I'm working on a login class in PHP. I have the following line inside a class definition:

private $salty = sha1('salty');

...which is giving me the following error:

"Parse error: parse error, expecting ','' or ';'' in C:\xampp\htdocs\test\includes\jaLogin.php on line 26"

I've tried using this line outside of the class definition and it works fine, it's only when I use it inside the class definition that I get a problem.

If I remove the word "private" I get a slightly different error:

*Parse error: parse error, expecting `T_FUNCTION' in C:\xampp\htdocs\test\includes\jaLogin.php on line 26*

I feel like I'm missing something obvious...

Accepted Answer

You can't use function-calls to initialize class member variables.

class YourClass
    private $salty;

    public function __construct()
        $this->salty = sha1('salty');

is the one way to initialize your variable.


Even, e.g., a simple concatenation of two constant strings is not allowed (protected $_string = 'Hello ' . 'World!';). The evaluation of class properties happens at compile time, so the usage of constructs that depend on run-time information is illegal.

[...] This declaration may include an initialization, but this initialization must be a constant value--that is, it must be able to be evaluated at compile time and must not depend on run-time information in order to be evaluated.


Written by Stefan Gehrig
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