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Using code hinting with PHP variables

From: Dreamweaver with PHP and MySQL

Video: Using code hinting with PHP variables

One of the most useful new features in Dreamweaver CS5 for PHP developers is code hinting. For this demonstration, I'll use a set of files in the folder 03_managingcode > 01_codehinting. There's just one file in this folder, phpinfo.php. It has the PHP info command. I'll run this file on the server by clicking Live View and copying the file over to the resting server, and show you that the PHP info command outputs information on the PHP server, such as the build date of the server, the operating system, the location of the PHP INI file, and so on.

Using code hinting with PHP variables

One of the most useful new features in Dreamweaver CS5 for PHP developers is code hinting. For this demonstration, I'll use a set of files in the folder 03_managingcode > 01_codehinting. There's just one file in this folder, phpinfo.php. It has the PHP info command. I'll run this file on the server by clicking Live View and copying the file over to the resting server, and show you that the PHP info command outputs information on the PHP server, such as the build date of the server, the operating system, the location of the PHP INI file, and so on.

I'll exit Live View. The code hinting feature gives you a list of all of the commands in the PHP language, variables and functions that you have defined in your own file, and also a lot more information. I'm going to start in this exercise by showing you how to use code hinting on commands that are a part of PHP. I'll place the cursor before the PHP info command, and then I'm going to use a feature called the date function.

The date function returns the current date and time on the server. I'll type in an echo command and then type in the word "date." To get to code hinting, press Ctrl+Space. It's the same keyboard shortcut, regardless of whether you're working on Windows or Mac. The date function takes one required argument and one optional argument. The required argument is a format string that designates how the date should be formatted. When you press Ctrl+Space, you not only a list of all of the function and variable names that have the word "date" in it, but when the item you want is selected, you'll also get documentation.

I'm going to scroll down in the documentation and show you that it provides a list of all of the characters that you can use in your format string. So, for example, a lower d means the current day as a numeric value with leading zeroes. The uppercase D means a text representation of the day in three characters, such as Mon for Monday. And the lower case day is the day of the month without leading zeroes, again numerically. I'm going to output the current time, so I'll scroll down in the listing till I get to the Time section, and I'll show you that the letter g, in lower case means the 12-hour format of an hour without leading zeroes, and the letter I means the number of minutes with leading zeroes.

You can use whatever non-alphabetical characters you want to format these values. So I'm going to place my cursor back into the code, and put in an opening paren and then a quote, then g for the hour, a colon and a lower case I for the minutes. I'll close that string with a quote, and then I'll close the whole thing with a parenthesis. I'll save my changes and then click on Live View. I'll update the copy on the testing server and show you the current time, which comes back as 7:06.

You won't see your actual time unless you just happen to be in the right time zone. It's up to you to control the current time zone, and once again, PHP provides a function for this. I'll place the cursor before the echo command and make a new line. I'll once again type in the word "date," and press Ctrl+Space, and then I'll scroll down to the function, date_default_timezone_set. You pass a string into this function. To find out what the available strings are for this function, scroll down a little ways into the documentation, and you'll see a link for the list of supported time zones.

I'll click there, and that opens a browser to the PHP documentation on the web. You do need an Internet connection at this point to see this information. Then from there, I'll click into America, and from there, I'll locate my particular time zone, which I'm going to set as America/Los_Angeles. I'll locate that string and copy it to the clipboard from the browser. Then I'll return back to Dreamweaver. I'll press Ctrl+Space, and I'll once again go down to date_default_timezone_set, and this time I'll press Enter. Then I'll type in a quote and paste in my time zone identifier, then a closing quote, a closing parenthesis, and a semicolon.

Then after I've set the time zone but before I output the date, I'll put in another new line of code and echo, and then I'll output a literal string of The current time is:. I'll save my changes. Then I'll click over on the design area, and that causes Dreamweaver to prompt me to update the copy of my file on the testing server. I'll click Yes, and Yes, and there is the result. Now I'm seeing the current time in my time zone, or whichever time zone I've set in the date_default_timezone_set function.

The goal of this exercise is to show you how to use the code hinting to help you find and insert long function names very easily, and also how to use the code hinting feature to get to the PHP documentation for the particular function you're interested in. The goal of this feature of Dreamweaver is to make it easier for those who like to do a little bit of hand-coding in PHP, to get to the features of the language that they need and insert the code correctly.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Dreamweaver with PHP and MySQL
Dreamweaver with PHP and MySQL

61 video lessons · 36517 viewers

David Gassner
Author

 
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  1. 8m 48s
    1. Welcome
      1m 25s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      2m 17s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 40s
    4. Understanding the differences between Dreamweaver CS5.5 and CS6
      3m 26s
  2. 19m 31s
    1. Understanding static vs. dynamic web pages
      4m 32s
    2. Selecting application and database servers
      6m 10s
    3. Introducing Apache, MySQL, and PHP
      6m 36s
    4. Installing Apache, MySQL, and PHP
      2m 13s
  3. 39m 34s
    1. Defining a Dreamweaver site
      3m 22s
    2. Configuring a PHP testing server
      7m 48s
    3. Creating and testing a PHP-based web page
      8m 25s
    4. Adding PHP commands with the Insert panel
      3m 14s
    5. Setting and outputting simple variables
      3m 56s
    6. Testing pages with Live view and Live Code view
      2m 9s
    7. Using server-side includes
      7m 50s
    8. Navigating included pages with the Code Navigator
      2m 50s
  4. 36m 37s
    1. Using code hinting with PHP variables
      5m 31s
    2. Understanding PHP custom classes
      6m 38s
    3. Adding Zend Framework to PHP on Windows
      5m 18s
    4. Adding Zend Framework to PHP on Mac
      4m 2s
    5. Using the Site-Specific Code Hints feature
      3m 43s
    6. Using Zend Framework classes with code hints
      7m 26s
    7. Managing reusable code with the Snippets panel
      3m 59s
  5. 18m 27s
    1. Understanding relational databases
      5m 26s
    2. Creating a MySQL database in phpMyAdmin
      4m 41s
    3. Adding data in phpMyAdmin
      2m 46s
    4. Importing a completed database from a script
      5m 34s
  6. 39m 35s
    1. Defining a Dreamweaver database connection
      5m 27s
    2. Building a simple recordset
      4m 31s
    3. Building an advanced recordset
      5m 1s
    4. Displaying data with repeating regions
      6m 4s
    5. Displaying data in a dynamic table
      4m 15s
    6. Formatting dynamic data
      4m 54s
    7. Displaying the total number of records
      2m 4s
    8. Limiting records with paging controls
      4m 5s
    9. Creating conditional regions
      3m 14s
  7. 43m 12s
    1. Building a simple data entry form
      5m 27s
    2. Handling form submissions with PHP
      5m 12s
    3. Creating a customer email form
      3m 9s
    4. Validating form controls with Spry
      7m 54s
    5. Populating a list control with dynamic data
      4m 50s
    6. Working with multiple checkbox controls
      8m 5s
    7. Sending email with Zend_Mail
      8m 35s
  8. 50m 51s
    1. Using data wizards
      6m 20s
    2. Formatting dates for SQL
      5m 27s
    3. Creating a custom data entry form
      4m 50s
    4. Preparing a database table for server behaviors
      3m 3s
    5. Using the Insert Record server behavior
      5m 42s
    6. Preparing an update form
      7m 6s
    7. Using the Update Form behavior
      5m 46s
    8. Creating list page links to edit and update data
      7m 3s
    9. Using the Delete Record server behavior
      5m 34s
  9. 14m 45s
    1. Creating a login form with a PHP server behavior
      6m 29s
    2. Protecting page access with PHP server behaviors
      4m 17s
    3. Logging out with a PHP server behavior
      3m 59s
  10. 22m 50s
    1. Configuring a remote server with FTP credentials
      4m 42s
    2. Synchronizing site assets with the remote server
      5m 27s
    3. Exporting the MySQL database to a script
      3m 8s
    4. Importing the MySQL database on a remote server
      2m 24s
    5. Configuring the site for the remote database
      7m 9s
  11. 52s
    1. Final thoughts
      52s

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