FAQ: PHP and HTML - Beyond Strings

This community-built FAQ covers the “Beyond Strings” exercise from the lesson “PHP and HTML”.

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FAQs on the exercise Beyond Strings

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Hi, I am lost here, where does the ($person_arr) come from in function calculateAge?
Shoud it not be $about _me?

function calculateAge ($person_arr){
  $current_year = date("Y");
  $age = $current_year - $person_arr["birth_year"];
  return $age;
<h2>About me:</h2>
  echo "<h3>Hello! I'm {$about_me["name"]}!</h3>";
  echo "<p> I'm " . calculateAge($about_me). " years old! That's pretty cool, right?</p>";
  echo "<div>What more is there to say? I love {$about_me["favorite_food"]}, and that's pretty much it!</div>";

$person_arr is the parameter, it will receive a value when you call the function. So you pass the value of $about_me to the function

lets say you also have a variable called $about_you, you could do:


to calculate your age (instead of my age).

That makes function useful, we can reuse them


I am a little confused with the syntax in the example vs in the hint…

In the text introduction the placement of the {} around the variable is done after the ... //echo "<>Your lucky number is {lucky_number}</>
// return “<>Hello, ${name}!</>”

However in the hints and what seems to work the {} are around the $…
//echo “<>My favorite color is {$data[‘color’]}.</>”;

Which is correct? Or is there a subtle difference in use that I am not seeing? HTML tags partially omitted for clarity.


1 Like

I can’t say for sure that there is no difference between the two as I’m still learning this myself but I tried both and they both seem to print in the same way so it may just be down to a writing convention where the code will function either way but one is more accepted by coders.

echo "<h3>${about_me[name]}</h3>";

echo "<p>I am " . calculateAge($about_me) . " years old</p>";

echo "<div>My favorite food is {$about_me[favorite_food]}</div>";

Both [name] and [favorite_food] print correctly in this case and both were accepted as correct by the exercise so if there is a difference, it either isn’t apparent at this point and becomes necessary to know with more advanced code or it’s just a convention.

1 Like

I wish there was some explanation as to why php has this inconsistency where you can call a variable using {$variable} in html, but you cannot do the same for invoking a fuction.

There is a use case for preprending a function name with $, when it is a functor, or function object. I’ll let the writer below tell the whole story.

PHP Function Objects · Simon Holywell