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Understanding PHP custom classes

From: Dreamweaver with PHP and MySQL

Video: Understanding PHP custom classes

In addition to offering code hinting for PHP language elements, Dreamweaver CS5 also gives you code hinting for custom classes. A PHP custom class is a way of creating reusable code. I'll start by creating a custom class, and then showing you how to use code hinting to use its features. I will be working with the version of files in the exercise files, in a folder named 03_managingcode > 02_hintingwithclasses. I will start in my _includes folder.

Understanding PHP custom classes

In addition to offering code hinting for PHP language elements, Dreamweaver CS5 also gives you code hinting for custom classes. A PHP custom class is a way of creating reusable code. I'll start by creating a custom class, and then showing you how to use code hinting to use its features. I will be working with the version of files in the exercise files, in a folder named 03_managingcode > 02_hintingwithclasses. I will start in my _includes folder.

I am going to create a custom class that encapsulates, or contains code to output the current time to the web site. I will go to the _includes folder and create a new PHP file. I will right-click on the folder and select new file, and I will name the new file DateUtility.php. When you create a file to contain a custom class declaration, you should always use an uppercase initial character, such as the D in DateUtility. That's a convention that PHP developers use.

Now I will open the file, and just as with a Server Side Include, I will delete any existing HTML code. Just as with all PHP code, a PHP class declaration must be placed within a code block, so I will go to the Insert panel to the PHP category, and I will add a code block. Then, with the cursor inside the code block, I will press Enter a few times. Here is how you define a PHP custom class.

You start with the word "class," then you type in the name of the class. By strong convention, the name of the class matches the name of the file, but without the .php extension. Then you put in a pair of curly braces. Within the class, you can define variables or properties, and functions or methods. I am going to define a single function named getCurrentTime. I will start with the word "public," then "function," then the name of the function, "getCurrentTime." After the name with the function, I will type in a beginning and an ending parenthesis, and then I will type in another pair of curly braces.

The purpose of the getCurrentTime function will be to output the current time to the browser. I already have a little bit of code that does that that I created in a previous video. In this file set, I will find it in the phpinfo.php file. I will open that file, and then I will select and copy the three lines of code that set the current time zone and echo the current time to the browser. I will copy that code to the browser, then I will return to my class declaration, I will press Enter and then Paste. And I will select the two lines of code that aren't properly indented, then press Tab a couple of times to indent them within the function.

So now this class has a public function that I can call anytime. I can use this class anywhere in my web site, and I will always get the same formatted value. I will save the file, and then I will open the file, footer.php. In order to use a class declaration, you first have to include it. So I will place the cursor up at the top of the file and make a couple of lines of empty space. Then I will go to the Insert panel, to the PHP category, and I will add an Include command.

And I will include the file, DateUtility.php. If you want to include this file from a file in another directory, you can use a relative location, such as dots, dot-dots and names of folders. But because this file is in the same folder as footer.php, I just need to provide the file a name. I will save the file and move down to the bottom of the page. I will place the cursor after the paragraph tag with a class of phone, and I will create another pair of paragraph tags.

I will make a little bit of empty space. Then I will go to the Insert panel and add a code block, and I will make a little bit of empty space within the code block. I am going to create a variable which is an instance of my custom class. The name of the variable will be dateutil, with the dollar sign prefix. Then to create an instance of my custom class, I will use this syntax: = new, and there is my custom class name, DateUtility. I will press Enter to select in and type in an opening and a closing parenthesis and semicolon.

The dateutil variable is now an instance of my custom class, and I can call that custom class's functions, or methods, like this. I will go down to the next line, and I will type in $date. Dreamweaver shows me the name of the variable starting with date, dateutil, and I will press Enter or Return to select it. Then I am going to call a function, which is a member of the class. To call a member of the class, you use this syntax: ->. It looks like an arrow.

Dreamweaver automatically offers the name of the function in the class, getCurrentTime, using its code hinting capabilities. I will press Enter and then add a semicolon at the end of the line. So here are all the parts of the puzzle. At the top of the page, I used an Include command to include the class declaration, and then where I want the output to happen, I create an instance of the class and then finally call its function, and Dreamweaver, with its code hinting capability, helped me correctly name the class, and its function.

I will save the change to footer.php. Then I will go to one of my top-level pages. I will use index.php, which is already including footer.php at the bottom of the file. I will look at the page using Live View, updating the files on the testing server as I go. I will look in Design View, scroll down to the bottom, and there is the result: the current time. So that's a look at how you can use code hinting to work with your own custom classes.

Custom classes give you a way of encapsulating commonly used, or reusable code, and Dreamweaver CS5's PHP code hinting will help you make sure that you refer to the class names and its properties and functions correctly as you do your hand coding.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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Dreamweaver with PHP and MySQL

61 video lessons · 36315 viewers

David Gassner
Author

 
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  1. 8m 48s
    1. Welcome
      1m 25s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      2m 17s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 40s
    4. Understanding the differences between Dreamweaver CS5.5 and CS6
      3m 26s
  2. 19m 31s
    1. Understanding static vs. dynamic web pages
      4m 32s
    2. Selecting application and database servers
      6m 10s
    3. Introducing Apache, MySQL, and PHP
      6m 36s
    4. Installing Apache, MySQL, and PHP
      2m 13s
  3. 39m 34s
    1. Defining a Dreamweaver site
      3m 22s
    2. Configuring a PHP testing server
      7m 48s
    3. Creating and testing a PHP-based web page
      8m 25s
    4. Adding PHP commands with the Insert panel
      3m 14s
    5. Setting and outputting simple variables
      3m 56s
    6. Testing pages with Live view and Live Code view
      2m 9s
    7. Using server-side includes
      7m 50s
    8. Navigating included pages with the Code Navigator
      2m 50s
  4. 36m 37s
    1. Using code hinting with PHP variables
      5m 31s
    2. Understanding PHP custom classes
      6m 38s
    3. Adding Zend Framework to PHP on Windows
      5m 18s
    4. Adding Zend Framework to PHP on Mac
      4m 2s
    5. Using the Site-Specific Code Hints feature
      3m 43s
    6. Using Zend Framework classes with code hints
      7m 26s
    7. Managing reusable code with the Snippets panel
      3m 59s
  5. 18m 27s
    1. Understanding relational databases
      5m 26s
    2. Creating a MySQL database in phpMyAdmin
      4m 41s
    3. Adding data in phpMyAdmin
      2m 46s
    4. Importing a completed database from a script
      5m 34s
  6. 39m 35s
    1. Defining a Dreamweaver database connection
      5m 27s
    2. Building a simple recordset
      4m 31s
    3. Building an advanced recordset
      5m 1s
    4. Displaying data with repeating regions
      6m 4s
    5. Displaying data in a dynamic table
      4m 15s
    6. Formatting dynamic data
      4m 54s
    7. Displaying the total number of records
      2m 4s
    8. Limiting records with paging controls
      4m 5s
    9. Creating conditional regions
      3m 14s
  7. 43m 12s
    1. Building a simple data entry form
      5m 27s
    2. Handling form submissions with PHP
      5m 12s
    3. Creating a customer email form
      3m 9s
    4. Validating form controls with Spry
      7m 54s
    5. Populating a list control with dynamic data
      4m 50s
    6. Working with multiple checkbox controls
      8m 5s
    7. Sending email with Zend_Mail
      8m 35s
  8. 50m 51s
    1. Using data wizards
      6m 20s
    2. Formatting dates for SQL
      5m 27s
    3. Creating a custom data entry form
      4m 50s
    4. Preparing a database table for server behaviors
      3m 3s
    5. Using the Insert Record server behavior
      5m 42s
    6. Preparing an update form
      7m 6s
    7. Using the Update Form behavior
      5m 46s
    8. Creating list page links to edit and update data
      7m 3s
    9. Using the Delete Record server behavior
      5m 34s
  9. 14m 45s
    1. Creating a login form with a PHP server behavior
      6m 29s
    2. Protecting page access with PHP server behaviors
      4m 17s
    3. Logging out with a PHP server behavior
      3m 59s
  10. 22m 50s
    1. Configuring a remote server with FTP credentials
      4m 42s
    2. Synchronizing site assets with the remote server
      5m 27s
    3. Exporting the MySQL database to a script
      3m 8s
    4. Importing the MySQL database on a remote server
      2m 24s
    5. Configuring the site for the remote database
      7m 9s
  11. 52s
    1. Final thoughts
      52s

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