FAQ: PHP Strings and Variables - Using Variables

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

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FAQs on the exercise Using Variables

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Hi, so I took PHP a while back, but a lot of it never really stuck.

I remember something about “$variable = value” versus “$variable == value” and that you should never, never, never confuse the two…but I can’t remember why.

Does anybody have an explanation of this for me?


Assignment versus comparison.

$a = 42
$b = '42'
$a == $b     // true (after type juggling)
$a === $b    // false (not identical)


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Perfect. That makes sense. Thank you!

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What is the reason for using echo twice? Wouldn’t it be easier and use less code to concatenate it together?

Instead of this:

// Write your code below:
  $name = "Tom Smith";
  $language = "Russian";

  echo "My name is " . $name . " and I have an awesome dog named Mojo" . ".";
  echo "\nMojo speaks " . $language . ".";

Do this:

// Write your code below:
  $name = "Tom Smith";
  $language = "Russian";

  echo "My name is " . $name . " and I have an awesome dog named Mojo" . "." . "\nMojo speaks " . $language . ".";

Thank you

Welcome, @py2490724253,

Good question. Either approach is valid, but you are right to look for ways to simplify the code and reduce repetition.

Something to know about double quoted strings in PHP… They support interpolation, so concatenation is not necessary. The same cannot be said for single quoted strings. They do not support interpolation.

echo "My name is $name and I have an awesome dog named Mojo.\nMojo speaks $language.";

On a technical note, echo is rather a complex process for the server to handle and can use a lot of resources. Composing an entire document into one large string is permitted. We can output it (write it to the request document) with a single echo statement.

Thanks! And thanks for the tech note on echo. That helps. After I went to the next lesson I saw what you are describing.

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