On DZone.com's Web Builder Zone Giorgio Sironi has posted a few methods you can use to help get rid of getters and setters in your OOP PHP applications.
Encapsulation is (not only, but also) about being capable of changing private fields. If you write getters and setters, you introduce a leaky abstraction over private fields, since the names and number of your public methods are influenced coupled to them. They aren't really private anymore:
To show his alternatives, he uses a sample "User" class with a whole list of private properties. There's initially a get/set for the nickname and password values, but he suggests a few replacements:
- passing values in through the constructor
- using the "Information Architect" pattern to have the most responsible method handle the value setting
- the "Double Dispatch" method that uses dependency injection
- using the Command pattern and changesets of data
He also briefly mentions the Command-Query Responsibility Segregation (CQRS) method, but doesn't have any code example to go with it.