Variable variables are one of my favorite things about PHP. PHP allows you to use a variable to reference another variable. This comes in exceptionally handy when you need to create variable names dynamically:

$variable = 'This is my variable';
$var      = 'variable';

echo $$var;

Let’s say you have you have a variable that uses another variable as part of the name:

$array         = range(1, 100);
$format_json   = json_encode($array);
$format_serial = serialize($array);

$format   = 'json';
$variable = 'format_' . $format;

echo $$variable;

Granted this is a very simple example to demonstrate the functionality. Real world usage could end up being more complex and really show off the power of variable variables.

Did you enjoy this post?

Cool if I slip into your inbox with more?
Full posts, 1-2 times per week: