On Wed, Aug 15, 2012 at 11:33 AM, Paul M Foster <pa...@quillandmouse.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 15, 2012 at 09:28:28AM +0100, phplist wrote:
>> This relates to a minor dilemma I come across from time and time,
>> and I'm looking for advice on pros and cons and best practice. Last
>> night I encountered it again.
>> Within a site I have a User object, and within page code would like to have
>> if ($crntUser->isASubscriber) {...}
>> There seems to be two ways to handle this:
>> I can have a User object method "getSubscriberStatus()" which sets
>> $this->isASubscriber. But to use this I would have to run the method
>> just before the if statement.
>> Or I could have a method "isASubscriber()" which returns the result,
>> meaning the if statement should be
>> if ($crntUser->isASubscriber()) {...}
>> While this is last night's specific example, I seem to face the
>> method-setting-variable or the method-returning-result-directly
>> decision quite often.
>> Is either of these approaches preferable, or does it simply not matter?
> If I read you correctly, the latter would be preferable, primarily
> because it involves one less step. But if you're going to have to make
> that decision in an "if" statement repeatedly, I'd probably say:
> $isSubscribed = $crntUser->isASubscriber();
> just because in subsequent code, you're not suffering the (admittedly
> small) repeated overhead of the function call.
> But in answer to your question, isASubscriber() would be a pretty
> standard "getter" method to expose internal object properties.
> Paul

I generally use this "getter" method as well. If it bothers the OP
that isASubscriber() is a "method" rather than a "property," one could
use the magic __get method:


class User
        private $isASubscriber = false;

        public function __get($property)
                if ('isASubscriber' === $property) {
                        return $this->isASubscriber;


In the end, it is still a function call either way though. The
advantage I see to both of these method-based approaches versus
exposing the property as public is that these methods prevent code
outside your class from doing something stupid:


$u = new User();

$u->isASubscriber = 'rutabaga';

// Fatal error: Cannot access private property User::$isASubscriber

(Yes, I have seen proof that it is TECHNICALLY possible to get around
this in PHP, for example with unserialize.)


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