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We have made many, many friends over 25 years of teaching about Python, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, Java, C and C++ - and MySQL, Linux and Solaris/SunOS too. Our training notes are now very much out of date, but due to upward compatability most of our examples remain operational and even relevant ad you are welcome to make us if them "as seen" and at your own risk.

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How long can a string be?

Posted by enquirer (enquirer), 17 March 2003
I'm looking for the answer to this question that I found at a quiz site. It says you would know the answer.I have a text string that is 58,880 text characters long and when I try to run my PHP script I get an error that says 'expecting "," or ";" on line 12...' which is only 8 lines into my 650+ line variable definition. I found a few PHP forums with the same question but the answer is usually 'There shouldn't be a limit'.

PHP Programming quiz, level Basics, question 13
Question: The maximum length of a string held in a variable is ...
Answer 1: There is no practical limit
Answer 2: 1024 bytes
Answer 3: 10240 bytes
Answer 4: Just under 4 Megabytes

Posted by admin (Graham Ellis), 17 March 2003
The answer (Quiz site) is "no practical limit" and indeed I have often worked with strings that are far longer than 60k..  It  could be that there's a lower limit for the " operator or the ' for a  literal string, or  perhaps you have one of those characters actually in your string?  

Solutions ...
a) Check your string for " or ' embedded in it
b) Build up your string using . (period) operators from a series of shorter strings.

The quiz site mentioned - is one of "ours" by the way - so I'm able to quote / post from it here at will without any copyright problems  

Posted by enquirer (enquirer), 17 March 2003
Thanks for the quick response. It was actually another simple syntax error that had nothing to do with the string itself. My editor uses word wrap but still numbers the lines, although PHP sees all 650+ lines as just one, so my real problem WAS on line 12 when i took word wrap off.

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