PHPBuilder - The ABC's of PHP - Part 10 - The Final Installment Page 3

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The ABC's of PHP - Part 10 - The Final Installment - Page 3

by: PHP Builder Staff
June 2, 2009

PHP 4 introduced a foreach construct, much like Perl and some other languages. This gives an easy way to iterate over arrays. Foreach works only on arrays, and will issue an error when you try to use it on a variable with a different data type or an uninitialized variable. There are two syntaxes; the second is a minor but useful extension of the first:

foreach (array_expression as $value)
foreach (array_expression as $key => $value)

Basically, from PHP5 onward, you can use the second version with '$key => $value' so instead of your loop variable getting the value of the variable, it gets the name of the array key, or the bit that sits inside the [ & ] brackets when you create an array.
This got me thinking, and since I discovered that you can also use spaces in array identifiers, I realized I could store style rules in a normal array, then insert them into the code using a loop like the following:

  foreach($styles as $key => $style)
    print " ." . $key . $styles[$key] . "\n";

Which you can see round about line 111 in the script attached to this article.
This opens up some interesting possibilities to generate style sheets on the fly using database information and PHP includes, which I'm going to explore at a later date, and maybe even write an article on PHP builder about it.
The rest of the script are just a mass of print statements that output the required HTML tags to create the page, and a main loop that goes over the story's array printing each story one at a time, all pretty easy to understand.
I hope you all enjoyed this series, I would have loved to keep going with it and moved onto more advanced things, such as databases, and classes and a whole host of other things. Unfortunately time constraints and other work won't afford me the time to do so.
I am a member on the PHPBuilder forums under the name 'shawty' so feel free to send me a PM or look out for my posts in there. I do actively participate in the forum when I have a few minutes here and there, I can also be found on linked in at:http://www I also have an MSN live spaces blog at: http://cid- Where I jot down little snippets of technical goodness and other geeky type stuff, feel free to drop me a visit and leave your mark in my guest book.
Please remember, programming is not about just creating code, or about doing as other have done before, it's a whole art-form in itself. I made my first leap into this voyage of discovery way back when I was just 7 or 8 years old, and even now I still learn new things every day, the proof in this is above where I discovered an extension to the 'foreach' command.
Always try to think outside the box, don't be tied in to the constrains of what something can do, because that's what it's supposed to do, I've used PHP for some pretty bizarre stuff over the years and developed tricks that you'll never find listed in any text books, and if you try something, and it fails…… So what…… so you failed…… big deal, re-think what you where attempting and learn from your mistakes, because next time it'll help you make more creative screw ups, believe me ;-).
The biggest thing though… is "Have fun doing what you do" because when it's fun, it makes the process all the more enjoyable, and programming should always be fun.
Happy PHPing…

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