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Portability - questions for new programmers

Posted by admin (Graham Ellis), 23 July 2004
PHP is highly configurable, to the extent that a PHP program developed and tested on one system may not work if it's simply copied onto another.  Organisations also set standards for things like variable naming.   Here are a few questions for a new programmer to ask about the PHP in an existing environment.

Questions for new PHP programmers in an existing PHP environment

1. What extension(s) do I use for my PHP?
       (Common options - .php, .php4, and .phtml)

2. Where do I place include / require files?
       (often /usr/lib/php)

3. What version of PHP is in use / how do I collect form variables
       ($abcd for older versions or $_REQUEST[abcd] for newer)

4. Can / should I use short open tags?
       (<? or <?php standard?)

5. Are magic quotes turned on
       (If a user enters O'Reilly, does my string end up O\'Reilly ?)

6. Are there any existing standard include files that I should use
rather than re-inventing the wheel?

7. Are there any conventions that we have for variable naming

Note - if you're in an environment where the existing team says "don't keep bugging me", an answer to question 1 can be found by experimentation, then the answers to questions 2 to 5 can be found by examining the output of phpinfo(); ... questions 6 and 7 may be answered by examining existing code written by others.

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