Everything on this planet has secrets, loopholes, and hidden tricks and talents of their own. PHP, a scripting language which was designed for developing dynamic web pages with the purpose of server-side scripting has some of these too. Here in this article you will find listed 7 such awesome secrets of PHP development that the experts of PHP development would never want you to know. Going through this list will not only change the way you have been using PHP but also why you have been using it.
1. Partially Validating Email Addresses without Performing any Complicated Procedures: The PHP language has a built-in function known as checkdnsrr() which takes an email address and performs scans and checks to find if the same email address validates as an IP address also. This is really very helpful while sending out emails using this particular function because if the checkdnsrr() function returns the output as false, you can, in turn, return an error statement informing the user that the email address and the domain don’t exist without really doing any hard work. This is a really useful trick that can be done using the PHP language since not only does it help you save time by eliminating the need to validate the email addresses in any other way but also saves server resources. However, using the usual slog and validating with filters is still strongly recommended.
2. Testing Boolean Results with Switch Case: As any programmer will know that the switch function is used to test cases but most experts in the field of PHP application development would not want you to know that you can test very easily for Boolean values with switch case. Although this principle might not hit you instantly, once it does, you will realize that this can actually make a lot of things easy if used properly.
a.) Example of a normal PHP switch function:
echo ‘Yay, it’s a boy’;
echo ‘Yay, it’s a girl’;
b.) Example of a PHP switch function using Boolean values:
case ($a == ‘A’):
echo ‘Yay, it’s a boy’;
case ($a == ‘B’):
echo ‘Yay, it’s a girl’;
3. Variables with a Variable Name: In the PHP language a variable can have a variable name. For example, if there is a class with a name that is dependent on the URL in some way or the other, like:
$class_name = $_GET[‘class_name’];
Now we need to instantiate the class and the object name also has to be identical to the class name, like:
$$class_name = new $class_name();
Thus now, if the value of $class_name is ‘Origami’, we will now also have an object with the name $Origami. Many experts in the field of PHP application development consider this as a programming hack and would never want everyone else to know about it. This is actually a really brilliant PHP programming trick which can work wonders if coded properly. This can also be applied to function names, arrays, variables or objects.
4. My SQLI: Mysqli is what takes the basic mysql functions that a programmer or a coder usually ends up rewriting 500 times during a particular project or while creating functions for a project and lays them all out on a table for you to be able to use them conveniently. Mysqli makes database transactions easy and convenient by doing all the hard work itself.
5.Using the Extract Function: In case you are ever in a situation where you need to say something like:
$name = $array[‘name’];
$surname = $array[‘surname’];
$message = $array[‘message’];
Then you are strongly recommended to use the extract() function to be able to do the same in a more convenient and easy way. For example:
6. The PHP tag at the end of a PHP File: In the PHP language it is not mandatory to close a PHP tag that is at the end of a file or is in a file that only contains PHP files. This basically means that you need not necessarily use a ‘?>’ unless you are going to use a non-PHP code after some PHP code. It is strongly recommended to get into the habit of leaving it out as using it may at times cause certain problems or may cause a leakage of whitespace after the closing tag, thereby causing a chaos while trying to get an XML output.
7. Validate and Comment: Validation is not only of prime importance but is also mandatory. There is nothing more important for a programmer than to validate all inputs, and outputs, and making sure that the codes that are being used in a program are the best possible ones. Same goes for commenting. If you as a programmer do not comment your code, it is high time that you do in order to be taken seriously as a programmer or a developer.
Developing an application is not and never should be the end of it. It is imperative that you as the developer or the programmer explore into it further and excavate all or any hidden tricks or secrets that may be associated with it. There are really a lot into the PHP language that many of us still do not know about. Another one of such trick is switching off the error reports since it is only foolish to put out all kinds of warnings or error reports out in the open for everyone to see. While going into production on your website, killing the error reporting is the best move that is there and is used by all PHP experts to hide their flaws. Besides knowing of a few cool tricks to dates and numbers look awesome and using different fonts, etc. most of us usually do not think or go deep into the technology that we are using. It is, therefore, the need of the hour to dig deeper into things in order to achieve success and limelight because in this fast-paced world, gone are the days of simplicity and monotonicity.
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