did you know "you can have cheese burger" could be a variable name?

Well, I didn’t know. But I figured it out while working with SimpleXML to parse an XML document where the node name had a hyphen in it. I was finding a way to refer that element as a SimpleXMLElement and found a nifty note in PHP Manual. It says if you have unsupported (unsupported in PHP Lexicon for a variable name) characters inside the name of a node, you can access it using a special pattern {‘name’}.

So I tried the following code and it show that you can have a class variable named “i can have cheese burger”

$s = new stdClass();
$s->{'i can have cheese burger'} = "Oh Yeaaah";
echo $s->{'i can have cheese burger'}; //it will output "Oh Yeeah"

and if you print_f the object $s, you will see the following

stdClass Object
[i can have cheese burger] => Oh Yeeah

Well, Its funny! – I love having some fun writing PHP code!

Categorized as Fun, PHP


  1. That’s funny that you found this today as I stumbled across the same thing today by accident.

    I was running a PostgreSQL query that aliased fields with meaningful names:

    SELECT name AS “User Name”, …..

    and did a var_dump() of pg_fetch_object() and noticed that the member variable had a space in it. Had no idea how to access it so I used a fetch assoc instead.

    1. Well done Amy for doing the 100 word challenge house ponits when you get back! I like the ideas just remember to check your tenses. Have a good week.

  2. Oh no! While it might be neat to be able to do this.. can you image somone that like to have super long descriptive variables using this!?!?!??!?

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