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PHP 101 (part 6): Function-ally Yours
Find out how to create your own reusable PHP functions.

| In Plain English |

Ask a geek to define the term "function", and he'll probably mumble something about a function being "a block of statements that can be grouped together as a named entity." Since this is a tutorial on PHP, not an introductory course in Geek, I'll translate that for you: a function is simply a set of program statements which perform a specific task, and which can be "called", or executed, from anywhere in your program.

Every programming language comes with its own built-in functions, and typically also allows developers to define their own functions. For example, if I had a profit statement for the year on my desk, and I wanted to inflate each number by 35%, I could call my neighborhood accounting firm and get them to do it for me... or I could write a simple PHP function called cheatTheShareholders() and have it do the work for me (it's faster, plus PHP doesn't bill by the hour).

There are three important reasons why functions are a Good Thing. First: user-defined functions allow you to separate your code into easily identifiable subsections - which are easier to understand and debug. Second: functions make your program modular, allowing you to write a piece of code once and then re-use it multiple times within the same program. And third: functions simplify code updates or changes, because the change needs only to be implemented in a single place (the function definition). Functions thus save time, money and electrons... and I know the electrons at least will thank you!


How to do Everything with PHP & MySQL
How to do Everything with PHP & MySQL, the best-selling book by Melonfire, explains how to take full advantage of PHP's built-in support for MySQL and link the results of database queries to Web pages. You'll get full details on PHP programming and MySQL database development, and then you'll learn to use these two cutting-edge technologies together. Easy-to-follow sample applications include a PHP online shopping cart, a MySQL order tracking system, and a PHP/MySQL news publishing system.

Read more, or grab your copy now!


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