Rather than using true and false you can use 1, 0 it saves key strokes,
reduces script size, etc

Also use ' instead of " if you don't need it evaluated by PHP.

if (custom_function) {
        print 'Custom Function succeeded!';
} else {
        print 'There was a problem!';

One thing I've done in the past is return a variable with a message and an
error code for example

function check_sheet() {
        // if first name is less than 2 characters fail check and provide an
        if (strlen($_POST['firstname']) < '2') {
                $return['status'] = '0';
                $return['message'][] = 'First name must be at least 2
characters long';

        // use if instead of elseif so we can return multiple error messages
at once
        if (strlen($_POST['lastname']) < '2') {
                $return['status'] = '0';
                $return['message'][] = 'Last name must be at least 2
characters long';

        // if we have not encountered an error set return status to 1 (true)
        if (!isset($return['status']) {
                $return['status'] = '1';

        return $return;

Now in my main script I would perform checking like this

// execute check_sheet function
$check_sheet = check_sheet();

if ($check_sheet['status'] == '1') {
        // if the function returned 1 (true) display confirmation
        print 'Thank you for your submission!';
} else {
        // if the function returned 0 (false) display error messages
        for ($i=0; $i<count($check_sheet['message']); $i++) {
                print $check_sheet['message'][$i] . '<br>';
unset ($check_sheet);

This is example code written in my client for reference. This code will
allow you to return multiple error messages without echoing html code from a

-----Original Message-----
From: Erik Price [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
Sent: Thursday, April 18, 2002 9:25 AM
Subject: [PHP] function returning true or errors

I am writing a function that performs some actions.  I would like to 
return true if the actions succeed, or return an error message if the 
actions fail.  How should I go about it?  The following code doesn't do 
it, because the returned error message is interpreted as a boolean 
"true" (I think that's what's happening):

if (custom_function() == true) {
        print "Custom Function succeeded!";
} else {
        print custom_function();

I would actually rather just have the error message generated by the 
script that calls the function, but the function performs some logic 
that determines what kind of error message to give.  I was thinking of 
having the function return "1" if succeeds, "2" if error code A, or "3" 
if error code B, and then a switch statement could decide what to do in 
the calling script -- but does this sound sloppy?



Erik Price
Web Developer Temp
Media Lab, H.H. Brown

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