10 little known but useful PHP functions

PHP is very rich with its built-in function and most of us aware of them. There are many functions which are not very well known but are really very useful. In this article, I have listed and explained few little known but really useful PHP functions.


php_check_syntax


This is a very useful function for checking systax of a specified file.

Usage:
 <?php
$error_message = "";
$filename = "./php_script.php";
if(!php_check_syntax($filename, &$error_message)) {
echo "Errors were found in the file $filename: $error_message";
} else {
echo "The file $filename contained no syntax errors";
}
?>

Source: http://www.php.net/manual/en/function.php-check-syntax.php

highlight_string


The highlight_string() function can be very helpful while displaying PHP code on a website. The function returns a syntax highlighted version of the given PHP code using the colors defined in the built-in syntax highlighter for PHP. There are two parameters in function, first parameter will be string that can be highlighted and second parameter will be set to TRUE to make this function return the highlighted code.

Usage:
 <?php
highlight_string(' <?php phpinfo(); ?>');
?>

Source: http://php.net/manual/en/function.highlight-string.php

show_source


The show_source() function is also very handy which works similar to highlight_file (). The function displays a file with the PHP syntax highlighted. The syntax is highlighted by using HTML tags. This function returns TRUE on success, or FALSE on failure.

Usage:
 <?php
show_source("php_script.php");
?>

Source: http://www.php.net/manual/en/function.show-source.php

php_strip_whitespace


As explained earlier, this is similar to show_source() function. This function also returns the source code of the specific file by removing PHP comments and whitespace.

Usage:
<?php
echo php_strip_whitespace("php_script.php");
?>

Source: http://www.php.net/manual/en/function.php-strip-whitespace.php

__halt_compiler


This function halts the execution of the compiler. This can be useful to embed data in PHP scripts, like the installation files.

Usage:
<?php
$fp = fopen(__FILE__, 'r');
fseek($fp, __COMPILER_HALT_OFFSET__);
var_dump(stream_get_contents($fp));
// the end of the script execution
__halt_compiler();
?>

Source: http://www.php.net/manual/en/function.halt-compiler.php

highlight_file


This is a very PHP function which return specific PHP file with the PHP syntax highlighted.

Usage:
<?php
highlight_file("php_script.php");
?>

Source: http://www.php.net/manual/en/function.highlight-file.php

ignore_user_abort


This function can be used to client abot script. The client aborts will cause the script to stop running.

Usage:
<?php
ignore_user_abort();
?>

Source: http://www.php.net/manual/en/function.ignore-user-abort.php

str_word_count


This function is used to count the number of words found in the string.

Usage:
<?php
echo str_word_count("Hello How Are You!");
?>

Source: http://php.net/manual/en/function.str-word-count.php

get_defined_vars


This is a handy function when debugging. This function returns a multidimensional array containing a list of all defined variables.

Usage:
<?php
print_r(get_defined_vars());
?>

Source: http://php.net/manual/en/function.get-defined-vars.php

get_browser


This function look up the browscap.ini file and return the capabilities of the browser.

Usage:
<?php
echo $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'];
$browser = get_browser();
print_r($browser);
?>

Source: http://www.php.net/manual/en/function.get-browser.php

Do you have few other if you think should be on this list? Just share your thoughts!

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