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PHP Data Types : NULL

Description

The special NULL value represents a variable has no value (nonvalue or unvalue). It is similar to Python's" None" or Perl's "undef".

NULL is the only possible value of type NULL.

It identifies variables being empty or not and useful to differentiate between the empty string and null values of databases.

There is only one value of type NULL, and that is the case-insensitive keyword NULL.

The following is an example of using NULL.

Syntax to define php null type

<?php
$value = NULL;
?>

In the following example, $var set to NULL and using var_dump and is_null it is shwon that the value of $var is NULL.

Example :

<?php
$var = NULL;
var_dump(is_null($var));
?>

Output :

bool(true)

View the example in browser

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PHP: Tips of the Day

Members of objects or classes can be accessed using the object operator (->) and the class operator (::).

Example:

class MyClass {
 public $a = 1;
 public static $b = 2;
 const C = 3;
 public function d() { return 4; }
 public static function e() { return 5; }
}
$object = new MyClass();
var_dump($object->a); // int(1)
var_dump($object::$b); // int(2)
var_dump($object::C); // int(3)
var_dump(MyClass::$b); // int(2)
var_dump(MyClass::C); // int(3)
var_dump($object->d()); // int(4)
var_dump($object::d()); // int(4)
var_dump(MyClass::e()); // int(5)
$classname = "MyClass"; 
var_dump($classname::e()); // also works! int(5)

Note that after the object operator, the $ should not be written ($object->a instead of $object->$a). For the class operator, this is not the case and the $ is necessary. For a constant defined in the class, the $ is never used.

Also note that var_dump(MyClass::d()); is only allowed if the function d() does not reference the object:

class MyClass {
 private $a = 1;
 public function d() {
 return $this->a;
 }
}
$object = new MyClass();
var_dump(MyClass::d()); // Error!

This causes a 'PHP Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Using $this when not in object context'

These operators have left associativity, which can be used for 'chaining':

class MyClass {
 private $a = 1;

 public function add(int $a) {
 $this->a += $a;
 return $this;
 }

 public function get() {
 return $this->a;
 }
}
$object = new MyClass();
var_dump($object->add(4)->get()); // int(5)

These operators have the highest precedence (they are not even mentioned in the manual), even higher that clone. Thus:

class MyClass {
 private $a = 0;
 public function add(int $a) {
 $this->a += $a;
 return $this;
 }
 public function get() {
 return $this->a;
 }
}
$o1 = new MyClass();
$o2 = clone $o1->add(2);
var_dump($o1->get()); // int(2)
var_dump($o2->get()); // int(2)

The value of $o1 is added to before the object is cloned!

Note that using parentheses to influence precedence did not work in PHP version 5 and older (it does in PHP 7):

// using the class MyClass from the previous code
$o1 = new MyClass();
$o2 = (clone $o1)->add(2); // Error in PHP 5 and before, fine in PHP 7
var_dump($o1->get()); // int(0) in PHP 7
var_dump($o2->get()); // int(2) in PHP 7