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A practical example: using “Type Hinting” within a web page generator class - PHP

Here we are again. Welcome to the last tutorial of the series “Enforcing object types in PHP.” As this article’s title suggests, this series introduces the basics of object type enforcement in PHP, covering some of the most common methods for checking types of objects in both PHP 4 and PHP 5 respectively.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. Enforcing Object Types in PHP: Using the Type Hinting Feature in PHP 5
  2. The “Type Hinting” feature of PHP 5: taking an in-depth look
  3. A practical example: using “Type Hinting” within a web page generator class
  4. Putting “Type Hinting” to work: building object-based web documents
By: Alejandro Gervasio
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 3
March 01, 2006

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In order to utilize the web page generator class that I wrote in my previous article, let me first list the set of (X)HTML widget classes, useful for rendering page elements. As you’ll recall, these widget classes looked like this:

// define abstract class HTMLElement
abstract class HTMLElement{
    protected $attributes;
    protected function __construct($attributes){
        if(!is_array($attributes)){
            throw new Exception('Invalid attribute type');
        }
        $this->attributes=$attributes;
    }
    // abstract 'getHTML()' method
    abstract protected function getHTML();
}
class Div extends HTMLElement{
    private $output='<div ';
    private $data;
    public function __construct($attributes=array(),$data){
        if(!$data instanceof HTMLElement&&!is_string($data)){
            throw new Exception('Invalid parameter type');
        }
        parent::__construct($attributes);
        $this->data=$data;
    }
    // concrete implementation for 'getHTML()' method
    public function getHTML(){
        foreach($this->attributes as $attribute=>$value){
            $this->output.=$attribute.'="'.$value.'" ';
        }
        $this->output=substr_replace($this->output,'>',-1);
        $this->output.=($this->data instanceof HTMLElement)?
$this->data->getHTML():$this->data;
        $this->output.='</div>';
        return $this->output;
    }
}
class Header1 extends HTMLElement{
    private $output='<h1 ';
    private $data;
    public function __construct($attributes=array(),$data){
        if(!$data instanceof HTMLElement&&!is_string($data)){
            throw new Exception('Invalid parameter type');
        }
        parent::__construct($attributes);
        $this->data=$data;
    }
    // concrete implementation for 'getHTML()' method
    public function getHTML(){
        foreach($this->attributes as $attribute=>$value){
            $this->output.=$attribute.'="'.$value.'" ';
        }
        $this->output=substr_replace($this->output,'>',-1);
        $this->output.=($this->data instanceof HTMLElement)?
$this->data->getHTML():$this->data;
        $this->output.='</h1>';
        return $this->output;
    }
}
class Paragraph extends HTMLElement{
    private $output='<p ';
    private $data;
    public function __construct($attributes=array(),$data){
        if(!$data instanceof HTMLElement&&!is_string($data)){
            throw new Exception('Invalid parameter type');
        }
        parent::__construct($attributes);
        $this->data=$data;
    }
    // concrete implementation for 'getHTML()' method
    public function getHTML(){
        foreach($this->attributes as $attribute=>$value){
            $this->output.=$attribute.'="'.$value.'" ';
        }
        $this->output=substr_replace($this->output,'>',-1);
        $this->output.=($this->data instanceof HTMLElement)?
$this->data->getHTML():$this->data;
        $this->output.='</p>';
        return $this->output;
    }
}
class UnorderedList extends HTMLElement{
    private $output='<ul ';
    private $items=array();
    public function __construct($attributes=array(),$items=array
()){
        parent::__construct($attributes);
        if(!is_array($items)){
            throw new Exception('Invalid parameter for list
items');
        }
        $this->items=$items;
    }
    // concrete implementation for 'getHTML()' method
    public function getHTML(){
        foreach($this->attributes as $attribute=>$value){
            $this->output.=$attribute.'="'.$value.'" ';
        }
        $this->output=substr_replace($this->output,'>',-1);
        foreach($this->items as $item){
            $this->output.=($item instanceof
HTMLElement)?'<li>'.$item->getHTML().'</li>':'<li>'.$item.'</li>';
        }
        $this->output.='</ul>';
        return $this->output;
    }
}

After defining the bunch of (X)HTML widget classes, which were originally created as subclasses of the abstract “HTMLElement” class, it’s time to list the web page generator class in question. Remember that it also uses the “instanceof” operator within its “addHTMLElement” method, in order to accept only objects of type “HTMLElement.”  The code listed below should refresh your memory of how this class looks:

class PageGenerator{
    private $output='';
    private $title;
    public function __construct($title='Default Page'){
        $this->title=$title;
    }
    public function doHeader(){
        $this->output='<html><head><title>'.$this-
>title.'</title></head><body>';
    }
    public function addHTMLElement($htmlElement){
        if(!$htmlElement instanceof HTMLElement){
            throw new Exception('Invalid (X)HTML element');
        }
        $this->output.=$htmlElement->getHTML();
    }
    public function doFooter(){
        $this->output.='</body></html>';
    }
    public function fetchHTML(){
        return $this->output;
    }
}

Now, did you recall the signature for the above class? Fine, now allow me introduce a small change into its definition, particularly within its “addHTMLElement()” method, by replacing the corresponding “instanceof” operator with the “Type Hinting” feature:

class PageGenerator{
    private $output='';
    private $title;
    public function __construct($title='Default Page'){
        $this->title=$title;
    }
    public function doHeader(){
        $this->output='<html><head><title>'.$this-
>title.'</title></head><body>';
    }
    // type hinting is applied to input objects
    public function addHTMLElement(HTMLElement $htmlElement){
        $this->output.=$htmlElement->getHTML();
    }
    public function doFooter(){
        $this->output.='</body></html>';
    }
    public function fetchHTML(){
        return $this->output;
    }
}

At this point, you’ll agree with me that the improved class listed above looks very interesting now. Notice the implementation of “Type Hinting” within the pertinent “addHTMLElement()” method, in order to force all objects to be of type “HTMLElement”:

public function addHTMLElement(HTMLElement $htmlElement){
    $this->output.=$htmlElement->getHTML();
}

Now that you know how “Type Hinting” has been implemented within the web page generator class you saw above, the next thing to do is set up an example, which hopefully will demonstrate the advantages of this handy feature. Therefore, go ahead and read the next section.



 
 
>>> More PHP Articles          >>> More By Alejandro Gervasio
 

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