define

(PHP 4, PHP 5)

defineDefiniert eine benannte Konstante

Beschreibung

bool define ( string $name , mixed $value [, bool $case_insensitive = false ] )

Definiert während der Laufzeit eine benannte Konstante.

Parameter-Liste

name

Der Name der Konstante

value

Der Wert der Konstante. Es sind nur Skalar- und NULL-Werte erlaubt. Skalarwerte sind Ganzzahlen, Gleitkommazahlen, Zeichenketten oder boolsche Werte. Es ist möglich, Konstanten vom Typ Ressource zu definieren, allerdings wird dies nicht empfohlen, da es unvorhersagbares Verhalten des Programms zur Folge haben kann.

case_insensitive

Falls auf TRUE gesetzt, wird bei der Konstante nicht zwischen Groß- und Kleinschreibung unterschieden. In der Voreinstellung wird zwischen Groß- und Kleinschreibung unterschieden, d.h KONSTANTE und Konstante repräsentieren unterschiedliche Werte.

Hinweis:

Groß-/Kleinschreibungsunabhängige Konstanten werden kleingeschrieben gespeichert.

Rückgabewerte

Gibt bei Erfolg TRUE zurück. Im Fehlerfall wird FALSE zurückgegeben.

Beispiele

Beispiel #1 Konstanten definieren

<?php
define
("KONSTANTE""Hallo Welt.");
echo 
KONSTANTE// gibt "Hallo Welt." aus
echo Konstante// gibt "Konstante" aus und erzeugt eine Benachrichtigung

define("BEGRUESSUNG""Hallo Du."true);
echo 
BEGRUESSUNG// gibt "Hallo Du." aus
echo Begruessung// gibt "Hallo Du." aus

?>

Siehe auch

add a note add a note

User Contributed Notes 36 notes

up
11
danbettles at yahoo dot co dot uk
5 years ago
define() will define constants exactly as specified.  So, if you want to define a constant in a namespace, you will need to specify the namespace in your call to define(), even if you're calling define() from within a namespace.  The following examples will make it clear.

The following code will define the constant "MESSAGE" in the global namespace (i.e. "\MESSAGE").

<?php
namespace test;
define('MESSAGE', 'Hello world!');
?>

The following code will define two constants in the "test" namespace.

<?php
namespace test;
define('test\HELLO', 'Hello world!');
define(__NAMESPACE__ . '\GOODBYE', 'Goodbye cruel world!');
?>
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2
e s lin d sey at g mail dot co m
7 years ago
Constants can't be referenced from within quotes or (more importantly IMHO) from within HEREDOC syntax. This is a huge drawback in my opinion. Here's two of my workarounds:

<?php

//PHP5 only -- more efficient
$constarray = get_defined_constants(true);
foreach(
$constarray['user'] as $key => $val)
    eval(
sprintf('$_CONSTANTS[\'%s\'] = \'%s\';', addslashes($key), addslashes($val)));

//PHP4+ -- less efficient because it defines (potentially) hundreds of unnecessary constants
foreach(get_defined_constants() as $key => $val)
    eval(
sprintf('$_CONSTANTS[\'%s\'] = \'%s\';', addslashes($key), addslashes($val)));

?>

Now you can refer to your defined constants using the $_CONSTANTS array. Note that because this is NOT a superglobal, a few caveats apply:

<?php

//run code snippet here to define $_CONSTANTS in global scope...

$mv = $_CONSTANTS['FOO']; //works

function my_function1()
{
   
$mv = $_CONSTANTS['BAR']; //doesn't work! not defined!
}

function
my_function2()
{
    global
$_CONSTANTS;
   
$mv = $_CONSTANTS['BAR']; //ah, this works!
}

?>

I realize this is not ideal, either for performance or for convenience of being able to refer to constants without regard to scope, but it is a workaround that works. Depending on your application, it may be easier to shift your paradigm a bit and use the following method instead, declaring your constants as variables first:

<?php

//first, define our constants...
$_CONSTANTS['FOO'] = 'bar';
$_CONSTANTS['BAR'] = 'foo';

//now, turn them into real constants...
foreach($_CONSTANTS as $key => $val)
   
define($key, $val);

//now, you can use either format to refer to a constant
print($_CONSTANTS['FOO']);   //prints 'bar'
print(FOO);                  //prints 'bar'
print("$_CONSTANTS['FOO']"); //prints 'bar'
                             //prints 'blah bar blah'
print <<<EOF
  blah {$_CONSTANTS['FOO']} blah
EOF;

?>

Hope this helps some of you out there, I know being able to utilize my constants in HEREDOC helped me a ton!
up
2
chris at peeto dot net
4 years ago
The value of a constant can be the value of another constant.

<?php

define
("NEW_GOOD_NAME_CONSTANT", "I have a value");
define("OLD_BAD_NAME_CONSTANT", NEW_GOOD_NAME_CONSTANT);

echo
NEW_GOOD_NAME_CONSTANT; // current
echo OLD_BAD_NAME_CONSTANT; // legacy

?>
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2
sixd at php dot net
5 years ago
A note on redefining:

Constants can't be redefined:

$ php -r "define('A', 1); var_dump('A'); define('A', 2); var_dump('A');";
string(1) "A"
PHP Notice:  Constant A already defined in Command line code on line 1
string(1) "A"

But using the case insensitive setting shows that the internal
representation is lower case:

$ php -r "define('A', 1, true); var_dump('A'); define('A', 2); var_dump('A');";
string(1) "A"
string(1) "A"

Note the lower case 'a' in the second define() here:
$ php -r "define('A', 1, true); var_dump('A'); define('a', 2); var_dump('A');";
string(1) "A"
PHP Notice:  Constant a already defined in Command line code on line 1
string(1) "A"
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1
kriscraig at php dot net
2 years ago
Some people like to have an ambiguous, engine-agnostic database include specified by assigning a single config variable to one of a series of constants.  Unfortunately, this can easily become needlessly clunky if these defines are handled in an included config.php file, since more than one hook will throw an ugly "already defined" error.

Here's a simple way to accomplish this architectural model without having to create a bunch of clumsy sanity checks that compromise scalability:

<?php

/* Available databases.  --Kris */
$dbengines = array();
$dbengines[] = "mysql";
$dbengines[] = "mysqli";
$dbengines[] = "pgsql";

foreach (
$dbengines as $engine )
{
    if ( !
defined( "_" . strtoupper( $engine ) . "_" ) )
    {
       
define( "_" . strtoupper( $engine ) . "_", $engine );
    }
}

/* Which database engine shall we use?  --Kris */
$sql_type = _MYSQLI_;

?>
Then, somewhere later in the stack....

<?php

/* Include the file with the desired sql class.  --Kris */
require_once( $sql_type . ".php" );

/* Now you can use the same code for any supported db engine.  --Kris */
$sql = new sql();
$res = $sql->query( .... );
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1
kobrasrealm at gmail dot com
3 years ago
When going back to rewrite code, it might be tempting to have a constant &reference a variable, but it doesn't work.

<?php
header
("Content-type: text/plain");
$variable = "value";
define("MYCONSTANT", &$variable);
  echo
$variable."\n";
  echo
MYCONSTANT."\n";
  echo
"------\n";
$variable = "different";
  echo
$variable."\n";
  echo
MYCONSTANT;
?>

Produces this:

value
value
------
different
value

I doubt it's supposed to work, either. :)
up
1
Jamie
3 years ago
This is obvious, but easy to forget: if you include a file, the include file can only make use of constants already defined. For example:

<?php
define
("VEG","cabbage");
require(
"another file");
define("FRUIT","apple");

// "another file":
echo VEG; // cabbage
echo FRUIT; // FRUIT
?>
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1
jan at webfontein dot nl
6 years ago
For translating with variables and define, take also a look on the constant() function.

Example :

<?php
define
('PAYMENT_IDEAL',"iDEAL Payment ( NL only )");
define('PAYMENT_MASTERCARD',"Mastercard Payment ( international )");

$payparam='MASTERCARD';

echo
constant("PAYMENT_$payparam");

// output :
// Mastercard Payment ( international )
?>
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0
daevid at daevid dot com
8 months ago
Be aware that undefined constants are not evaluated the same as undefined variables (which is frustratingly counter-intuitive)...

$ php -a

php > if (!DO_IT) echo "don't do it\n"; else echo "do it\n";
do it

php > var_dump(DO_IT);
string(5) "DO_IT"

php > if (!$DO_IT) echo "don't do it\n"; else echo "do it\n";
don't do it

php > var_dump($DO_IT);
NULL

You have to specifically check for the definition like so...

php > if(!defined('DO_IT') || (defined('DO_IT') && !DO_IT))echo "don't do it\n"; else echo "do it\n";
don't do it

*sigh*
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0
angelos at unkreativ dot org
3 years ago
Something I found out the "hard" way today: integers starting with 0 won't work.
<?php
define
('SOMECONSTANT', 09900);
var_dump(SOMECONSTANT);
?>
Produces int(0)

<?php
define
('SOMECONSTANT', 9900);
var_dump(SOMECONSTANT);
?>
Produces int(9900)
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0
Aldonio
5 years ago
This code will define every key of an array, and if its a multidimentional array it will define it as parent_child1_child2_etc.

<?php
function define_array( $array, $keys = NULL )
{
    foreach(
$array as $key => $value )
    {
       
$keyname = ($keys ? $keys . "_" : "") . $key;
        if(
is_array( $array[$key] ) )
           
define_array( $array[$key], $keyname );
        else
           
define( $keyname, $value );
    }
}
?>
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0
usuroer dot king at hotmail dot co dot uk
5 years ago
Referring to "This-Is-A-Test" constant below.

When echoing it the script thinks you performing a series of minus (subtraction) thus since THIS and IS, A, TEST are not defined they are 0 by default. So 0-0-0-0 = 0.

As explained that a hyphen cannot be used within a variable.
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0
ceo at l-i-e dot com
6 years ago
I'm not sure if it's version dependent, but apparently this works:
define('APPLICATION_NOW', time());

This can be quite handy for time-dependent code...

You can then do:
class foo {
  $private now = APPLICATION_NOW;
}

and have a consistent time-stamp across the application, which is nice.

Works for me in 5.2.5

I didn't think it worked before...
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0
creeves at dja dot com
7 years ago
Intersting to note:

I found this in php5 on windows

If you try to unset a constant (which you cant but maybe you have a Jr. programmer or something).  The error message that is thrown is:

<?php
define
("SOME_CONSTANT", true);
unset (
SOME_CONSTANT);
?>

Parse error: parse error, unexpected ')', expecting T_PAAMAYIM_NEKUDOTAYIM
up
0
radovan dot biciste at managestar dot com
12 years ago
Wonder how to work with variable which name is stored in a constant?
Here it is:
<?php
define
("VAR_NAME","test");
// assigning value
${VAR_NAME} = "value";
// getting value back
echo ${VAR_NAME};
?>
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-1
New Social Life
2 years ago
I want to show you how to define multiple things at once

just use this small function: ( i'm trying to do it even smaller... but i think is small enough )

<?php function …define($a){foreach($a as $k => $v)define($k, $v);} ?>

usage example:

<?php
…define
(array(
   
"second" => 1,
   
"minute" => 60,
   
"hour" => 3600,
   
"day" => 86400,
   
"week" => 604800,
   
"month" => 2592000, // 30 days month
   
"year" => 31536000,
   
"year2" => 31622400
));
?>

PLEASE NOTE:
there AREN'T three points, there is the three points CHARACTER, to be sure, just copy paste my code
up
-1
ceo at l-i-e dot com
5 years ago
In PHP 4.4.9, you cannot use certain names for constants.

Specifically, reserved words such as 'PRINT', 'IF', etc.

Oddly enough, you get different behaviour for some:

<?php
define
('IF', 42);
echo
"IF: ", IF, "<hr />\n";
?>

yields PHP Parse error:  syntax error, unexpected T_IF

<?php
define
('PRINT', 13);
echo
"PRINT: ", PRINT, "<hr />\n";
?>

yields PHP Parse error:  syntax error, unexpected ')'

Not sure if this is still true in PHP 5 or not, but it's worth noting if it is.
up
-1
phen at adnerdum dot org
3 years ago
To clear up a few thing:
Integers with 0 in front work. But since PHP (and many other languages) handle them as octal values, they're only allowed a range of 0-7:

<?php
define
('GOOD_OCTAL', 0700);
define('BAD_OCTAL', 0800);

print
GOOD_OCTAL;
print
'<br>';
print
BAD_OCTAL;
?>

Result:
448
0

---------------------------------------

Furthermore,

writing the constant name without the quotation-marks (as mentioned in the notes) throws an E_NOTICE and should be avoided!

<?php
define
(TEST, 'Throws an E_NOTICE');
?>

Result:
Notice: Use of undefined constant TEST - assumed 'TEST'
up
-1
Anonymous
5 years ago
With php 5.30 it is possible to make some "restrictions", in case u use namespaces...
The following function allows only uppercase and, if 3 param isset, gives E_USER_ERROR instead of E_NOTICE:

<?php
namespace bla;

function
define($c,$v,$x=false) {
   
$c = strtoupper($c);
    if (!
defined($c)) {
       
// not to use \define here, as the syntax highlighting does not work correctly here...
       
return define($c, $v, true);
    } else if (
$x == true) {
       
trigger_error('setting constant "'.$c.'" is not allowed', E_USER_ERROR);
    }
    return
null;
}

define('PHP_VERSION', '1');
define('PHP_VERSION', '1') || trigger_error('constant already defined', E_USER_NOTICE);
define('PHP_VERSION', '1', true);
?>
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-1
eparkerii at carolina dot rr dot com
6 years ago
Found something interesting.  The following define:

<?php
define
("THIS-IS-A-TEST","This is a test");
echo
THIS-IS-A-TEST;
?>

Will return a '0'.

Whereas this:

<?php
define
("THIS_IS_A_TEST","This is a test");
echo
THIS_IS_A_TEST;
?>

Will return 'This is a test'.

This may be common knowledge but I only found out a few minutes ago.

[EDIT BY danbrown AT php DOT net: The original poster is referring to the hyphens versus underscores.  Hyphens do not work in defines or variables, which is expected behavior.]
up
-2
phpnet at trenkner dot de
11 years ago
---[Editor's Note]---
As of PHP 5.0.0 this is possible. You can define class-only constants, which can be called like Foo::Constant1 from the outside
---[End Note]---

Please keep in mind that

class AClass {
  define ("Const1", "Value1");
  ... }

didn't work. You have to make all your constant definitions before you open the class. So

define ("Const1", "Value1");
class AClass {
  ... }

would be correct.
up
-1
smifffy at smith-net dot org dot uk
7 years ago
a basic function to auto assign a numeric value that increase by itself each time - used in some permission style scripts

<?php
function define_bitwise($constant_name, $reset = False)
{
    static
$bitwise_next = 1;

    if (
$reset === True )
    {
       
$bitwise_next = 1;
    }

   
define($constant_name, $bitwise_next);
       
   
$bitwise_next += $bitwise_next;
}
?>

when reset it set to True, resets that value to 1 and starts afresh
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-1
stangelanda at arrowquick dot com
7 years ago
An improvement on the function from bobbykjack at yahoo dot co dot uk on the concept by richard dot quadling at bandvulc dot co dot uk:
<?php
function adefine($constant_name, $value=null) {
    static
$increment = 0; // 1 for bitmask

   
if (is_null($value)) {
       
define($constant_name, ++$increment); // $increment=$increment<<1 for bitmask
   
} else {
       
define($constant_name, $value);
        if (
is_numeric($value)) {
           
$increment = $value;
        }
    }
}
?>
If you pass it a second argument it defines it normally, and resets the increment if the value is numeric.  This way the function can replace define, and you can reset the counter for a new set of constants.
<?php
adefine
('RULE_CALLBACK_FORMAT', 1); // 1
adefine ('RULE_CHANGE_CALLBACK_ON_ERROR'); // 2
adefine ('RULE_CHANGE_COMPARE_DATE'); // 3
adefine('KEYWORD', 'hodgepodge'); // hodgepodge <-- defined normally
adefine ('RULE_CHANGE_ON_DATE'); // 4

adefine ('ERROR_DESC', 1); // 1 <-- Counter reset
adefine ('ERROR_EXPECTED_RESULT'); // 2
?>
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-2
thscheer at web dot de
6 years ago
How to define an array as constant with define?

there is a simple way to define an array of values as constant...

just

define ("constant-name","value1,value2,value3,value4");

$t_array = preg_split('/,/', constant(constant-name), -1, PREG_SPLIT_NO_EMPTY);

var_dump($t_array);

array(4) { [0]=> string(6) "value1" [1]=> string(6) "value2" [2]=> string(6) "value3" [3]=> string(6) "value4" }

Now you can iterate over the array defined as constant ...
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-3
jv at vip dot ie
5 years ago
Probably the most efficient way of creating a constant array is to put it in a function like this:

<?php
function my_const_arr()
{
   return array
   (
     
'key1' => 'val 1',
     
'key2' => 'va' 2'
   );
}
?>

Then use at will like so...
<?php $my_const_arr = my_const_arr(); ?>
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-2
bohwaz.net
5 years ago
Note that define don't care at all about the constant name, you can give everything as a constant name, even if the PHP documentation says that the allowed characters are [a-zA-Z_\x7f-\xff][a-zA-Z0-9_\x7f-\xff]*

Just try this :

<?php define('anything::()$', 'test'); ?>

You won't be able to access this constant though, it will throw a parse error, either through constant() or define(), but if you do that :

<?php print_r(get_defined_constants()); ?>

You will see that the constant is registered at the end of the array. Yes that's totally useless. But you can try other things that will work with constant() :

<?php define('...', 'test'); echo constant('...'); ?>

Will echo 'test'. Yeah that's a pretty strange behavior.

And please note that defining object constants outside of objets don't work :

<?php
class myObject { }
define('myObject::CONSTANT', 'test');
?>
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-2
rayro at gmx dot de
7 years ago
just a note to the previous post by e s lin d sey at g mail dot co m:

Well as u said, it is not the best workaround. To resolve this "Problem" without getting incredible loss of performance, you are able to make the use of "variable functions" like "variable variables":

<?php
$def
= 'constant';
$string = <<<END
    This is PHP running on<br />
   
{$def('PHP_OS')}
END;
var_dump($string);
?>

In this example we make use of the "constant" function which is builtin, and it will output:

string(37) " This is PHP running on
WINNT"

Tested on PHP 5...
Best regards
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-3
jason@sitehatchery dot com
6 years ago
You can store your constant as the value of a variable like this:

$variable=VARIABLE;

To access the constant, do this:  constant($variable).

Beware: if your variable changes, then you loose your reference to the constant - but the constant itself will not change.

I've found this especially useful for storing the constant string   (i.e. VARIABLE) in a database.
up
-2
toph at farmer corp dot c om
4 years ago
Hi,

Here is a trick to use constants within the heredoc notation.

<?php
define
('MY_CONSTANT','foo bar')
$cst = 'cst';
function
cst($constant){
    return
$constant;
}

$string = <<<EOF
My constante MY_CONSTANT : {$cst(MY_CONSTANT)} ...
EOF;
echo
$string;
?>

That will echo :

My constante MY_CONSTANT : foo bar ...

As you can use function within the heredoc notation the idea is to use a fonction to return the value of the constant.
Be carefull, to use a function, it's necessary to declare the name of the function as a variable and to use that varaible during the "call" of the constant.

It works for me and doesn't seem too messy.

Hope that will help.
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-2
downwind at web dot de
5 years ago
I'm reffering to the note below by mittiprovence.

The described behavior has nothing to do with the fact that there is a constant in the condition.

Comparing a non-numeric string to the integer 0 by using == will return true, since the string will be casted to integer - which will be zero. If your string starts with a number, it will be castet to an integer with the number as value.

To avoid the described behavior, you should use === instead of ==.

Finally, the behavior discribed by mittiprovence is exacly the expected behavior as defined in the manual.

For further information read the manual:

http://www.php.net/manual/en/types.comparisons.php

http://www.php.net/manual/en/language.operators.comparison.php

http://www.php.net/manual/en/language.types.string.php #language.types.string.conversion

<?php

if (0 == "some string") { // is true
echo "0 == 'some string'";
}

if (
1 == "some string") { // is false
echo "1 == 'some string'";
}

if (
1 == "1 some string") { // is true
echo "1 == '1 some string'";
}

if (
0 === "some string") { // is false
echo "0 === 'some string'";
}

?>
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-3
Anonymous
9 years ago
Better pack with define() for all who really miss Java package management:

Use this "manifest.php" on very first script start or copy it to your config.somehow.php.

<?php
$__packages
= array(
   
"org.ilove.java.more",
   
"org.ilove.python.too",
   
"net.php.isok"
);

define("C_IS_WINDOWS", false);
define("C_DIR", (C_IS_WINDOWS ? "\\" : "/"));
define("C_PATH_ROOT", str_replace("/", C_DIR, $_SERVER["DOCUMENT_ROOT"]).C_DIR);
define("C_PATH_CORE", C_PATH_ROOT."core".C_DIR);
define("C_PATH_CLASS", C_PATH_CORE."classes".C_DIR);
define("C_APPLICATION_BASE", C_PATH_CORE.C_DIR."application".C_DIR);

$total_packages = 0;
$i = sizeof($__packages);
while(
$i-- > 0) {
   
$tokens = explode(".", $__packages[$i]);
   
$j = sizeof($tokens);
    while(
$j-- > 0) {
       
$token = strtolower(trim($tokens[$j]));
        if(
strlen($token) > 0 && !defined($token)) {
           
define($token, ($j == 0 ? C_PATH_CLASS : "").$tokens[$j].C_DIR);
           
$total_packages++;
        }
    }
}
define("C_PACKAGE_COUNT", $total_packages);
?>

With restrictions on non-package constants, you now can call your files like that:

<?php

require_once org.ilove.java.more."Than.php";

?>

Regards
Robi
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-2
nl-x at bita dot nl
7 years ago
Watch out. You can define a new constant with the name NULL with define("NULL","FOO");. But you must use the function constant("NULL"); to get it's value. NULL without the function call to the constant() function will still retrieve the special type NULL value.
Within a class there is no problem, as const NULL="Foo"; will be accessible as myClass::NULL.
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-4
Anonymous
5 years ago
My notice to: redeclare define -  it is possible

php -v

--> PHP 5.2.6-3ubuntu4.1 with Suhosin-Patch 0.9.6.2
Zend Engine v2.2.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2008 Zend Technologies
php -r "define('TEST','foo',true);
var_dump(TEST);
define('TEST','bar');
var_dump(TEST);"

string(3) "foo"
string(3) "bar"

greetings
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-3
rush at bigup dot com dot pa
4 years ago
Just in case:

You cannot set a constant to be a class.  For example:
define ("WSDLCLIENT",new soapclient(WSDLSERVER, 'wsdl'));

You cannot do this.
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-6
andreas at cap-systems dot com
3 years ago
Constant name must not written as string. The following code works also:

<?php
define
(MY_NAME, 'value');
define('ANOTHER_NAME', 'value2');

if(
defined('MY_NAME')) {
  echo
MY_NAME . '<br />';
}

if(
defined('ANOTHER_NAME')) {
  echo
ANOTHER_NAME . '<br />';
}

echo
MY_NAME . '<br />';
echo
ANOTHER_NAME . '<br />';
?>

Output:
value
value2
value
value2

Tested with:
- PHP 5.3.1 on XAMPP on Windows Vista (local)
- PHP 5.2.42 on Apache 2.0 on Linux (remote)
- PHP 5.2.12 on Apache 2.0 on Linux (remote)
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php at richardneilll dot org
1 year ago
In PHP,  define does not have the same gotchas as the C-preprocessor. E.g.

//In PHP:
define ("x", 5+2);    //x is evaluated as 7
echo 3 * x;             //This is 21, as you'd expect.

//But in C:
#define x   5+2;       //x is the string "5+2", substituted later.
printf ("%d",  3*x);  //This is 17.
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