Patterns

Patterns are ways to describe best practices and good designs. They show a flexible solution to common programming problems.

Factory

The Factory pattern allows for the instantiation of objects at runtime. It is called a Factory Pattern since it is responsible for "manufacturing" an object. A Parameterized Factory receives the name of the class to instantiate as argument.

Example #1 Parameterized Factory Method

<?php
class Example
{
    
// The parameterized factory method
    
public static function factory($type)
    {
        if (include_once 
'Drivers/' $type '.php') {
            
$classname 'Driver_' $type;
            return new 
$classname;
        } else {
            throw new 
Exception('Driver not found');
        }
    }
}
?>

Defining this method in a class allows drivers to be loaded on the fly. If the Example class was a database abstraction class, loading a MySQL and SQLite driver could be done as follows:

<?php
// Load a MySQL Driver
$mysql Example::factory('MySQL');

// Load an SQLite Driver
$sqlite Example::factory('SQLite');
?>

Singleton

The Singleton pattern applies to situations in which there needs to be a single instance of a class. The most common example of this is a database connection. Implementing this pattern allows a programmer to make this single instance easily accessible by many other objects.

Example #2 Singleton Function

<?php
class Example
{
    
// Hold an instance of the class
    
private static $instance;
    
    
// A private constructor; prevents direct creation of object
    
private function __construct() 
    {
        echo 
'I am constructed';
    }

    
// The singleton method
    
public static function singleton() 
    {
        if (!isset(
self::$instance)) {
            
$c __CLASS__;
            
self::$instance = new $c;
        }

        return 
self::$instance;
    }
    
    
// Example method
    
public function bark()
    {
        echo 
'Woof!';
    }

    
// Prevent users to clone the instance
    
public function __clone()
    {
        
trigger_error('Clone is not allowed.'E_USER_ERROR);
    }

}

?>

This allows a single instance of the Example class to be retrieved.

<?php
// This would fail because the constructor is private
$test = new Example;

// This will always retrieve a single instance of the class
$test Example::singleton();
$test->bark();

// This will issue an E_USER_ERROR.
$test_clone = clone $test;

?>