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Programming PHP, 2nd Edition by Peter MacIntyre, Kevin Tatroe, Rasmus Lerdorf

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Parameter Handling

As we learned in the previous section on the pval/zval container, there are at least two ways to accept and parse arguments to PHP functions you write. We will concentrate on the higher-level zend_parse_parameters( ) function here.

There are two versions of the function, prototyped like this in C:

    int zend_parse_parameters(int num_args TSRMLS_DC, char *type_spec, ...);
    int zend_parse_parameters_ex(int flags, int num_args TSRMLS_DC,
      char *type_spec, ...);

They differ only in that the ex, or expanded, version of the function contains a flags parameter. The only flag currently supported is ZEND_PARSE_PARAMS_QUIET, which inhibits warnings from supplying an incorrect number or type of arguments.

Both parameter-parsing functions return either SUCCESS or FAILURE. The functions take any number of extra arguments (pointers to variables whose values are assigned by the parsing function). On failure the return_value of the function is automatically set to FALSE, so you can simply return from your function on a failure.

The most complex part of these functions is the type_spec string you pass them. Here's the relevant part of our rot13 example:

    char *arg = NULL;
    int arg_len, argc = ZEND_NUM_ARGS( );
    if (zend_parse_parameters(argc TSRMLS_CC, "s/", &arg, &arg_len) == FAILURE)
        return;

We first get the number of arguments passed to this function by calling the ZEND_NUM_ARGS( ) macro. We pass this number along with a type_spec string of "s/" and then the address of a char * and the ...

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