"when to use strtr vs str_replace?" Answer’s


First difference:

An interesting example of a different behaviour between strtr and str_replace is in the comments section of the PHP Manual:

$arrFrom = array("1","2","3","B");
$arrTo = array("A","B","C","D");
$word = "ZBB2";
echo str_replace($arrFrom, $arrTo, $word);
  • I would expect as result: "ZDDB"
  • However, this return: "ZDDD" (Because B = D according to our array)

To make this work, use "strtr" instead:

$arr = array("1" => "A","2" => "B","3" => "C","B" => "D");
$word = "ZBB2";
echo strtr($word,$arr);
  • This returns: "ZDDB"

This means that str_replace is a more global approach to replacements, while strtr simply translates the chars one by one.

Another difference:

Given the following code (taken from PHP String Replacement Speed Comparison):

$text = "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor";

$text_strtr = strtr($text
    , array("PHP" => "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor"
        , "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor" => "PHP"));
$text_str_replace = str_replace(array("PHP", "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor")
    , array("PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor", "PHP")
    , $text);

The resulting lines of text will be:

string(3) "PHP"
string(27) "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor"

The main explanation:

This happens because:

  • strtr: it sorts its parameters by length, in descending order, so:

    1. it will give "more importance" to the largest one, and then, as the subject text is itself the largest key of the replacement array, it gets translated.
    2. because all the chars of the subject text have been replaced, the process ends there.
  • str_replace: it works in the order the keys are defined, so:

    1. it finds the key “PHP” in the subject text and replaces it with: “PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor”, what gives as result:

      “PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor: Hypertext Preprocessor”.

    2. then it finds the next key: “PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor” in the resulting text of the former step, so it gets replaced by "PHP", which gives as result:

      “PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor”.

    3. there are no more keys to look for, so the replacement ends there.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021
answered 11 Months ago
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