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10 PHP Tricks for Associative Array Manipulation

Dec 11, 2010, 07:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by W. Jason Gilmore)

"The associative array -- an indispensable data type used to describe a collection of unique keys and associated values -- is a mainstay of all programming languages, PHP included. In fact, associative arrays are so central to the task of Web development that PHP supports dozens of functionsand other features capable of manipulating array data in every conceivable manner. Such extensive support can be a bit overwhelming to developers seeking the most effective way to manipulate arrays within their applications. In this article, I'll offer 10 tips that can help you shred, slice and dice your data in countless ways.

"1. Adding Array Elements

"PHP is a weakly typed language, meaning you're not required to explicitly declare an array nor its size. Instead you can both declare and populate the array simultaneously:

$capitals = array(
  'Alabama' => 'Montgomery',
  'Alaska'  => 'Juneau',
  'Arizona' => 'Phoenix'
);

"Additional array elements can be appended like this:"

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