The Big "Why equal doesn't equal" Quiz

The Big "Why equal doesn't equal" Quiz

Presented on January 17th 2018 at the PHP & Laravel development meetup in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Partial slide deck - the actual quiz will not be made public.
So you think you know PHP? But do you really?

We all compare and test data on nearly every other line in our code, be it input validation, an if-statement, a switch or determining what to display and how. So of course we are all experts on how to do these tests and comparisons…. Or are we?

No matter whether you are a beginner or an expert, come and join in the fun for the Big “Why equal doesn’t equal” Quiz, test your knowledge and learn about defensive programming and the quirks of a loose type programming language along the way.


Juliette Reinders Folmer

January 17, 2018


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    Who am I? • Self- employed independent consultant • 15+

    years in IT and web development • Contributor to LimeSurvey, phpBB, WordPress, AdoDB, PHPCS and more
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    Some best practices (1) • Know your variable types and

    how type juggling works ;-) • Always use strict checking unless loose checking will avoid code duplication • Auto-document your code DON’T: if ( strpos( $x, $y ) ) {} DO: if ( strpos( $x, $y ) !== false ) {}
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    Some best practices (2) • Make it a habit to

    test for type AND for what you want to know • Non-empty string: if ( is_string( $x ) && $x !== ‘’ ) {} • Non-empty array: if ( is_array( $x ) && count( $x ) > 0 ) {} or if ( is_array( $x ) && $x !== array() ) {}
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    Some best practices (3) • Use function_exists(), method_exists() and extension_loaded()

    to write cross-server code • Be aware of changes across PHP versions • Never be stingy with parentheses () • Avoid $variable contamination • isset() and its brother are your friends
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    And remember.... • ... that what you get from $_POST/$_GET/database

    are strings • ... that variable and constant names are case-sensitive by default • ... that switch() does a loose type check • ... that calculations with floats can only be done reliably by casting to string and using bcmath • ... that ctype_ functions are locale() dependent • ... that type hints will still juggle variable types • … that strict_types declarations are file-based
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    Keep in touch! (I’m self-employed, you can hire me ;-)

    ) Slides: Contact me: @jrf_nl