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Bence Eros' Blog: Using Inheritance

Note: This article was originally published at PHPDeveloper on 3 December 2010.
PHPDeveloper

In this new post to his blog, Bence looks at how inheritance is commonly used in PHP applications and how, if not controlled carefully can be something that creates bad habits among PHP developers.

In fact I think that using inheritance all the time is a very big mistake and makes your code hard to maintain and more hard to integrate (the latter is a mistake for application codes and a fatal mistake for libraries). The main problem with inheritance is that if you use it for coupling two classes, then a very important property of the subclass is used up: it's superclass. It is taken, reserved, and it can not be used for anything else furthermore. If you want to connect your subclass to an other class using inheritance, you can't.

He recommends avoiding the typical uses of typical superclass/subclass inheritance unless what you're doing specifically requires it. Working with interfaces, abstract classes and good composition planning is a much better idea.