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proper way to write a php variable with a hyperlink

Posted on 2011-09-28
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Last Modified: 2013-12-13
Can someone tell me the correct way to write this variable.

 $mess .= "<a href=".$_POST['email_site_address'].">".$_POST['email_site_name']."</a>";
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Question by:Luey
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Expert Comment

by:Hugh McCurdy
ID: 36753002
I don't understand the question.  Perhaps a question from me will help -- Where do you want to write the variable?
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Author Comment

by:Luey
ID: 36756502
Well actually it works but I do not understand why.
Normally you would write a hyperlink like so right?
<a href="some_site">"some text"</a>

With my variable would I not be missing the "" around the site address after href=
"<a href=".$_POST['email_site_address'].">".$_POST['email_site_name']."</a>
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Hugh McCurdy earned 125 total points
ID: 36770269
Oh, I see.  I think it works because PC based browsers are able to repair poor HTML syntax.  Don't count on mobile devices to be able to do that.

What I think you want (not being sure I understand) is to have quotes around the address and name.  This is difficult because you need to quotes to comply with PHP syntax.  Fortunately, you can escape your quotes so that they aren't used as quotes in PHP but do get used as quotes in HTML.

I'm not sure I'm typing this correctly but hopefully I'll get it right.  If it doesn't work, please echo $mess to the screen and share it here.

instead of

$mess .= "<a href=".$_POST['email_site_address'].">".$_POST['email_site_name']."</a>";

Open in new window


try

$mess .= "<a href= \"".$_POST['email_site_address']."\"> \"".$_POST['email_site_name']."\"</a>";

Open in new window



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Assisted Solution

by:Ray Paseur
Ray Paseur earned 125 total points
ID: 36791093
You might want to learn about PHP string variables, especially the HEREDOC syntax.  I find that HEREDOC makes life very easy!
http://php.net/manual/en/language.types.string.php

I would probably go with something like this untested code snippet.

HTH, ~Ray
// INSTEAD OF $mess .= "<a href=".$_POST['email_site_address'].">".$_POST['email_site_name']."</a>";
$e = htmlentities($_POST['email_site_address']);
$n = htmlentities($_POST['email_site_name']);
$mess = <<<ENDMESS
<a href="$e">$n</a>
ENDMESS;

var_dump($mess);

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Expert Comment

by:Hugh McCurdy
ID: 36794598
Ray makes a good point about striving for better code.

The var_dump is a very good idea.  Regardless of what you do, if you are still having trouble, please share the var_dump of $mess with us.
If using Ray's code, also the var_dump of $e and $n.
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Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 36796197
And a var_dump($_POST) might be a helpful and informative step, as well!
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Author Closing Comment

by:Luey
ID: 36816344
Both examples worked but I ended up using the HEREDOC syntax.  Thanks a lot.
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