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Request #64454 It is possible to directly call the magic method "__construct".
Submitted: 2013-03-19 12:45 UTC Modified: 2013-03-22 16:19 UTC
Avg. Score:5.0 ± 0.0
Reproduced:2 of 2 (100.0%)
Same Version:2 (100.0%)
Same OS:1 (50.0%)
From: wolters dot fl at gmail dot com Assigned:
Status: Wont fix Package: Class/Object related
PHP Version: 5.4.13 OS: Microsoft Windows Version 6.2.9
Private report: No CVE-ID: None
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 [2013-03-19 12:45 UTC] wolters dot fl at gmail dot com
It is possible to directly call the magic method "__construct". This should NOT be possible, since one cannot create immutable objects with the current behaviour.

In addition, a direct call to the magic method "__clone" is not possible and raises an "\E_FATAL". Both magic methods deal with object creation, so the behaviour is inconsistent between them.

I am using "php-5.4.13-nts-Win32-VC9-x86" on Microsoft Windows Version 6.2.9 x64(Windows 8 64 bit).

Test script:

Expected result:
The method call:


should raise an "\E_FATAL" with the following message:

"Cannot call __construct() method on objects - use 'new <Class>' instead in [...] on line 21"


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 [2013-03-22 04:18 UTC]
-Status: Open +Status: Wont fix
 [2013-03-22 04:18 UTC]
PHP's __construct, actually, is not creating object, it decorate the object after 
it was created.

so,  even you directly call to $obj->__construct, then no new instance was create.

so a workaround is you can exam some property you set to see whether that is a 
double constructing or not.

 [2013-03-22 07:03 UTC]
Additionally to what laruence said, one should also point out that __construct is quite commonly called directly in the form of parent::__construct().
 [2013-03-22 16:19 UTC] wolters dot fl at gmail dot com
Yes, I do understand that "__construct" is an interceptor method and can be called from a subclass directly via "parent::__construct", but:

1. "parent::__construct" is a "static" method call which can occur inside of a class only.
2. The problem is, that it is possible to call "$obj->__construct" from outside a class. I could understand the behaviour if the call would be allowed from the inside of a class only.

Imho, calling "__construct" directly should ONLY be possible from the INSIDE of a class. Plus, such a call MUST be STATIC (otherwise a PHP error is raised).

From a clients PoV, __construct is a member method (similar to __clone):
* __clone is invoked via the "clone" operator.
* __construct is invoked via the "new" operator.

I don't see the reason, why there is a difference in that behaviour. I do not know much about the internals (C code) of the interceptor methods, but from the clients PoV these distinctions in behaviour are confusing.

PS: I also updated my example at to emphasize this.
 [2013-03-22 16:51 UTC]
1. parent::__construct() is not a static method call, its a scoped call. It only says: Do $this->__construct() in the "parent" context.

2. Could you explain why it is a problem? What issues are there with calling __construct() from outside the class? I don't see any. I don't see much use either. One possible use would be calling it in a context where the constructor is not called by itself, e.g. one could call __construct() after an unserialization or something.

Really, I don't get why you want to forbid this. We don't usually prohibit direct calls to magic methods and I don't see why we should do so in this particular instance. Quite honestly, I more wonder why the call to __clone() is not allowed.
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