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Request #46046 NON-DOUBLE-QUOTED PHP code within the HEREDOC syntax
Submitted: 2008-09-10 20:53 UTC Modified: 2009-12-09 10:52 UTC
From: vask at dmglobal dot net Assigned:
Status: Not a bug Package: Feature/Change Request
PHP Version: 5.3.0alpha2 OS: All
Private report: No CVE-ID: None
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 [2008-09-10 20:53 UTC] vask at dmglobal dot net
The ONLY way you can ensure that the correct code styling is done is if there is some kind of "separator" between different languages mixed in the same file.

The current implementation of PHP doesn't ALWAYS allow for a "separator" when mixing different languages such as HTML, JS, PHP, etc...

With most things we are ok.. there are already separators that can be recognized by a text editor...

However, there are cases where a text editor will be unable to realize the language change is present because a "separator" will NOT be present... like if something is in quotations... Below is the easiest example I can think of.

<? $variable = '<p>Don\'t ' . $_GET['verb'] . '</p>'; ?>
- incorrect html code styling (should NOT be a solid color). 
- requires \' or fiddling with the quotations.

<? $variable = ?><?html <p>Don't ?><? . $_GET['verb'] . ?><?html </p> ?><? ; ?>
- correct html code styling.
- No need to escape or fiddle with the apostrophe in "Don't."

NOTE: Two separate syntaxes (<? or <?= ) would ONLY be needed for the SERVER side language (PHP).

My suggestion may be ignored by the PHP community but I think people would love to see something fill in gap when it comes to code styling AND mixing different languages together...

Please also note that this proposal is intended for mixing an UNLIMITED number of client side languages in the same file by a valid PHP separator (NOT just HTML and PHP).

My original issue is posted here:

Reproduce code:
// See bug description (this is essentially a repeat of what was mentioned in there...)

// file.html.php
// incorrect html code styling (should NOT be a solid color). 
// requires \' or fiddling with the quotations.

$variable = '<p>Don\'t ' . $_GET['verb'] . '</p>';


// Correct html code styling.
// No need to escape or fiddle with the apostrophe in "Don't."

$variable = ?><?html <p>Don't ?><? . $_GET['verb'] . ?><?html </p> ?><? ; 


Expected result:
// Text editor displays correct code styling when mixing different languages together.

// This feature request is about creating a "separator" in PHP so that the correct code styling will ALWAYS be possible in a text editor when mixing different client side languages in the same file.

// ie)
// <?html
// <?js
// <?php
// <?client_side_language_154

Actual result:
// Text editor displays incorrect code styling when mixing different languages together because a recognizable "separator" between languages is NOT present.


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 [2008-09-10 21:10 UTC]
Sorry, but your problem does not imply a bug in PHP itself.  For a
list of more appropriate places to ask for help using PHP, please
visit as this bug system is not the
appropriate forum for asking support questions.  Due to the volume
of reports we can not explain in detail here why your report is not
a bug.  The support channels will be able to provide an explanation
for you.

Thank you for your interest in PHP.

That's a bug of your editor, not PHP ;) 
 [2008-09-11 07:30 UTC] vask at dmglobal dot net
It is impossible for a text-editor to ALWAYS automatically know what language is being dealt with without a valid separator.

<? $variable = 'disabled="disabled"'; ?>

The quoted part of course is going to be a solid color in a text editor... but... it is impossible for a text editor to tell what client side language is intended in the 'QUOTED' part so it can style the 'QUOTED' part correctly.

It could be:

If I am wrong please tell me a text editor that knows how to perform correct code styling on the quoted part in the above example...

The following text editors are INCAPABLE of doing this:
Zend Studio for Eclipse

This is probably because it is not possible for a text editor to tell what syntax highlighting to use for the quoted part so the text editor just assumes it is an abitrary string.

If PHP could provide a "valid separator" to tell a text editor what code highlighting to use for a specific part in the file it could greatly improve a programmer's and text editor's ability to incorporate several different languages in a single file.

<? $variable = ?><?html disabled="disabled" ?><? ; ?>

The <?html ?> part could then have html code styling in a text editor instead of just being a solid color.

This suggestion was intended for more than just correct syntax highlighting of quoted strings but it is much easier to illustrate that way...

If this is indeed a bogus feature request I apologize for wasting your time.

 [2008-09-11 07:54 UTC] vask at dmglobal dot net
I do realize this is NOT a PHP bug, but it is NOT a text editor bug or a support issue.  

This is a feature request for new syntax.  Both PHP and my text editor would have to support this new syntax or variation of it if implemented. It makes the most sense if PHP implements new syntax first and then text editors recognize the new syntax second.

 [2008-09-11 13:25 UTC]
You can use NOWDOC or HEREDOC syntax:

$foo = <<<'HTML'

This already works (on the PHP side) and is equivalent to your
proposition. You can manage for your editor to use a different syntax
highlighting based on the NOWDOC/HEREDOC token.
 [2008-09-16 02:57 UTC] vask at dmglobal dot net
NOWDOC or HEREDOC syntax works great with Textmate as long as you upgrade to the most recent Textmate PHP bundle.

However, it is NOT equivalent to my proposition. I would still like the ability to use NON-DOUBLE-QUOTED PHP code within the NOWDOC or HEREDOC section. 

// I would like to be able to do:
echo <<<HTML
<p><?= php_function(); ?></p>

If this is NOT possible, I would like the status of this feature request changed from "Bogus" to something more appropriate.

NOTE: I already modified the "Summary" of this feature request to be something more appropriate.

 [2009-12-09 10:52 UTC] vask at dmglobal dot net
This incident has been closed since [10 Sep 2008 9:10pm UTC] as "bogus," but it was never pointed out that /**/ (a php comment) can and does act as a valid separator to denote what language is in a quoted string. This is important because now the only thing needed is to find a text editor that can utilize this.

So what TEXT EDITOR will support the following syntax or a similar syntax:


where FILETYPE is the extension on the file.

ie) php_css.php
$dark = true;
echo /*CSS*/'
font {
	'/*CSS*/ . $dark ? /*CSS*/'color: black;'/*CSS*/ : /*CSS*/'color: white;'/*CSS*/ . ' 
	size: 20px;
	margin-top: 40px;

Text Editor NOTES: 
- You can NOT really see the code style in this post so let me explain.
- All code SHOULD have php code style by default.
- All code in between the /*CSS*/' and '/*CSS*/ SHOULD have css code style. (NOT a single solid color for a quoted string.)

If anyone knows a text editor that supports code style as mentioned above please share! Thanks.

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