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function available outside function?

Posted on 2016-09-21
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Last Modified: 2016-09-22
I am still trying to wrap my head around functions and scope.

I thought that you couldn't call a function from outside of a function yet I have taken an example from W3 Schools website

if (empty($_POST["gender"])) {
    $genderErr = "Gender is required";
  } else {
    $gender = test_input($_POST["gender"]);
  }
}

function test_input($data) {
  $data = trim($data);
  $data = stripslashes($data);
  $data = htmlspecialchars($data);
  return $data;
}

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Unless I am so confused I am missing something, it looks like:

 $gender = test_input($_POST["gender"]);

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is being used outside of the actual test_input function and this works. I thought it wouldn't work because it's outside the function. Or am I misunderstanding?
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Question by:Black Sulfur
  • 2
3 Comments
 
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
ID: 41809678
The first segment of code is not a function.  It's a conditional statement, and as such, it is in the same realm / scope as the test_input function.

That being said, some IDE's will throw a warning because the function should be written above the point where it's called.  In other words, the function should appear before the conditional statement.
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Author Comment

by:Black Sulfur
ID: 41810098
Yeah, I also thought it strange that they had the function at the bottom but that is how they did it.

Could I make it all into one function if I wanted to use it all as a form validation function?

function test_input($data) {
    
    $message = "";
  $data = trim($data);
  $data = stripslashes($data);
  $data = htmlspecialchars($data);
  return $data;

if (empty($_POST["gender"])) {
    $message .= "Gender is required";
  } else {
    $gender = test_input($_POST["gender"]);
          }
    
    if($message) {
        
        echo "There were errors in your form:<br>" . $message;
        
    } else {
        
        //submit form
   }
     }

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LVL 44

Accepted Solution

by:
zephyr_hex (Megan) earned 2000 total points
ID: 41810964
No, this isn't going to work for two reasons.  First, line 7 will cause the control flow to exit the function and nothing below that line will run.  Second, line 12 is a recursive call to the function, which could cause an infinite loop.

I think you want something like:

$message = null;
function test_input($data, $text) {
   
    $innermessage = null; 
    if (!isset($_POST[$data]) || empty($_POST[$data])) {
        $innermessage = $text . " is required. <br/>";
        return $innermessage;
    } else {
        $_POST[$data]= trim($_POST[$data]);
        $_POST[$data] = stripslashes($_POST[$data]);
        $_POST[$data]= htmlspecialchars($_POST[$data]);
    }

}

//example call to function:
$message .= test_input("gender", "Gender");
$message .= test_input("foo", "Foo");
if($message !== null) {
    echo "There were one or more problems:<br/> " . $message;
} else {
    //submit form
}

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