> If you set $qty=0; then $qty has no value.

Of course it has a value.  The value is 0.
Quite distinct from not having a value, or in proper terms, not being set.  
Try this:

    $qty = 0;

Well, I will save you the trouble, it outputs:


> Type casting is irrelevant in php.

No they aren't.  Try this:

    $qty = 0;
    if($qty=="test") echo "foo";
    if((string)$qty=="test") echo "bar";

This will only output "foo".  Not "bar".  You could also use the === 
operator to force PHP to check not only the value but also the type.  

See http://www.php.net/manual/en/language.operators.comparison.php


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