Data Types

Different types of data take up different amounts of memory and may be treated differently when they are manipulated in a script. Some programming languages therefore demand that the programmer declare in advance which type of data a variable will contain. By contrast, PHP is loosely typed, meaning that it will calculate data types as data is assigned to each variable. This is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it means that variables can be used flexibly, holding a string at one point and an integer at another. On the other hand, this can lead to problems in larger scripts if you expect a variable to hold one data type when in fact it holds something completely different. For example, suppose you have created code that is designed ...

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