Predefined Variables

PHP provides a large number of predefined variables to any script which it runs. Many of these variables, however, cannot be fully documented as they are dependent upon which server is running, the version and setup of the server, and other factors. Some of these variables will not be available when PHP is run on the command line. Refer to the list of predefined variables for details.

PHP also provides an additional set of predefined arrays containing variables from the web server (if applicable), the environment, and user input. These arrays are rather special in that they are automatically global - i.e., automatically available in every scope. For this reason, they are often known as "superglobals". (There is no mechanism in PHP for user-defined superglobals.) Refer to the list of superglobals for details.

Note: Variable variables

Superglobals cannot be used as variable variables inside functions or class methods.

If certain variables in variables_order are not set, their appropriate PHP predefined arrays are also left empty.

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User Contributed Notes 4 notes

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113
johnphayes at gmail dot com
17 years ago
I haven't found it anywhere else in the manual, so I'll make a note of it here - PHP will automatically replace any dots ('.') in an incoming variable name with underscores ('_'). So if you have dots in your incoming variables, e.g.:

example.com/page.php?chuck.norris=nevercries

you can not reference them by the name used in the URI:
//INCORRECT
echo $_GET['chuck.norris'];

instead you must use:
//CORRECT
echo $_GET['chuck_norris'];
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11
DD32=theonly_DD32[&]yahoo.com.au
17 years ago
I have this function in my main files, it allows for easier SEO for some pages without having to rely on .htaccess and mod_rewrite for some things.
<?php
function long_to_GET(){
/**
* This function converts info.php/a/1/b/2/c?d=4 TO
* Array ( [d] => 4 [a] => 1 [b] => 2 [c] => )
**/
if(isset($_SERVER['PATH_INFO']) && $_SERVER['PATH_INFO'] != ''){
//Split it out.
$tmp = explode('/',$_SERVER['PATH_INFO']);
//Remove first empty item
unset($tmp[0]);
//Loop through and apend it into the $_GET superglobal.
for($i=1;$i<=count($tmp);$i+=2){ $_GET[$tmp[$i]] = $tmp[$i+1];}
}
}
?>

Its probably not the most efficient, but it does the job rather nicely.

DD32
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11
lopez dot on dot the dot lists at yellowspace dot net
21 years ago
- Security Issue and workaround -
If You use "eval()" to execute code stored in a database or elsewhere, you might find this tip useful.

Issue:
By default, all superglobals are known in every function.
Thus, if you eval database- or dynamically generated code (let's call it "potentially unsafe code"), it can use _all_ the values stored in _any_ superglobal.

Workaround:
Whenever you want to hide superglobals from use in evaluated code, wrap that eval() in an own function within which you unset() all the superglobals. The superglobals are not deleted by php in all scopes - just within that function. eg:

function safeEval($evalcode) {
unset($GLOBALS);
unset($_ENV);
// unset any other superglobal...
return eval($evalcode);
}

(This example assumes that the eval returns something with 'return')

In addition, by defining such a function outside classes, in the global scope, you'll make sure as well that the evaluated ('unsafe') code doesn't have access to the object variables ($this-> ...).
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1
LouisGreen at pljg dot freeserve dot co dot uk
20 years ago
It seems that when you wish to export a varible, you can do it as return $varible, return an array(), or globalise it. If you return something, information for that varible can only travel one way when the script is running, and that is out of the function.

function fn() {
$varible = "something";

return $variable;
}

echo fn();
OR
$newvariable = fn();

Although if global was used, it creates a pointer to a varible, whether it existed or not, and makes whatever is created in the function linked to that global pointer. So if the pointer was global $varible, and then you set a value to $varible, it would then be accessible in the global scope. But then what if you later on in the script redefine that global to equal something else. This means that whatever is put into the global array, the information that is set in the pointer, can be set at any point (overiden). Here is an example that might make this a little clearer:

function fn1() {

global $varible; // Pointer to the global array
$varible = "something";
}

fn1();
echo $varible; // Prints something
$varible = "12345";
echo $varible; // Prints 12345

function fn2() {

global $varible; // Pointer to the global array
echo $varible;
}

fn2(); // echos $varible which contains "12345"

Basically when accessing the global array, you can set it refer to something already defined or set it to something, (a pointer) such as varible you plan to create in the function, and later possibly over ride the pointer with something else.
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