On Sunday 20 December 2009 1:08:46 pm you wrote:

> >> Maybe this would be the perfect opportunity for the php autoload
> >> functions...?
> >>
> >> Thanks for your help/thoughts/comments,
> >> dK
> >> `
> >
> > Yep, this is a textbook case for a proper autoload setup.  And no,
> > cramming all of the functionality into one mega class won't get you any
> > efficiency.  In fact, it would be just as wasteful as loading all 60
> > classes even when you're only going to use 2; you're still loading up
> > roughly the same amount of code. Parsing it as one mega class or one big
> > parent with a few small child classes is about a break-even as far as
> > performance goes, but the mega class is much poorer architecture.
> Thanks for your insight.
> I could probably setup autoloading, but I wonder if I would do it
> 'properly'.  Do you have a link or reference that you'd recommend for
> howto do a 'proper autoload setup'?
> Thanks,
> dK

Well, there is no universal agreement on what a "proper" setup is. :-)  There 
is a group trying to establish a Java-like standard for all projects to use 
once they get to PHP 5.3 and namespaces, but there are still issues to work 
out and IMO it's not actually a good approach for many use cases.  I'd argue 
that "proper" depends in a large part on your specific use case.

The most important aspect of a good autoload mechanism, though, is that it's 
fast and extensible.  Use spl_autoload_register() instead of __autoload(), and 
make sure that you keep the runtime of your autoload callbacks to an absolute 
minimum.  (A DB hit per autoload, for instance, is a no-no.)

Beyond that, varies with your project.

Larry Garfield

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