Php ->

Posted on 2012-09-04
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-09-04
I'm trying to learn some basics of php, but still do understand when using the (->), like example (is to call a method inside a class?):

$myrows = $wpdb->get_results( "SELECT id, name FROM mytable" );
Question by:rflorencio
  • 2
LVL 11

Accepted Solution

Slimshaneey earned 1200 total points
ID: 38362680
-> is for an object instantiated, :: for static methods.

You should take ten minutes to read through this:

It will give you the basics of OO programming with PHP. In particular, look at Instantiation (Creating objects), Class resolution and scope. It should hopefully get your basic knowledge more complete!
LVL 11

Assisted Solution

Slimshaneey earned 1200 total points
ID: 38362686
An example of the difference between an instantiated operator and static is like this:

class nonStatic {
public function hello(){
 return "Hello!"

class staticclass {
public static function hello(){
return "Hello!"

To call either of these:
$obj = new nonStatic;

$output = $obj->hello();
echo $output;

$outputStatic = staticclass::hello();
echo $output;

Open in new window

The main difference between calling static and non-static methods is the non-static has functions like __construct that run when the object is first created and can setup variables for use throught the life of that object. Statics dont have that but are quicker to run generally.
LVL 61

Assisted Solution

by:Julian Hansen
Julian Hansen earned 800 total points
ID: 38362687
The -> denotes a member of an object

So if you have
class MyClass
    // This is a variable local to the class. Each object of type MyClass will have
    // its own version of this variable - called an attribute
    // Here it is public which means it can be accessed outside of the class

    public $name = '';

    // This is a member  function in the class
    function set_name($newname)
        // Here we are using $this which an object uses to refer to itself, to set
        // the member variable name to the newname 
        $this->name = $newname

Open in new window

We can now create a new object of type myClass like this
// Create the class
$me = new MyClass();

// Call the function set_name the -> means member of

// Display the value of this object's internal name variable
echo $me->name;

Open in new window

Your post is basically showing a line that says

Object: $wpdb is calling an internal function called get_results.

So in answer to your question - yes it is to call a method in a class or to refer to a member variable (attribute)

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