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On This Page

Types of Variables

Positioning in Fusion


Doubles (Real Numbers)

Strings (Text)


Types of Variables:

All the examples on this page can be found in the
php sample site

PHP has 5 data types it supports:

A variable does not have to be "declared" before it is used. The value assigned to it will determine the PHP datatype. PHP can swap between data types without problem or error depending on the type of the value stored in that variable at that given time.... so creating an integer and then using it in a formula that would alter it to a Double would work flawlessly without error. Be aware of this and be careful when manipulating your variables.

In general, variables follow the following rules:

  • All variables begin with $
  • PHP variables ARE case sensitive... so $PicKle is NOT the same variable identifier as $pickle.
  • PHP can change variable datatypes on the fly (so be careful)
  • '=' is assignment variable, not "is equal to"...
    '==" is "is equal to"

$x = 1;                      //var x is integer assigned value of 1
$y = "this is a string";     //var y is a string with contents of 'this is a string'
$z = array();                  //var z is an array (more on arrays in a bit)
$filevar = "/html/joke1.txt";  //var filevar is string w/ contents of file location
$imagevar = "/html/headsw.gif";  //var imagevar is string w/ contents of picture
$x = "girls rule";             // var x is now a string with the value "girls rule"

Positioning in Fusion

Variables can then be used anywhere a constant would be. In our "Read File or Display Image example on the sample site "phpinfusion.php" page, it would have looked like

show Readfile examples using variables

Display Image Example using variables


Any number without referred to without decimals is an integer.



Lots of variables..... notice the datatypes

Results in browser:

Results of above PHP code

Double (Real) Numbers:

A numerical value is referred to as a double or real number if the value has a decimal place (even if the decimal value is .00000), or when the result of a mathematical equation has a non-integer result.

Example 1:

See how integers and doubles get easily amended in PHP

Results in browser:

Results of above PHP code

Since PHP can alter datatypes on the fly based on user input or a statement expression, you should be aware of what expressions can do to your variables. This will become more apparent when you are entering information in your forms and processing it.

Example 2:
Look at this example of how PHP can alter the database of variable originally assigned as integers:

PHP dynamically alters datatypes according to its without generating errors... be diligent

Results in the browser:

Results of above PHP code

Strings (Text):

PHP can manipulate strings easily. It can concatenate, chop up, parse strings.

$str1 = "I am a valid PHP string";   // quote type does not matter as long as they match at both ends
$str2 = 'I am a valid PHP string';
$str3 = $str1.$str2;                 //var str3 is assign the concatenation of vars str1 and str2
echo $str3;                             

the above code block would look like this in Fusion:

Example 1:

Concatenante string variables easily

Results in browser:

results of above PHP code example

Example 2:
Sometimes, you don't even need to use the concatenate in an echo statement to display the values


echo("Out of $a pets on the GotFusion team, most are $d. I like it most when one the only $b $e answer my posts<br>");

// echo w/ mixed variable datatypes
echo("Sometimes, it takes ($b-2) $e to whip ($a-$b) $d into shape :) <br>");

//same echo but this time concatenate the value (perform match) into the echo string
echo("Sometimes, it takes". ($b-2)." $e to whip ". ($a-$b)." $d into shape :) <br>");?>


can also simply embed the variable and PHP will determine how to fit into the string

Results in browser:

results of above PHP code


Variables can also be arrays. or even arrays of arrays...

Just repeat the following tips

  1. PHP begins indexing arrays at 0, not 1 as is in other languages and as HTML references
  2. each element of an array can be a different datatype
  3. Each element of an array can be an array (2D arrays like tables), and each element of each array can be another array (3D array like a cube)... while the flexibility makes it very powerful, it's also very easy to lose track of where/what element is.

$x = array(1, 3, 5, 7, 9); //var x is an array with 5 elements

/*         $x[0] is 1, ...    $x[3] is 7, ....      */

To append to the end of an array, refer to the array with no index in the brackets:

$x[] = 13;           //now array $x contains ( 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 13)

Arrays can also be referred to by "indexing" or "naming the elements"

$y = $x[$i];   //var y is now assigned value 9

Displaying indexed values in browser:

So placing this code in the INSERT HTML  box

Simple sxample of using arrays as PHP variables

Gives this result in the browser:

Results of above PHP code

PHP also has many functions that can check or manipulate datatypes, arrays, and manipulate text strings. Be sure to refer to your materials for more information regarding Variables and datatypes

next lesson - Flow Control


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