Asked  7 Months ago    Answers:  5   Viewed   28 times

I have this code:

private static $dates = array(
  'start' => mktime( 0,  0,  0,  7, 30, 2009),  // Start date
  'end'   => mktime( 0,  0,  0,  8,  2, 2009),  // End date
  'close' => mktime(23, 59, 59,  7, 20, 2009),  // Date when registration closes
  'early' => mktime( 0,  0,  0,  3, 19, 2009),  // Date when early bird discount ends

Which gives me the following error:

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected '(', expecting ')' in /home/user/Sites/site/registration/inc/ on line 19

So, I guess I am doing something wrong... but how can I do this if not like that? If I change the mktime stuff with regular strings, it works. So I know that I can do it sort of like that..

Anyone have some pointers?



PHP can't parse non-trivial expressions in initializers.

I prefer to work around this by adding code right after definition of the class:

class Foo {
  static $bar;
Foo::$bar = array(…);


class Foo {
  private static $bar;
  static function init()
    self::$bar = array(…);

PHP 5.6 can handle some expressions now.

/* For Abstract classes */
abstract class Foo{
    private static function bar(){
        static $bar = null;
        if ($bar == null)
            bar = array(...);
        return $bar;
    /* use where necessary */
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
answered 7 Months ago

If your class is not meant to define some super-type, it should not be declared as abstract, I'd say.

In your case, I would rather go with a class :

  • That defines __construct and __clone as private methods
    • so the class cannot be instanciated from outside
  • And, this way, your class could create an instance of itself
    • See the Singleton design pattern, about that, btw

Now, why use a Singleton, and not only static methods ? I suppose that, at least a couple of reasons can be valid :

  • Using a singleton means using an instance of the class ; makes it easier to transform a non-singleton class to a singleton one : only have to make __construct and __clone private, and add some getInstance method.
  • Using a singleton also means you have access to everything you can use with a normal instance : $this, properties, ...
  • Oh, a third one (not sure about that, but might have its importance) : with PHP < 5.3, you have less possibilities with static methods/data :
    • __callStatic has only been introduced in PHP 5.3
    • There is no __getStatic, __setStatic, ...
    • Same for a couple of other Magic methods !
  • Late Static Binding has only been added with PHP 5.3 ; and not having it often makes it harder, when working with static methods/classes ; especially when using inheritance.

This being said, yes, some code like this :

abstract class MyClass {
    protected static $data;
    public static function setA($a) {
        self::$data['a'] = $a;
    public static function getA() {
        return self::$data['a'];


Will work... But it doesn't feel quite natural... and this is a very simple example (see what I said earlier with Late Static Binding, and magic methods).

Saturday, May 29, 2021
answered 5 Months ago

You can't define a static member variable more than once. If you put variable definitions into a header, it is going to be defined in each translation unit where the header is included. Since the include guards are only affecting the compilation of one translation unit, they won't help, either.

However, you can define static member functions! Now, at first sight that may not look as if it could help except, of course, that function can have local static variable and returning a reference to one of these behaves nearly like a static member variable:

static std::string& bstring() { static std::string rc{"."}; return rc; }

The local static variable will be initialized the first time this function is called. That is, the construction is delayed until the function is accessed the first time. Of course, if you use this function to initialize other global objects it may also make sure that the object is constructed in time. If you use multiple threads this may look like a potential data race but it isn't (unless you use C++03): the initialization of the function local static variable is thread-safe.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021
answered 3 Months ago

The syntax initializer in the class definition is only allowed with integral and enum types. For std::string, it must be defined outside the class definition and initialized there.

struct C {
  static const int a = 42;     
  static const string b; 

const string C::b = "hi"; // in one of the .cpp files

static members must be defined in one translation unit to fulfil the one definition rule. If C++ allows the definition below;

struct C {
  static const string b = "hi"; 

b would be defined in each translation unit that includes the header file.

C++ only allows to define const static data members of integral or enumeration type in the class declaration as a short-cut. The reason why const static data members of other types cannot be defined is that non-trivial initialization would be required (constructor needs to be called).

Monday, September 27, 2021
answered 3 Weeks ago

Assuming you want function-static variables:

int foo(void) {
    static int b=1;
    static int *p;
    if (b) {
        p =  malloc(sizeof(int));
        b = 0;

You can use NULL value for p as a check, as long as you know it will never be NULL after the first call.

Remember to check for errors in malloc; it is a runtime allocation, and should also be freed when it will not be needed anymore.

Sunday, October 10, 2021
answered 2 Weeks ago
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