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php search for first occurrence of multiple characters

Posted on 2012-04-11
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Last Modified: 2012-04-12
Can anybody help?
Thank you

I want a function gives me the position of the  first occurrence any of the elements in $haytack.

eg: Will return position of the comma(,) in $haystack since comma is the first element of the array that occurs in $haystack

$needles= Array ("'",">","<",")",",");
$haystack="test test , ) '  >>><<";
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Question by:tyuret
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LVL 35

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Terry Woods earned 2000 total points
ID: 37835360
function firstNeedlePosition($needles, $haystack) {
  $earliestPosition = 0;
  foreach ($needles as $needle) {
	  $needlePosition = strpos($haystack, $needle);
	  if ($needlePosition and ($earliestPosition==0 or $earliestPosition > $needlePosition))
		  $earliestPosition = $needlePosition;
  }
  return $earliestPosition;
}

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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Terry Woods
ID: 37835371
The algorithm I provided will not be efficient if you have very long values of $haystack with the needles first occurring deep within it. In that case, you'd be best to go through the haystack a character at a time looking at whether any of the needles match and stopping at the first match.
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