simple explanation PHP OOP vs Procedural?

simple explanation PHP OOP vs Procedural?

Background: You asked for a simple explanation which suggests:

  1. You want a no-nonsense overview without jargon
  2. You want something that will help you learn from the beginning
  3. You have discovered that no two people ever answer the question the same way, and its confusing. Thats the reason you are here asking for a simple explanation. Yes?

Short No-Jargon Answer:

  1. Many introductory explanations jump quickly into OOP real world examples. Those can tend to confuse more than help, so feel free to ignore that for now.
  2. You can think of source code simply as chunks of functionality, that just happen to be saved to individual files.
  3. There are different ways of organizing those chunks; depending on things like conventions of the programming language, the background and training of the developer(s), or just plain old personal preference.
  4. OOP and Procedural programming are simply two main, generally-recognized methodologies, for how to organize and arrange those chunks of code.

Long No-Jargon Answer:

Procedural vs OOP is just one aspect of a fundamental issue of computer programming: how to make your code easy to understand and a piece of cake to professionally maintain. You can actually write Procedural code that follows some of the principles of OOP, so the two are not necessarily opposites.

Your understanding will really grow once you learn other object-oriented programming languages, among which, PHP is a new kid on the block.

Here is a quick overview of what you will learn as you build experience:

  • You can write PHP source code that does useful tasks

  • You can organize useful tasks into chunks of code

  • You can think of chunks of code independently of the individual files where they are saved

  • Sometimes those chunks of code will behave differently based on parameters you pass in

  • Chunks of code that accept parameters are called Functions

  • Functions can be chunked together, and there are different ways of doing this:

    • For example: you could have just one big PHP file with all the functions you have ever written in your entire life, listed in alphabetical order by function name
    • For example: you could have multiple PHP files with functions that are chunked together by subject matter [e.g., functions for doing basic string manipulation, functions for processing arrays, functions for file input/output, etc]
  • OOP is a special way of chunking Functions together into a Class

  • A Class is just another level of chunking code together so that you can treat it as a unified whole

  • A Class can be thought of as a chunking of methods and properties

    • methods are simply functions that are logically related to one another in some meaningful way. The words method and function are basically two different terms for the same thing.
    • properties are simply data values that are related to the class. These are values that are intentionally non-isolated to any individual function, because more than one of the functions in the class should have access to them.
      • For example: if your class has a bunch of methods for doing astronomy, properties of the class might be the values for certain famous numbers that all astronomy methods need to know about (like Pi, the speed of light, the distance between specific planets, etc.).
    • This is where most OOP explanations get confusing because they branch off into real world examples which can quickly get off-topic. Often, real world is a euphemism for the ontological perspectives of a particular individual or group. That tends to be useful only once you already understand the concept well enough to teach it to someone else.
    • To understand OOP without confusion, you can skip the real world examples for now, and just focus on the code. A Class is simply a way to store functions (aka methods) and properties (aka data) as PHP code in one or more related chunks where each individual chunk deals with a specific topic or piece of functionality. Thats all you need to know in order to get started.
  • A Class is useful because it allows you to organize your code at a very high level in a way that makes it easy for you to understand, use, and maintain.

  • When someone has written a lot of functions, and organized them into a lot of Classes, and gotten those to work together in some cool way, they package the whole thing together and call it a Framework.

  • A Framework is just the next-highest level of chunking (including coding style and conventions) that one or more people agree on because they like the way the code is organized and it suits their working style, preferences, values, plans for world domination, etc.

See also

OOP is nothing more than a design pattern. If youre just beginning then learn the basics by focusing on the procedural approach. Most importantly, get familiar with basic principles like loops, conditions and calling other procedures.

While youre creating your procedural code, make a habit by adding related methods inside a single source file. Learn to divide your procedures into logical units and then youre already starting to become object-oriented. Basically, an object is nothing more than a collection of methods that are related to one another simply because they operate on the same set of data. (Not speaking of databases here, but application data!)

OO is mainly used to make your code more logical by dividing everything in simple blocks. By combining the right blocks, you get a complete application. OO isnt a silver bullet or golden hammer which will solve all your problems. But what it does do, is making your code easier to understand.

Then again, some people still manage to make a complete mess out of objects, simply by turning them into huge super-objects with hundreds of methods. Such objects dont differ much from a regular procedural approach, simply because of the huge amount of methods being combined together without any real logic. Its a mistake thats easy to make when people start doing OOP too fast.

simple explanation PHP OOP vs Procedural?

To add on the great answers above. You should see OOP as a natural progression of your coding style -when you start writing small program you might just need to put together a couple of lines of php code, then group them into functions and the more functions you write you may feel the need to better organize them into classes. OOP just let your structure your codes better -allowing a better code maintenance.

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