What are the magic methods in PHP?

In PHP, magic methods are special methods that begin with the double underscore “__” and serve a specific purpose.

These methods are automatically called by the PHP interpreter under certain circumstances. Magic methods allow you to implement various functionalities in your classes, such as overloading operators, handling property access, serialization, etc. Here are some commonly used magic methods in PHP:

  1. __construct: This method is called automatically when an object is created. It is used for initialization tasks when the object is instantiated.
  2. __destruct: This method is called automatically when the object is no longer referenced or goes out of scope. It is used for cleanup tasks and releasing resources.
  3. __get: This method is called when an undefined or inaccessible property is accessed. It allows you to control how the properties are accessed.
  4. __set: This method is called when a value is assigned to an undefined or inaccessible property. It allows you to control how the properties are set.
  5. __isset: This method is called when isset() or empty() is used to check the existence of an undefined or inaccessible property. It allows you to control the behavior of these checks.
  6. __unset: This method is called when unset() is used to unset an undefined or inaccessible property. It allows you to control the behavior of property deletion.
  7. __call: This method is called when an undefined or inaccessible method is invoked. It allows you to handle method calls dynamically.
  8. __callStatic: This method is called when an undefined or inaccessible static method is invoked. It allows you to handle static method calls dynamically.
  9. __toString: This method is called when an object is treated as a string (e.g., when using echo or print). It allows you to define how the object should be represented as a string.
  10. __invoke: This method is called when an object is treated as a function and invoked. It allows you to use an object as if it were a closure.
  11. __clone: This method is called when an object is cloned using the clone keyword. It allows you to control the cloning behavior of an object.
  12. __set_state: This method is called when an object is exported with var_export(). It allows you to define how the object should be recreated from its exported representation.
  13. __debugInfo: This method is called when an object is used with var_dump(). It allows you to customize the debugging information displayed for the object.

Keep in mind that magic methods are powerful, but they should be used judiciously to maintain code clarity and avoid unnecessary complexities.