PHPBuilder - Strings & Text in PHP - The ABCs of PHP Part 5 Page 2



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Strings & Text in PHP - The ABCs of PHP Part 5 - Page 2

by: PHP Builder Staff
|
April 15, 2009

Variable substitution in a string only works with variables. To use a function you need to use the string concatenation operator, which in PHP is a full stop '.'
This is different to a lot of languages where a + symbol is used. PHP still uses a + symbol, but this is only used for mathematical additions (as we'll see in the next episode).
In order to produce the expected output above, we would then use the following:
<?php

  Print "Todays date is " . date('r');

?>
So why use variable substitution at all?
If you remember from our introduction, PHP was originally designed as a hypertext pre-processor. Back in the early days, the first idea was to just embed tags into a text string, and the pre-processor would then replace those tags with just the information required. So for example you may have had:
<?php

  Print "Todays date is $date";

?>
And that would have output something similar to:
Todays date is 25/3/09
Today however there are many different ways of achieving this type of use, and using variable substitution is just a matter of personal preference.
I often tend to use concatenation, purely because it makes my code more readable. Bear in mind also that using the concatenation method also works with single quotes, so:
<?php

  $var = "Hello world";

  Print 'Some text [' . $var . ']';

?>
Works exactly the same as
<?php

  $var = "Hello world";

  Print "Some text [" . $var . "]";

?>

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