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Bug #47232 str_replace() factors previous replacements into process
Submitted: 2009-01-28 18:56 UTC Modified: 2009-01-29 14:39 UTC
From: michael dot moussa at gmail dot com Assigned:
Status: Not a bug Package: Strings related
PHP Version: 5.2.8 OS: *
Private report: No CVE-ID: None
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From: michael dot moussa at gmail dot com
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 [2009-01-28 18:56 UTC] michael dot moussa at gmail dot com
When $search and $replace are arrays, str_replace factors previous replacements into the process and produces unexpected input.

Reproduce code:
$search = array('A', 'B', 'C', 'D', 'E');
$replace = array('B', 'C', 'D', 'E', 'F');

echo str_replace($search, $replace, 'ABCDE'); 

Expected result:
Each letter in the string 'ABCDE' should be replaced by the letter that follows it in the alphabet, that is, A should be replaced with B, B should be replaced with C, etc...

The expected result is 'BCDEF'

Actual result:
The actual result is 'FFFFF'.  The documentation does not indicate that $subject is continuously updated as the process moves along.

A more practical example:

echo str_replace(
	array(" ", "&"),
	array("&nbsp", "&amp;"),
	"Hello & goodbye!"

This should replace "Hello & goodbye!" with "Hello&nbsp;&amp;&nbsp;goodbye!" but it actually results in "Hello&amp;nbsp&amp;&amp;nbspgoodbye!", as the original replacement of " " with "&nbsp;" introduced an additional ampersand.


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 [2009-01-28 22:47 UTC]
Maybe this is a bit confusing but I do understand it exactly like 
"If search or replace are arrays, their elements are processed first 
to last."

So in: 
a b c d e 
b c d e f

1st pass: b b c d e
2nd pass: c c c d e
3rd pass: d d d d e
4th pass: e e e e e
5th pass: f f f f f

If it did not work like it does, it would not do what it's expected 
to do. Use preg_replace() instead with proper regexps. str_replace() 
is the quick'n' dirty method..

 [2009-01-28 22:50 UTC]
I mistakenly _deleted_ your comment in the manual when I was supposed 
to edit it and add a note about preg_replace() there as well. Sorry 
for the inconvenience, but can you readd it? (that stupid comment 
moderator thing should ask "are you sure" before actually deleting 

 [2009-01-29 04:43 UTC] michael dot moussa at gmail dot com

The documentation says "This function returns a string or an array 
with all occurrences of search in subject replaced with the given 
replace value."

Refer to the following example:

$subject = 'A';

echo str_replace( array('A','B','C','D'), array('B','C','D','E'), 

The result is 'E'.  If str_replace() is replacing occurrences in 
*$subject*, then how do we end up with 'E' if 'D' doesn't exist in 
$subject?  The result SHOULD be 'B'.  $subject is 'A', so the first 
replacement replaces 'A' with 'B'.  The second replacement, as the 
documentation states, should check for occurrences of 'B' within 
$subject, *NOT* within str_replace('A', 'B', $subject) - and so on.

If this result is not a bug, then the documentation should be updated 
to indicate that subsequent replacements are done on the result of 
the previous replacement operation.

 [2009-01-29 14:40 UTC] michael dot moussa at gmail dot com
BTW: I've reposted my comment to the manual as you requested.  I hope it survives this time. :)
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