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Matthew Weier O'Phinney's Blog: On Visibility in OOP

Note: This article was originally published at PHPDeveloper on 30 June 2012.
PHPDeveloper

Matthew Weier O'Phinney has a new post to his blog today looking at visibility in OOP in PHP - less about the features the language offers and more about the theory of their use.

I'm a big proponent of object oriented programming. OOP done right helps ease code maintenance and enables code re-use. Starting in PHP, OOP enthusiasts got a whole bunch of new tools, and new tools keep coming into the language for us with each minor release. One feature that has had a huge impact on frameworks and libraries has been available since the earliest PHP 5 versions: visibility.

He covers a bit of the syntax and features of public, private and protected and mentions a keyword not often seen in PHP applications - final. The reason all of this came up was work on annotation support in Zend Framework 2 and some difficulty in integrating it with Doctrine support. The "final" status of the class was part of the problem, and after a a lot of copy & pasting he decided on a different tactic - using its public API to try to work around the problem.

In sum: because the class in question was marked final and had private members, I found myself forced to think critically about what I wanted to accomplish, and then thoroughly understand the public API to see how I might accomplish that task without the ability to extend.