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Using Comments in PHP

Comments in PHP are similar to comments that are used in HTML. The PHP comment syntax always begins with a special character sequence and all text that appears between the start of the comment and the end will be ignored.

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In HTML a comment's main purpose is to serve as a note to you, the web developer or to others who may view your website's source code. However, PHP's comments are different in that they will not be displayed to your visitors. The only way to view PHP comments is to open the PHP file for editing. This makes PHP comments only useful to PHP programmers.

In case you forgot what an HTML comment looked like, see our example below.

HTML Code:

<!-- This is an HTML Comment -->

PHP Comment Syntax: Single Line Comment

While there is only one type of comment in HTML, PHP has two types. The first type we will discuss is the single line comment. The single line comment tells the interpreter to ignore everything that occurs on that line to the right of the comment. To do a single line comment type "//" or "#" and all text to the right will be ignored by PHP interpreter.

PHP Code:

echo "Hello World!"; // This will print out Hello World!
echo "<br />Psst...You can't see my PHP comments!"; // echo "nothing";
// echo "My name is Humperdinkle!";
# echo "I don't do anything either";


Hello World!
Psst...You can't see my PHP comments!

Notice that a couple of our echo statements were not evaluated because we commented them out with the single line comment. This type of line commenting is often used for quick notes about complex and confusing code or to temporarily remove a line of PHP code.

PHP Comment Syntax: Multiple Line Comment

Similiar to the HTML comment, the multi-line PHP comment can be used to comment out large blocks of code or writing multiple line comments. The multiple line PHP comment begins with " /* " and ends with " */ ".

PHP Code:

/* This Echo statement will print out my message to the
the place in which I reside on.  In other words, the World. */
echo "Hello World!"; 
/* echo "My name is Humperdinkle!";
echo "No way! My name is Uber PHP Programmer!";


Hello World!

Good Commenting Practices

One of the best commenting practices that I can recommend to new PHP programmers is....USE THEM!! So many people write complex PHP code and are either too lazy to write good comments or believe the commenting is not needed. However, do you really believe that you will remember exactly what you were thinking when looking at this code a year or more down the road?

Let the comments permeate your code and you will be a happier PHPer in the future. Use single line comments for quick notes about a tricky part in your code and use multiple line comments when you need to describe something in greater depth than a simple note.

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