__toString method is not so magic before PHP 5.2!

__toString method is not so magic before PHP 5.2!

With Object Oriented Programmation, it is often useful to display an object quickly and easily.
The PHP langage has a magic object method to do that :

class Object {    
    public function __toString() {

This method, if it is defined, will be automatically called (magic !) when the Object is displayed.
It’s nice, no ? But if your Php version is prior to 5.2, the magic method is not called !

Example :

class Car {    
    public $color;

    public function __construct($color = 'white')    {
        $this->color = $color;    

    public function __toString() {
        return $this->color . ' car';    

$Car = new Car();

$redCar = new Car('red');

echo "There is a " . $Car . " and a " . $redCar;

In Php 5.2.1 :

There is a white car and a red car

But with Php before 5.2 :

There is a Object #1 and a Object #2

So, to be sure of the behavior of your script, you can call directly the __toString() method.

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