Object Inheritance

Domains: PHP

Inheritance is a well-established programming principle, and PHP makes use of this principle in its object model. This principle will affect the way many classes and objects relate to one another.

For example, when you extend a class, the subclass inherits all of the public and protected methods from the parent class. Unless a class overrides those methods, they will retain their original functionality.

This is useful for defining and abstracting functionality, and permits the implementation of additional functionality in similar objects without the need to reimplement all of the shared functionality.


Unless autoloading is used, then classes must be defined before they are used. If a class extends another, then the parent class must be declared before the child class structure. This rule applies to classes that inherit other classes and interfaces.

Example #1 Inheritance Example


class Foo
    public function printItem($string)
        echo 'Foo: ' . $string . PHP_EOL;
    public function printPHP()
        echo 'PHP is great.' . PHP_EOL;

class Bar extends Foo
    public function printItem($string)
        echo 'Bar: ' . $string . PHP_EOL;

$foo = new Foo();
$bar = new Bar();
$foo->printItem('baz'); // Output: 'Foo: baz'
$foo->printPHP();       // Output: 'PHP is great' 
$bar->printItem('baz'); // Output: 'Bar: baz'
$bar->printPHP();       // Output: 'PHP is great'


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