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The Stringable interface

(PHP 8)

Introduction

The Stringable interface denotes a class as having a __toString() method. Unlike most interfaces, Stringable is implicitly present on any class that has the magic __toString() method defined, although it can and should be declared explicitly.

Its primary value is to allow functions to type check against the union type string|Stringable to accept either a string primitive or an object that can be cast to a string.

Interface synopsis

interface Stringable {
/* Methods */
public __toString(): string
}

Stringable Examples

Example #1 Basic Stringable Usage

<?php
class IPv4Address implements Stringable {
private
string $oct1;
private
string $oct2;
private
string $oct3;
private
string $oct4;

public function
__construct(string $oct1, string $oct2, string $oct3, string $oct4) {
$this->oct1 = $oct1;
$this->oct2 = $oct2;
$this->oct3 = $oct3;
$this->oct4 = $oct4;
}

public function
__toString(): string {
return
"$this->oct1.$this->oct2.$this->oct3.$this->oct4";
}
}

function
showStuff(string|Stringable $value) {
// A Stringable will get converted to a string here by calling
// __toString.
print $value;
}

$ip = new IPv4Address('123', '234', '42', '9');

showStuff($ip);
?>

The above example will output something similar to:

123.234.42.9

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User Contributed Notes 1 note

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24
Gormack
1 year ago
Since it's introduced in PHP 8, IPv4Address class Example #1 could be shortened to:
<?php
class IPv4Address implements Stringable {
    public function
__construct(private string $oct1, private string $oct2, private string $oct3, private string $oct4) {
    }

    public function
__toString(): string {
        return
"$this->oct1.$this->oct2.$this->oct3.$this->oct4";
    }
}
?>
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