Monday, 8 September 2014

PHP Web Development: PHP Variables

While working with any language we make use of variables. Variables are used to store values and reuse them in our code. We use different types of variables in our code such as strings (text), integers (numbers), floats (decimal numbers), boolean (true or false) and objects. In PHP we can make use of variable while writing scripts. In this lesson we're going to cover PHP variables.

What is a variable?
A variable is a mean to store values such as strings, integers or decimals so we can easily reuse those values in our code. For example, we can store a string value such as "I Love PHP" or an integer value of 100 into a variable.

PHP Variable Syntax
$var_name = value; Defining Variable in PHP?Here is an example of how to declare a variable in PHP.
<?php $var_name = "I Love PHP"; ?>Some key points to notice:- Remember to put the $ sign in front of variables when declaring variables in PHP.
- Variable names must start with letters or underscore.
- Variables can't include characters except letters, numbers or underscore.

PHP variable types?
Unlike Java or C++, PHP doesn't care about primitive types. Any variable, either a string, an integer or a float is declared the same way. PHP converts the types in the code by itself. Here's what I mean.
<?php //a string variable $var_name = "I Love PHP"; //an integer variable $var_name = 100; //an float variable $var_name = 100.00 ?> 

PHP Variable type juggling
Like mentioned above, PHP doesn't require variables to declared using primitive types. Therefore, juggling between two types doesn't require use of any special function. We can simply do things like...
<?php //string var $var = "0"; //var is now float $var += 2.5; //var is now integer $var += 2; //var is now string $var .= " is the total"; echo $var; ?> 

Concatenating variables in PHP?
In PHP we can join two variables by using the dot '.' operator.
<?php $var1 = "I Love PHP"; $var2 = " and Java"; //prints "I Love PHP and Java" echo $var1 . $var2; $var1 = "1"; $var2 = "2"; //prints "12"; echo $var1 . $var2; ?>

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