Asked  2 Years ago    Answers:  5   Viewed   83 times

I used to set things like this when I wanted blank values.

$blankVar = '';

Then after some months, I decided this looked better and had a clearer intent.

$blankVar = null;

This worked without hiccup for a while, but recently with a PDO prepared statements I ran into a problem. Binding a value to null made the query fail, whilst binding it to '' did not. I needed to bind it to null, so that if a condition was met, it would insert blank data.

What are the differences between the 2? I still think equaling null (or at least a constant) looks better, so should I do this?

define('EMPTY', '');



Null is just another datatype in PHP, which has only one value (null). Since PHP is a loosly typed language, it can be confusing how it handles different values.

"", 0, "0", False, array(), Null are all considered False in PHP.

Null, however, is a different kind of animal. The main incompatibility with using Null is that you cannot tell if it isset().

$x = false;
isset($x)  ->  true
echo $x    ->  ""

$y = null;
isset($y)  ->  false
echo $y    ->  ""

//$z is not set
isset($z)  ->  false
echo $z    ->  E_NOTICE

So null is odd in the sense that it doesn't follow normal variable rules in PHP (at least some). In most cases, it is fine.

When it comes to database columns, PHP's NULL has no place there. You see, SQL is a string based language. SQL's NULL must be represented by NULL with no quotes.

So if you want an EMPTY field, set it to ""

INSERT INTO foo SET bar = ""

But if you want a NULL field, set it to NULL



But if you try to insert the PHP NULL directly, it will add zero characters to the query, (which leaves you with a blank or syntax error, depending on if you quoted it).

Thursday, December 8, 2022

PHP 7.1 Now supports nullable return types. The first RFC I linked to is the one they went for:

function nullOrString(int $foo) : ?string
    return $foo%2 ? "odd" : null;

old answer:

Since my comment was actually an answer to the question:

PHP 7 won't support nullable return-types just yet, but there's an RFC out to address just that, it aims to land in PHP 7.1. If it passes, the syntax would then affect all type-hints (both return types and type-hints):

public function returnStringOrNull(?array $optionalArray) : ?string
    if ($optionalArray) {
        return implode(', ', $optionalArray);//string returned here
    return null;

There's also a competing RFC to add union types, which would be able to do the same thing, but would look different:

public function returnStringOrNull(array|null $optionalArray) : string|null
    if ($optionalArray) {
        return implode(', ', $optionalArray);//string returned here
    return null;

For now, though, you'll have to write:

public function returnStringOrNull( array $optionalArray = null)
    if ($optionalArray) {
        return implode(', ', $optionalArray);

Or just return an empty string to be consistent with the return type, and check falsy value:

public function returnStringOrNull( array $optionalArray = null) : string
    if ($optionalArray) {
        return implode(', ', $optionalArray);
    return '';
$string = $x->returnStringOrNull();
if (!$string) {
    $string = $x->returnStringOrNull(range(1, 10));
Monday, October 31, 2022

It's language specific, but in PHP :

Null means "nothing". The var has not been initialized.

False means "not true in a boolean context". Used to explicitly show you are dealing with logical issues.

0 is an int. Nothing to do with the rest above, used for mathematics.

Now, what is tricky, it's that in dynamic languages like PHP, all of them have a value in a boolean context, which (in PHP) is False.

If you test it with ==, it's testing the boolean value, so you will get equality. If you test it with ===, it will test the type, and you will get inequality.

So why are they useful ?

Well, look at the strrpos() function. It returns False if it did not found anything, but 0 if it has found something at the beginning of the string !

// pitfall :
if (strrpos("Hello World", "Hello")) { 
    // never exectuted

// smart move :
if (strrpos("Hello World", "Hello") !== False) {
    // that works !

And of course, if you deal with states:

You want to make a difference between DebugMode = False (set to off), DebugMode = True (set to on) and DebugMode = Null (not set at all, will lead to hard debugging ;-)).

Saturday, October 22, 2022

For example:

implicit activity call

In intent filter you create action for you activity, so other app can call your activity via this action as following:

<activity android:name=".BrowserActivitiy" android:label="@string/app_name">
      <action android:name="android.intent.action.VIEW" />
      <category android:name="android.intent.category.DEFAULT" />
      <data android:scheme="http"/> 

And the other way to call implicit Intent is below:

Intent intent = new Intent(Intent.ACTION_VIEW, Uri.parse(""));

Explicit activity call

You make a call that indicate exactly which activity class:

Intent intent = new Intent(this, ActivityABC.class);
intent.putExtra("Value", "This value for ActivityABC");

Hope this help you understand more about Explicit and implicit activity call in android.

You can get more detail about Android Intent here

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

This is functions comparison matrix between Tomcat, TomEE and TomEE+:


1. Tomcat vs TomEE
Tomcat is servlet container that supports servlet and JSP technology. TomEE is more extensive than Tomcat supporting many other Java EE technologies (specificed by JSR-xxx).

2. Compare TomEE vs TomEE+

TomEE contains:
CDI - Apache OpenWebBeans
EJB - Apache OpenEJB
JPA - Apache OpenJPA
JSF - Apache MyFaces
JSP - Apache Tomcat
JSTL - Apache Tomcat
JTA - Apache Geronimo Transaction
Servlet - Apache Tomcat
Javamail - Apache Geronimo JavaMail
Bean Validation - Apache BVal

The TomEE Plus distribution adds the following:
JAX-RS - Apache CXF
JAX-WS - Apache CXF
JMS - Apache ActiveMQ
Connector - Apache Geronimo Connector

What is new in Tomcat? Of cource, see Tomcat change log.
What is new in TomEE plus? see TomEE change log.

3. Choose TomEE or TomEE plus?
See functions matrix at the above, pick your functions in your application what you will use. Then choose Servlet container/ Web profile application server / Application server by yourself.

Monday, November 28, 2022
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