Basic syntax

What can PHP do?
November 13, 2018
Variables
November 13, 2018

PHP tags

When PHP parses a file, it looks for opening and closing tags, which are <?php and ?> which tell PHP to start and stop interpreting the code between them. Parsing in this manner allows PHP to be embedded in all sorts of different documents, as everything outside of a pair of opening and closing tags is ignored by the PHP parser.

PHP also allows for short open tag <? (which is discouraged since it is only available if enabled using the short_open_tag php.ini configuration file directive, or if PHP was configured with the –enable-short-tagsoption).

If a file is pure PHP code, it is preferable to omit the PHP closing tag at the end of the file. This prevents accidental whitespace or new lines being added after the PHP closing tag, which may cause unwanted effects because PHP will start output buffering when there is no intention from the programmer to send any output at that point in the script.

<?php
echo "Hello world";
?>

Introduction

PHP supports ten primitive types.

Four scalar types:
Four compound types:

And finally two special types:

This manual also introduces some pseudo-types for readability reasons:

And the pseudo-variable $....

Some references to the type “double” may remain in the manual. Consider double the same as float; the two names exist only for historic reasons.

The type of a variable is not usually set by the programmer; rather, it is decided at runtime by PHP depending on the context in which that variable is used.

NoteTo check the type and value of an expression, use the var_dump() function.

To get a human-readable representation of a type for debugging, use the gettype() function. To check for a certain type, do not use gettype(), but rather the is_type functions. Some examples:

<?php
$a_bool = TRUE;   // a boolean
$a_str  = "foo";  // a string
$a_str2 = 'foo';  // a string
$an_int = 12;     // an integer
echo gettype($a_bool); // prints out:  boolean
echo gettype($a_str);  // prints out:  string
// If this is an integer, increment it by four
if (is_int($an_int)) {
$an_int += 4;
}
// If $a_bool is a string, print it out
// (does not print out anything)
if (is_string($a_bool)) {
echo “String: $a_bool”;
}
?>
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