Returning Values from User-Defined Functions

In the previous example, we output an amended string to the browser within the printBR() function. Sometimes, however, you will want a function to provide a value that you can work with yourself. If your function has transformed a string that you have provided, you may want to get the amended string back so that you can pass it to other functions. A function can return a value using the return statement in conjunction with a value. The return statement stops the execution of the function and sends the value back to the calling code.

Listing 7.4 creates a function that returns the sum of two numbers.

Listing 7.4. A Function That Returns a Value

 1: <?php 2: function addNums($firstnum, $secondnum) { 3:      $result = $firstnum + $secondnum; 4:      return $result; 5: } 6: echo addNums(3,5); 7: //will print "8" 8: ?>

Put these lines into a text file called addnums.php and place this file in your web server document root. When you access this script through your web browser, it produces the following:


Notice in line 2 that addNums() should be called with two numeric arguments (line 6 shows those to be 3 and 5 in this case). These values are stored in the variables $firstnum and $secondnum. Predictably, addNums() adds the numbers contained in these variables and stores the result in a variable called $result.

The return statement can return a value or nothing at all. How we arrive at a value passed by return can vary. The value can be hard-coded:

return 4;

It can be the result of an expression:

return $a/$b;

It can be the value returned by yet another function call:

return another_function($an_argument);

Sams Teach Yourself PHP, MySQL And Apache All in One
Sams Teach Yourself PHP, MySQL and Apache All in One (3rd Edition)
ISBN: 0672328739
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 327 © 2008-2017.
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