PHP Constants

PHP Constants

A constant is a name or an identifier for a simple value. A constant value cannot change during the execution of the script. By default a constant is case-sensitive. By convention, constant identifiers are always uppercase. A constant name starts with a letter or underscore, followed by any number of letters, numbers, or underscores. If you have defined a constant, it can never be changed or undefined.

To define a constant you have to use define() function and to retrieve the value of a constant, you have to simply specifying its name. Unlike with variables, you do not need to have a constant with a $. You can also use the function constant() to read a constant's value if you wish to obtain the constant's name dynamically.

constant() function:

As indicated by the name, this function will return the value of the constant.

This is useful when you want to retrieve value of a constant, but you do not know its name, i.e. It is stored in a variable or returned by a function.

constant() example:

Only scalar data (boolean, integer, float and string) can be contained in constants.

Differences between constants and variables are:

  • There is no need to write a dollar sign ($) before a constant, where as in Variable one has to write a dollar sign.
  • Constants cannot be defined by simple assignment, they may only be defined using the define() function.
  • Constants may be defined and accessed anywhere without regard to variable scoping rules.
  • Once the Constants have been set, may not be redefined or undefined.

Valid and invalid constant names:

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