PHP Final Keyword


Example

Def: Final Keyword prevents child classes from overriding a method by prefixing the definition with final. If the class itself is being defined final then it cannot be extended

Final Method

class BaseClass {
   public function test() {
       echo "BaseClass::test() called\n";
   }
   
   final public function moreTesting() {
       echo "BaseClass::moreTesting() called\n";
   }
}

class ChildClass extends BaseClass {
   public function moreTesting() {
       echo "ChildClass::moreTesting() called\n";
   }
}
// Results in Fatal error: Cannot override final method BaseClass::moreTesting()

Final Class:

final class BaseClass {
   public function test() {
       echo "BaseClass::test() called\n";
   }

   // Here it doesn't matter if you specify the function as final or not
   final public function moreTesting() {
       echo "BaseClass::moreTesting() called\n";
   }
}

class ChildClass extends BaseClass {
}
// Results in Fatal error: Class ChildClass may not inherit from final class (BaseClass)

Final constants: Unlike Java, the final keyword is not used for class constants in PHP. Use the keyword const instead.

Why do I have to use final?

  1. Preventing massive inheritance chain of doom
  2. Encouraging composition
  3. Force the developer to think about user public API
  4. Force the developer to shrink an object's public API
  5. A final class can always be made extensible
  6. extends breaks encapsulation
  7. You don't need that flexibility
  8. You are free to change the code

When to avoid final: Final classes only work effectively under following assumptions:

  1. There is an abstraction (interface) that the final class implements
  2. All of the public API of the final class is part of that interface