What does this mean? "Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_PAAMAYIM_NEKUDOTAYIM"



T_PAAMAYIM_NEKUDOTAYIM sounds really exotic, but most certainly absolutely nonsense to me. I traced it all down to this lines of code:

Class Context {
    protected $config;

    public function getConfig($key) { // Here's the problem somewhere...
    $cnf = $this->config;
    return $cnf::getConfig($key);

    function __construct() {
    $this->config = new Config();

In the constructor I create a Config object. Here's the class:

final class Config {
    private static $instance = NULL;
    private static $config;

    public static function getConfig($key) {
    return self::$config[$key];

    public static function getInstance() {
    if (!self::$instance) {
        self::$instance = new Config();
    return self::$instance;

    private function __construct() {
    // include configuration file
    include __ROOT_INCLUDE_PATH . '/sys/config/config.php'; // defines a $config array
    $this->config = $config;

No idea why this doesnt work / what the error means...

12/27/2009 2:02:50 PM

Accepted Answer

T_PAAMAYIM_NEKUDOTAYIM is the double colon scope resolution thingy PHP uses - ::

Quick glance at your code, I think this line:

return $cnf::getConfig($key);

should be

return $cnf->getConfig($key);

The first is the way to call a method statically - this code would be valid if $cnf contained a string that was also a valid class. The -> syntax is for calling a method on an instance of a class/object.

12/29/2009 3:51:09 PM

Just my two cents for future visitors who have this problem.

This is the correct syntax for PHP 5.3, for example if you call static method from the class name:


If you previously assign the ClassName to the $cnf variable, you can call the static method from it (we are talking about PHP 5.3):

$cnf = MyClassName;

However, this sintax doesn't work on PHP 5.2 or fewer, and you need to use the following:

$cnf = MyClassName;
call_user_func(array($cnf, "getConfig", $key, ...otherposibleadditionalparameters... ));

Hope this helps people having this error in 5.2 version (don't know if this was openfrog's version).

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