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PHP: What is the meaning of the arrow -> in PHP?

Question by Guest | 2015-07-07 at 18:21

I have already worked with several programming languages, but I am quite new with PHP. Nevertheless, I was able to find my way in the PHP syntax quite quickly, because many things are similar to other languages.

However, not all. For example, in some code examples, I was confronted with an arrow, written as a hyphen character and a greater-than-sign (->). I have never seen something like that in other programming languages.

Is someone able to explain the meaning of this arrow in PHP to me?

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With the arrow, you can access methods, functions and properties of classes in PHP. In other programming languages, often the period is used for this.

Here is a small example for PHP:

$obj = new MyClass();
$str = $obj->getString();
$int = $obj->getInt();
$obj->doSomething();

We are creating a new object of the class MyClass and afterwards we are accessing the functions getString() and getInt() in order to store the results in the variables $str and $int. After that, we are calling the method doSomething.

In another programming language, the same example might look something like that:

obj = MyClass.Create();
str = obj.getString();
int = obj.getInt();
obj.doSomething();

Basically, it is the same, only with a dot instead of the arrow.
2015-07-07 at 19:10

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