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Visibility

The visibility of a property or method can be defined by prefixing the declaration with the keywords: public, protected or private. Public declared items can be accessed everywhere. Protected limits access to inherited and parent classes (and to the class that defines the item). Private limits visibility only to the class that defines the item.

Members Visibility

Class members must be defined with public, private, or protected.

Example 10.10. Member declaration

<?php
/**
* Define MyClass
*/
class MyClass
{
   public
$public = 'Public';
   protected
$protected = 'Protected';
   private
$private = 'Private';

   function
printHello()
   {
       echo
$this->public;
       echo
$this->protected;
       echo
$this->private;
   }
}

$obj = new MyClass();
echo
$obj->public; // Works
echo $obj->protected; // Fatal Error
echo $obj->private; // Fatal Error
$obj->printHello(); // Shows Public, Protected and Private


/**
* Define MyClass2
*/
class MyClass2 extends MyClass
{
   
// We can redeclare the public and protected method, but not private
   
protected $protected = 'Protected2';

   function
printHello()
   {
       echo
$this->public;
       echo
$this->protected;
       echo
$this->private;
   }
}

$obj2 = new MyClass2();
echo
$obj2->public; // Works
echo $obj2->private; // Undefined
echo $obj2->protected; // Fatal Error
$obj2->printHello(); // Shows Public, Protected2, Undefined

?>


Note:

The PHP 4 method of declaring a variable with the var keyword is still supported for compatibility reasons (as a synonym for the public keyword). In PHP 5 before 5.1.3, its usage would generate an E_STRICT warning.

Method Visibility

Class methods must be defined with public, private, or protected. Methods without any declaration are defined as public.

Example 10.11. Method Declaration

<?php
/**
* Define MyClass
*/
class MyClass
{
   
// Contructors must be public
   
public function __construct() { }

   
// Declare a public method
   
public function MyPublic() { }

   
// Declare a protected method
   
protected function MyProtected() { }

   
// Declare a private method
   
private function MyPrivate() { }

   
// This is public
   
function Foo()
   {
       
$this->MyPublic();
       
$this->MyProtected();
       
$this->MyPrivate();
   }
}

$myclass = new MyClass;
$myclass->MyPublic(); // Works
$myclass->MyProtected(); // Fatal Error
$myclass->MyPrivate(); // Fatal Error
$myclass->Foo(); // Public, Protected and Private work


/**
* Define MyClass2
*/
class MyClass2 extends MyClass
{
   
// This is public
   
function Foo2()
   {
       
$this->MyPublic();
       
$this->MyProtected();
       
$this->MyPrivate(); // Fatal Error
   
}
}

$myclass2 = new MyClass2;
$myclass2->MyPublic(); // Works
$myclass2->Foo2(); // Public and Protected work, not Private

class Bar
{
   public function
test() {
       
$this->testPrivate();
       
$this->testPublic();
   }

   public function
testPublic() {
       echo
"Bar::testPublic\n";
   }
   
   private function
testPrivate() {
       echo
"Bar::testPrivate\n";
   }
}

class
Foo extends Bar
{
   public function
testPublic() {
       echo
"Foo::testPublic\n";
   }
   
   private function
testPrivate() {
       echo
"Foo::testPrivate\n";
   }
}

$myFoo = new foo();
$myFoo->test(); // Bar::testPrivate
               // Foo::testPublic
?>