Table Of Contents
  • PHP Homework Help for Your Needs
  • Constructor
  • Destructors
  • Inheritance scope & static binding
  • Patterns
  • Standard PHP library
  • Opcode caching
  • JSON encoding and decoding
  • Lambdas and closures
  • Web services & APIs
  • XML

PHP Homework Help for Your Needs

PHP is a popular programming language for web development, and it is certainly something any student undertaking a web development course will come across. However, it is essential to note that learning PHP is never a walk in the park, especially for newbie programmers.

The complexity of PHP makes it a language even for experienced developers, and hence students always find it hard to master.
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Constructor

A constructor is a special class function that is executed automatically as the objects of the class are created and instantiated. It is sometimes referred to as a magic function because, in PHP, magic functions are often started with two underscore characters, and that’s how the constructor function is started (i.e., ‘___construct’). There are three types of constructors:

Default constructor:

This constructor does not include any parameters; the values of the default constructor, however, can be passed dynamically.

Copy constructor:

The copy constructor accepts other objects’ addresses as a parameter

Parameterized constructor:

As the name suggests, this constructor has parameters and one can also pass different values of the parameters to various data members

NB:

All constructors are defined in the public part of the class.

Destructors

Destructors are functions called when a PHP script is exited or stopped or when an object is destructed. During software development, when a programmer creates a __destruct() function, PHP automatically calls this special function every time the script ends. Destructors are called just before a PHP program is about to release objects from the memory. You can use the destructor method not only to end a script but also to clean up resources and close files. The destructor method does not accept arguments and you can only call it before you delete an object. Deletion is initiated either when PHP completes executing a script or where there are no more existing references. The easiest way to differentiate constructors from destructors is to remember that constructors are called when objects are created and destructors are called when objects are deleted.

Inheritance scope & static binding

Inheritance scope is simply when a class derives or ‘inherits’ attributes from another class. It is one of the most important concepts of object-oriented programming and enables programmers to implement additional functions in similar objects without necessarily having to create all the shared functionalities again. Generally, the child class inherits all the protected and public methods and properties of the parent class, but can also have methods and properties of its own. Static binding is a feature commonly used to reference a class in the context of static inheritance. It works by storing the class that has been named in the last non-forwarded class call. The static binding feature was introduced in PHP to resolve problems resulting from the self:: scope resolutory. It becomes prevalent the first time a given class is loaded by a defined PHP process.

Patterns

Design patterns are templates implemented in PHP to help speed up the development process. They not only accelerate software development but also encapsulate big, complex ideas into smaller, more manageable ones. One huge advantage of patterns is that each pattern describes and evaluates a problem that occurs repeatedly and then analyzes the recommended solution in such a manner that one can use the solution over and over without implementing it the same way twice. There are several design patterns that can be used with PHP. The most common ones include:

Creational patterns:

Used to create objects so they can be uncoupled from the system that has implemented them

Structural patterns:

Used to construct large structures of objects between multiple dissimilar objects

Behavioral patterns:

Used to control and manage relationships, responsibilities, and algorithms between objects

Standard PHP library

The Standard PHP Library, commonly denoted as, SPL is a set, or rather, a collection of classes used for traversing, sorting, and filtering data and objects. It comes with an iterator, an important feature that enables programmers to easily access trees, arrays, and directory listings. SPL also includes a set of interfaces, standard exceptions, and numerous classes to work with files. What makes SPL interesting is that it sets up a standard platform for everyone to work with PHP and also enhances different parts of the PHP syntax, making it easier for programmers to work with various objects and classes. Basically, the SPL improves PHP in five ways; iterators, array overloading, exceptions, file and data handling, and XML, all of which improve software development time.

Opcode caching

Opcode caching is a method of caching that stores the bytecode of a precompiled script in the server’s memory, often referred to as the cache memory. This helps a webpage load much faster every time a user visits it for the second time. Caching is a system installed on websites to help improve their loading speed. How it works is that it saves the content of the site in the server’s main memory the first time someone opens the website. When the user opens the same page again, this stored content is retrieved, causing the site to load faster. Opcode caching compiles the human-readable PHP code to a type of code that only the server understands. Most cache engines execute this process the first time the site is visited without having to repeat it the second or the third time the site is visited.

JSON encoding and decoding

JavaScript Object Notation, or simply, JSON is a data-interchange format used to represent structured data and transmit data in various web applications. It is easy to understand by both humans and computers and is based on two main structures:

Objects:

Collection of key: value pairs

Arrays:

Order a list of values
JSON encoding/decoding is one of the most commonly used operations in PHP. The encoding process bundles data into a given format to preserve its consistency. To implement the process, there have to be three elements: the data to be encoded, JSON encodes constraints, and depth limits for recursive encoding. The decoding process is a reverse of encoding and returns the encoded information to its original format. To initiate the process, there must be the JSON data to be decoded, depth limit, and a Boolean value to which an associative array should be returned, if true.

Lambdas and closures

Lambda functions are anonymous PHP functions that are stored in variables and passed as arguments to methods or other functions. When you need a simple function to perform a given task, you can use a lambda. The most important thing to remember about lambda functions is that they have no name, can be assigned to variables, and can be used as arguments in other functions of a class. Closures are similar to lambdas, only that they come with some extra benefits. For instance, you can access global variables inside an anonymous function. Both lambdas and closures enhance the functionality of PHP in that they make the code look cleaner and more intuitive. They are relatively new to PHP and they are not used exactly the same as in other programming languages.

Web services & APIs

Web services are resources that have been made available over the web or the internet. Simply put, a web service is a system created to support interoperable machine-to-machine operations over a given network. It uses a SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), that allows XML data to be shared through HTTP requests. Application Programming Interface (API) is a software interface that enables two programs to interact and communicate with each other without user intervention. Unlike web services that exclusively use SOAP, APIs use any protocol. Also, they can work either online or offline but a web service must be online at all times. But contrary to what many people think, web services and APIs are not all that different. In fact, one is formed from the other – all web services are generally APIs but not all APIs are web services.

XML

Short for eXtensible Markup Language, XML is a hardware and software independent tool for transporting and storing data. XML tags identify and organize data instead of specifying how it should be displayed like in the HTML tags. XML can be used to exchange and transport information between systems and organizations. It can also be used to reload and offload databases and in most instances, it is merged with style sheets to enhance designs. To improve functionality, XML comes with XPath, a syntax specifically used to define various parts of XML documents. This syntax uses a host of path expressions to select nodes in XML documents. The expressions not only work in XML but in other programming languages too like Java, JavaScript, C++, Python, C, PHP, and XML schema.

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