Thank you to all of you who have commented on this query. 

On the subject of comments, I feel that Larry Garfield settled this query by 
pointing out
that halving the size of a particular document gave a barely noticeable 
increase in speed.
Paul Foster pointed out the problem of maintenance, but if, as I do, you do your
development in-house, and then upload the working copies of the program, it 
would be
possible to strip out comments when you upload it. If you were really paranoid, 
this could
have the advantage that if somebody managed to steal your code from the server 
it would be
that much harder for them to understand. On the other hand the process of 
stripping out
the comments could potentially introduce new bugs, and I think this 
consideration would
outweigh anything else.

I have recently come to the conclusion that I should never consider anything 
until I have analysed the HTML code for an actual page. It is amazing how badly 
tables and the like can be without producing any visible effect on the page, 
and on
several occasions I have found PHP error messages which were mixed up with the 
such a way that they were not displayed at all. On at least one occasion this 
gave me the
clue to an otherwise baffling bug.  

I have also discovered that the process of analysing the HTML is made 
simpler by inserting HTML comments into the output; e.g. instead of

        Echo '</td></tr></table></td></tr></table>';
<!-End of table 2 '

<!-End of table 1 '

Unfortunately, for HTML readability, it is highly desirable not to indent the 
code, and if
you are trying to have nicely indented braces, this makes the PHP code that 
much harder to

And on the question of functions there is some virtue (primarily from the point 
of view of
maintenance) in not having individual files too large, so while it seems to be 
the general
consensus that splitting up functions into groups to give smaller files will 
probably slow
things down a bit, if they can be grouped into sets which are only loaded in 
circumstances this would be worth doing.

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