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Why would one ever use "get" method in PHP?

Posted on 2013-06-14
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Last Modified: 2013-06-14
I just don't understand the point of this feature.  Why would I ever care about putting information in a link, when i Could just link to a page directly?
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Question by:LB1234
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by:Ray Paseur
Ray Paseur earned 500 total points
ID: 39247632
Uhh, because you were creating a page that provided a general purpose search facility, for example.  The GET method request makes sense if your intent is to retrieve data, without changing the data model on the server.
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by:Gary
ID: 39247638
GET is used to pass information between pages, the same as POST.  The only difference is that using GET exposes that information in the URL while POST passes the information invisibly.
Security wise they are exactly the same.
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by:LB1234
ID: 39247642
Why not just use POST all the time though?  They're both equally accessible arrays, why is one better than the other
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Ray Paseur earned 500 total points
ID: 39247660
Actually, GET and POST are not the same.  Get is informational.  Post can be informational, and it can also change the data.  Here is the classic example of a GET fail.

You write a script to delete a row from the data base, based upon the key.  If it is a GET-method request, the URL might look like this:

delete.php?key=1234

You create an administrative page that lists all of the rows in the data base.  It has one line for each row, with links to update scripts as well as the delete script.  Someone posts a link to your administrative page somewhere (anywhere) and Google picks it up.  As Google spiders the administrative page, it follows all of the links on the page.

Poof!  Your data base is gone.

Here is the classic example of a POST fail.  Visit the web site of Fairfax County, VA, USA.  Use the site to look up real estate tax information.  When you find the data you want, try to send a link to a colleague.  You can't, because the county's misdesigned web site uses POST requests instead of GET requests to process the form information.  You also cannot bookmark the real estate tax information.  It has to be looked up, over and over again, manually.
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by:Ray Paseur
Ray Paseur earned 500 total points
ID: 39247671
You choose GET so you can have bookmarks.  In that way, a single general-purpose script can serve several purposes.  Think of an online catalog.  A single script can show you all of the items in the catalog (probably using the SKU is a GET-method key).

Some good discussion here:
http://www.w3schools.com/tags/ref_httpmethods.asp
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Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 39247687
Excellent examples by Ray
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by:Ray Paseur
ID: 39247938
Thanks for the points - it's a great question, ~Ray
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