PHP – Some features you didn’t know existed!
PHP or Hypertext Preprocessor is probably the most popular scripting language used for web applications. In fact, PHP along with MySQL, a database application software is the base of several web applications, running even today! So, what makes PHP so special? The features that PHP provides make it so popular among web application developers. Here, we shall discuss some of the lesser-known, yet extremely powerful features of the language.
PHP Features – Almost Hidden!
1. The PHP documentation – Not many programmers have been able to extract full use of the exhaustive online documentation in the official PHP website. With other programming languages, it has been the case that one needs to collect pieces of information from different websites and forums. However, PHP documentation is a complete manual, contain every single specification about the PHP programming elements. Each PHP function has a separate page allotted in the website, with all the reference associated with it. They come with practical examples. Moreover, unlike many other online documentations, there are several user comments that is also extensive when it comes to the amount of knowledge it imparts. Some even consider the manual to be more helpful than Integrated Development Environments (IDE) for PHP.
2. Arrays – People may argue that arrays are probably one of the most common things that any programming language offers. So, what is so special about providing arrays? However, what many developers do not know is how arrays can be used flexibly to use it in several ways. Arrays can be used accordingly to create lists, stacks, maps and other data structures, at the same time! The arrays are implemented in the core package of the PHP, and thus use the CPU resources well. Moreover, the array elements in PHP are ordered and so flexible that it makes some really difficult tasks to be carried out very easily.
3. Stream Handlers – Most people have no idea how powerful stream handlers could be! These handlers help you extend the file system with certain logic and happen to be extremely difficult to implement in other languages. It simplifies the life of PHP developers by allowing PHP applications to be easily read from and written to from containers, like we do with files. One of the most popular stream handler used by developers is the MS Excel stream handler. It helps in creating a MS Excel file from data collected, either through the web, or extracted from the database. Similarly, one can read from MS Excel files to add to the PHP page. This flexible interaction with other file systems make PHP so attractive to web application developers.
4. However, the greatest feature is how easy and modular is the code for understanding. Many would argue whether this is a feature at all, but however, when the code is easy to understand, even for beginners, it is definitely something to talk about. With a generally knowledge about programming knowledge (especially C language), almost anyone can read and understand the basic PHP codes. Moreover, the PHP community, being a open source one, is very proactive towards welcoming new programmers in the community by providing tips and tricks to code better.
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