In this new post on the Springboard Software blog today, Michael takes a look at a very handy feature that PHP has to offer those working with objects - a form of introspection.
One of the things we love about Java is its ability to use introspection. Don't know what methods or field an object has? Just ask it.
It turns out that PHP provides some nifty introspection features as well. We've found one to be particularly useful: the ability of a PHP object to tell us its member variables at runtime. Not sure what that means? Let's look at an example.
In his example, he uses a content management system, specifically the "business objects" to illustrate his point. Introspection comes into play when the get_class_vars function is called, returning the defined variables for an object and allowing one to feed in values to be automagically set (in this case, either an array, a request, or a primary key for a record from the database).