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What is PHP empty functions - Purpose of empty function

  • The PHP empty function is used to determine if a variable is empty or not.
  • It will return True if the given variable is empty and false if it exists or a non-zero or more than zero characters etc.
  • I will explain further in the later part of this tutorial, first syntax and live examples of using the empty function.
  • Syntax to use empty function

  • This is how you can use the empty PHP function:
  • Bool_var = empty ($variable_to_check);
    click below button to copy the code. php tutorial - team

  • Where, the variables can be of different types like an integer, string or even an array etc.
  • An example of using the empty function

  • In the following example, a string variable is declared and given a zero character value, i.e. “”. After that, the if condition is used with the empty function.
  • See the code and output by clicking the link below:
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  • You can see, the variable is shown as empty. That means if a string variable is declared and even assigned a “” value it is still taken as empty. However, if it contains some value like “abc”, it will not be considered as empty.
  • An example with integer type variable

  • In this example, an integer type variable is declared and assigned a 0 value. See the output and description below:
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  • So, it still returned as true or the integer variable is taken as empty. If the variable contains 1 or more value it will not be taken as empty, in the case of a string or float variable.
  • An empty example with array element

  • In this example an associative array of three elements is used. The first and third elements of the array contain value other than zero. While the second element is assigned the 0 value. See the output yourself by clicking the link or image below:
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  • You see, the foreach loop is used to loop through the array elements. Inside the foreach, the if statement is also used and a message is displayed if the current array element is empty or not.
  • The second element is shown as empty while other two as non-empty.
  • Why we use the empty function?

  • Sometimes, you need to check if a variable contains a value or not before proceeding to some action.
  • For example, you are taking the input values from the user in a web form. A few fields like Name, email, address are mandatory in the form. While you can check it at the client side by using the JavaScript, however, sometimes it may be disabled.
  • In that case, you may check the variable values by using the empty function to ensure that a user has entered some values or otherwise redirect the user back to the form page rather than proceeding to save the information in the database.
  • How to use PHP empty function

  • Using the empty function is quite simple. You simply need to provide a variable name to check if it contains a value or is it is empty.
  • Bool_variable = empty ($variable_to_check_for_empty);
    click below button to copy the code. php tutorial - team

    • This is what the empty function takes as ‘empty’:
    • If your string contains no characters or it is like this: Str = “”;
    • Then this will be considered as empty.
      • If a variable is not defined or does not exist, it will be considered as empty.
      • If you have declared a variable and not given any value, this will still be considered as empty.
      • If a Boolean variable is False, this is also considered as empty.
      • The integer or float variable with 0 value are also considered as empty.
      • A variable with NULL value is also taken as empty.
      • An empty array is also taken as “empty”.
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