partially or entirely of the members defined in those other traits.

Example #7 Traits Composed from Traits

<?php
trait Hello {
    public function 
sayHello() {
        echo 
'Hello ';
    }
}

trait 
World {
    public function 
sayWorld() {
        echo 
'World!';
    }
}

trait 
HelloWorld {
    use 
HelloWorld;
}

class 
MyHelloWorld {
    use 
HelloWorld;
}

$o = new MyHelloWorld();
$o->sayHello();
$o->sayWorld();
?>

The above example will output:

Hello World!

Abstract Trait Members

Traits support the use of abstract methods in order to impose requirements upon the exhibiting class.

Example #8 Express Requirements by Abstract Methods

<?php
trait Hello {
    public function 
sayHelloWorld() {
        echo 
'Hello'.$this->getWorld();
    }
    abstract public function 
getWorld();
}

class 
MyHelloWorld {
    private 
$world;
    use 
Hello;
    public function 
getWorld() {
        return 
$this->world;
    }
    public function 
setWorld($val) {
        
$this->world $val;
    }
}
?>

Static Trait Members

Traits can define both static members and static methods.

Example #9 Static Variables

<?php
trait Counter {
    public function 
inc() {
        static 
$c 0;
        
$c $c 1;
        echo 
"$c\n";
    }
}

class 
C1 {
    use 
Counter;
}

class 
C2 {
    use 
Counter;
}

$o = new C1(); $o->inc(); // echo 1
$p = new C2(); $p->inc(); // echo 1
?>

Example #10 Static Methods

<?php
trait StaticExample {
    public static function 
doSomething() {
        return 
'Doing something';
    }
}

class 
Example {
    use 
StaticExample;
}

Example::doSomething();
?>

Properties

Traits can also define properties.

Example #11 Defining Properties

<?php
trait PropertiesTrait {
    public 
$x 1;
}

class 
PropertiesExample {
    use 
PropertiesTrait;
}

$example = new PropertiesExample;
$example->x;
?>

If a trait defines a property then a class can not define a property with the same name, otherwise an error is issued. It is an E_STRICT if the class definition is compatible (same visibility and initial value) or fatal error otherwise.

Example #12 Conflict Resolution

<?php
trait PropertiesTrait {
    public 
$same true;
    public 
$different false;
}

class 
PropertiesExample {
    use 
PropertiesTrait;
    public 
$same true// Strict Standards
    
public $different true// Fatal error
}
?>

PHP Manual