Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Difference between PHP4 and PHP5 && Type Juggling in php

Difference between PHP4 and PHP5:

There are several differences between PHP4 and PHP5.
1.Unified constructor and Destructor.
2.Exception has been introduced.
3.New error level named E_STRICT has been introduced.
4.Now we can define full method definitions for an abstract class.
4.Within a class we can define class constants.
5.we can use the final keyword to indicate that a method cannot be overridden by a child

Added features in PHP 5 are the inclusions of visibility, abstract and final classes and methods, additional magic methods, interfaces, cloning and typehinting.

Type Juggling in PHP:

PHP does not require (or support) explicit type definition in variable declaration; a variable's type is determined by the context in which that variable is used. That is to say, if you assign a string value to variable $var, $var becomes a string. If you then assign an integer value to $var, it becomes an integer.

An example of PHP's automatic type conversion is the addition operator '+'. If any of the operands is a float, then all operands are evaluated as floats, and the result will be a float. Otherwise, the operands will be interpreted as integers, and the result will also be an integer. Note that this does NOT change the types of the operands themselves; the only change is in how the operands are evaluated.

$foo += 2; // $foo is now an integer (2)
$foo = $foo + 1.3; // $foo is now a float (3.3)
$foo = 5 + "10 Little Piggies"; // $foo is integer (15)
$foo = 5 + "10 Small Pigs"; // $foo is integer (15)

If the last two examples above seem odd, see String conversion to numbers.
If you wish to change the type of a variable, see settype().
If you would like to test any of the examples in this section, you can use the var_dump() function.
Note: The behavior of an automatic conversion to array is currently undefined.

Since PHP (for historical reasons) supports indexing into strings via offsets using the same syntax as array indexing, the example above leads to a problem: should $a become an array with its first element being "f", or should "f" become the first character of the string $a? The current versions of PHP interpret the second assignment as a string offset identification, so $a becomes "f", the result of this automatic conversion however should be considered undefined. PHP 4 introduced the new curly bracket syntax to access characters in string, use this syntax instead of the one presented above:

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