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Mike Naberezny's Blog:
__get() - an alternative to __autoload()
January 09, 2008 @ 06:47:54

Mike Naberezny has posted this new item on his blog today with a look at why __get() is a perfectly good alternative to __autoload() in a class structure.

__autoload() is a magic function introduced in PHP 5 that provides a mechanism for on-demand loading of classes. After its inclusion in PHP, many argued that using such a feature is too magical or not a good design practice. Putting the religious debates over the appropriateness of __autoload() aside, its implementation does have one significant drawback: it is a function declared in the global scope. Once a function is declared, it cannot be redeclared. This means __autoload() can't be used effectively in shared libraries, since any other code could have already declared it.

Similar lazy-load functionality can be achieved on the class level by using __get().

He gives a short code example where the __get() call mimics the functionality of __autoload(), but the resulting object created is public, not global...

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