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NETTUTS.com:
Deciphering Magic Methods in PHP
July 20, 2010 @ 13:27:44

Whether you're new to the language or to the more advanced features of it, you might find the magic methods a bit confusing at first. Thankfully, NETTUTS.com is here to help with this new tutorial on what they are and how to use them in your code.

PHP provides a number of 'magic' methods that allow you to do some pretty neat tricks in object oriented programming. These methods, identified by a two underscore prefix (__), function as interceptors that are automatically called when certain conditions are met. Magic methods provide some extremely useful functionality, and this tutorial will demonstrate each method's use.

They define a sample class so you can see them in context - a Device and a Battery. They cover constructors/destructors, get/set, isset/unset, toString, clone and more (including the callStatic that's only in the recent PHP 5.3 versions of the language).

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