Best way to do multiple constructors in PHP


Question

You can't put two __construct functions with unique argument signatures in a PHP class. I'd like to do this:

class Student 
{
   protected $id;
   protected $name;
   // etc.

   public function __construct($id){
       $this->id = $id;
      // other members are still uninitialized
   }

   public function __construct($row_from_database){
       $this->id = $row_from_database->id;
       $this->name = $row_from_database->name;
       // etc.
   }
}

What is the best way to do this in PHP?

1
324
11/9/2009 8:43:43 AM

Accepted Answer

I'd probably do something like this:

<?php

class Student
{
    public function __construct() {
        // allocate your stuff
    }

    public static function withID( $id ) {
        $instance = new self();
        $instance->loadByID( $id );
        return $instance;
    }

    public static function withRow( array $row ) {
        $instance = new self();
        $instance->fill( $row );
        return $instance;
    }

    protected function loadByID( $id ) {
        // do query
        $row = my_awesome_db_access_stuff( $id );
        $this->fill( $row );
    }

    protected function fill( array $row ) {
        // fill all properties from array
    }
}

?>

Then if i want a Student where i know the ID:

$student = Student::withID( $id );

Or if i have an array of the db row:

$student = Student::withRow( $row );

Technically you're not building multiple constructors, just static helper methods, but you get to avoid a lot of spaghetti code in the constructor this way.

442
11/9/2009 2:33:09 PM

Solution of Kris is really nice, but I find the mix of factory and fluent style better:

<?php

class Student
{

    protected $firstName;
    protected $lastName;
    // etc.

    /**
     * Constructor
     */
    public function __construct() {
        // allocate your stuff
    }

    /**
     * Static constructor / factory
     */
    public static function create() {
        $instance = new self();
        return $instance;
    }

    /**
     * FirstName setter - fluent style
     */
    public function setFirstName( $firstName) {
        $this->firstName = $firstName;
        return $this;
    }

    /**
     * LastName setter - fluent style
     */
    public function setLastName( $lastName) {
        $this->lastName = $lastName;
        return $this;
    }

}

// create instance
$student= Student::create()->setFirstName("John")->setLastName("Doe");

// see result
var_dump($student);
?>

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