PHP Magic Constants Difference between __CLASS__, get_class() and get_called_class()


__CLASS__ magic constant returns the same result as get_class() function called without parameters and they both return the name of the class where it was defined (i.e. where you wrote the function call/constant name ).

In contrast, get_class($this) and get_called_class() functions call, will both return the name of the actual class which was instantiated:


class Definition_Class {

  public function say(){
     echo '__CLASS__ value: ' . __CLASS__ . "\n";
     echo 'get_called_class() value: ' . get_called_class() . "\n";
     echo 'get_class($this) value: ' . get_class($this) . "\n";
     echo 'get_class() value: ' . get_class() . "\n";

class Actual_Class extends Definition_Class {}

$c = new Actual_Class();
// Output:
// __CLASS__ value: Definition_Class
// get_called_class() value: Actual_Class
// get_class($this) value: Actual_Class
// get_class() value: Definition_Class