Abstract Classes and Interface in PHP

Abstract class and Interface in php play very important role in oop. In this section we will discuss following point

  1. What is abstract classes.
  2. What is interface
  3. How to implement abstract classes in php
  4. How to implement interface in php
  5. Different between abstract classes and interface.

What is abstract Classes

As from name it seem like something that is hidden. Yes nature of the abstract classes are same. Abstract classes are those classes which can not be directly initialized. Or in other word we can say that you can not create object of abstract classes. Abstract classes always created for inheritance purpose. You can only inherit abstract class in your child class. Lots of people say that in abstract class at least your one method should be abstract. Abstract method are the method which is only defined but declared. This is not true definition as per my assumption. But your any class has at least one method abstract than your class is abstract class.

Usually abstract class are also known as base class. We call it base class because abstract class are not the class which is available directly for creating object. It can only act as parent class of any normal class. You can use abstract class in class hierarchy. Mean one abstract class can inherit another abstract class also.

Abstract classes in PHP

Abstract classes in php are simillar like other oop languages. You can create abstract classes in php using abstract keyword. Once you will make any class abstract in php you can not create object of that class.
abstract class abc
public function xyz()
return 1;
$a = new abc();//this will throw error in php

above code will throw error in php.

Abstract classes in php are only for inheriting in other class.
abstract class testParent
public function abc()
//body of your funciton
class testChild extends testParent
public function xyz()
//body of your function
$a = new testChild();

In above example you are creating of testChild Class. TestChild class is inheriting testParent abstract class. So your abstract class is only available for inheritance. Main motive of creating abstract classes in php is to apply restriction of direct initialization or object creation.

Implementation of abstract method

As we know that abstract functions are those functions of abstract class which is only defined. It will be declared in your child class. You can create any method abstract using keyword abstract. You can only create abstract method either in abstract class or interface. Following is example of the abstract method implementation:

abstract class abc
abstract protected function f1($a , $b);
class xyz extends abc
protected function f1($name , $address)
echo "$name , $address";
$a = new xyz();

In class abc we have defined an abstract function f1. Now when we have inherited class abc then declared function f1. If you have an abstract method in your abstract class then once you inherit your abstract class then it is necessary to declare your abstract method. If you will not declare your abstract method then PHP will throw error in that case.

You can declare your abstract method in child class with the same visibility or less restricted visibility.

abstract class parentTest
abstract protected function f1();
abstract public function f2();
//abstract private function f3(); //this will trhow error
class childTest
public function f1()
//body of your function
public function f2()
//body of your function
protected function f3()
//body of your function
$a = new childTest();

In above code you can see that you have declare 3 function in abstract class. But private declaration of the abstract method will always throw error. Because private method is availabe only in the same class context. But in case of f1. This is protected. Now in child class we have defined it as public because public is less restricted than protected. And for function f2 which is already public so we have defined it as public in our child class. We have defined it public because no any visibility is less restricted than public.

What is Interface ?

Interface in oop enforce definition of some set of method in the class. By implementing interface you are forcing any class to must declaring some specific set of methods in oop. For example if you are creating class to render HTML element then it is necessary to set id and name of your html tag. So in this case you will create interface for that class and define method like setID and setName. So whenever someone will create any class to render HTML tag and implemented your interface then he must need to define setId and setName method in their class. In other word you can say that by help of interface you can set some definition of your object. Interface is very useful if you are creating architecture of any oop base application. Inter

Interface in PHP

Interface in php can be implemented like other oop lanugage. You can create interface in php using keyword interface. By implementation of interface in php class you are specifying set of the method which classes must implement.

You can create interface in php using interface keyword. Rest of the things are typically identical to classes. Following is very small example of interface in php.
interface abc
public function xyz($b);

So in above code you are creating interface with name abc. Interface abc has function xyz. Whenever you will implement abc interface in your class then you have to create method with name xyz. If you will not create function xyz then it will throw error.

You can implement your interface in your class using implements keyword. Let us implement our interface abc in our class
class test implements abc
public function xyz($b)
//your function body

You can only define method in interface with public accessibility. If you will use other than public visibility in interface then it will throw error. Also while defining method in your interface do not use abstract keyword in your methods.

You can also extend interface like class. You can extend interface in php using extendskeyword.
interface template1
public function f1();
interface template2 extends template1
public function f2();
class abc implements template2
public function f1()
//Your function body
public function f2()
//your function body

So here template2 has all property of tempate2. So whenever you will implement template2 in your class, you have to create function of both interfaces.

You can also extend multiple interface in one interface in php.
interface template1
public function f1();
interface template2
public function f2();
interface template3 extends template1, template2
public function f3();
class test implements template3
public function f1()
//your function body
public function f2()
//your function body
public function f3()
//your function body

You can also implement more than one interface in php class.
interface template1
public function f1();
interface template2
public function f2();
class test implments template1, template2
public function f1()
//your function body
public function f2()
//your function body

You can not implement 2 interfaces if both share function with same name. It will throw error.

Your function parameter in class must be identical to the parameter in the interface signature. Following is example some example
interface template1
public function f1($a)
class test implements template1
public function f1($a)
echo $a;

Above will work. But following example will not work:
interface template1
public function f1($a)
class test implements template1
public function f1()
echo $a;

But it is not necessary to use the same name of the variable. Like $a. You can also use any name. For example:
interface template1
public function f1($a)
class test implements template1
public function f1($name)
echo $name;

If you are using default argument then you can change your value of the argument. For example
interface template1
public function f1($a = 20)
class test implements template1
public function f1($name  = "ankur")
echo $name;

In above section we have discussed interfaces and abstract classes in php. Both are almost doing same things but has some difference.

Differences between abstract class and interface in PHP

Following are some main difference between abstract classes and interface in php

  1. In abstract classes this is not necessary that every method should be abstract. But in interface every method is abstract.
  2. Multiple and multilevel both type of inheritance is possible in interface. But single and multilevel inheritance is possible in abstract classes.
  3. Method of php interface must be public only. Method in abstract class in php could be public or protected both.
  4. In abstract class you can define as well as declare methods. But in interface you can only defined your methods.

Object Oriented Programming vs. Procedural Programming

Programming Paradigms

Programming is a creative process carried out by programmers to instruct a computer on how to do a task. A program is a set of instructions that tells a computer what to do in order to come up with a solution to a particular problem. There are a number of alternative approaches to the programming process, referred to asprogramming paradigms. Different paradigms represent fundamentally different approaches to building solutions to specific types of problems using programming. Most programming languages fall under one paradigm, but some languages have elements of multiple paradigms. Two of the most important programming paradigms are the procedural paradigm and the object-oriented paradigm. Let’s look at each of these in a bit more detail.

Procedural Programming

Procedural programming uses a list of instructions to tell the computer what to do step-by-step. Procedural programming relies on – you guessed it – procedures, also known as routines or subroutines. A procedure contains a series of computational steps to be carried out. Procedural programming is also referred to as imperative programming. Procedural programming languages are also known as top-down languages.

Procedural programming is intuitive in the sense that it is very similar to how you would expect a program to work. If you want a computer to do something, you should provide step-by-step instructions on how to do it. It is, therefore, no surprise that most of the early programming languages are all procedural. Examples of procedural languages include Fortran, COBOL and C, which have been around since the 1960s and 70s.

Object-Oriented Programming

Object-oriented programming, or OOP, is an approach to problem-solving where all computations are carried out using objects. An object is a component of a program that knows how to perform certain actions and how to interact with other elements of the program. Objects are the basic units of object-oriented programming. A simple example of an object would be a person. Logically, you would expect a person to have a name. This would be considered a property of the person. You would also expect a person to be able to do something, such as walking. This would be considered a method of the person.

A method in object-oriented programming is like a procedure in procedural programming. The key difference here is that the method is part of an object. In object-oriented programming, you organize your code by creating objects, and then you can give those objects properties and you can make them do certain things.

A key aspect of object-oriented programming is the use of classes. A class is a blueprint of an object. You can think of a class as a concept, and the object as the embodiment of that concept. So let’s say you want to use a person in your program. You want to be able to describe the person and have the person do something. A class called ‘person’ would provide a blueprint for what a person looks like and what a person can do. Examples of object-oriented languages include C#, Java, Perl and Python.

Key Differences

One of the most important characteristics of procedural programming is that it relies on procedures that operate on data – these are two separate concepts. In object-oriented programming, these two concepts are bundled into objects. This makes it possible to create more complicated behavior with less code. The use of objects also makes it possible to reuse code. Once you have created an object with more complex behavior, you can use it anywhere in your code.

Main difference between InnoDB and MyISAM

The main differences between InnoDB and MyISAM (“with respect to designing a table or database” you asked about) are support for “referential integrity” and “transactions”.

If you need the database to enforce foreign key constraints, or you need the database to support transactions (i.e. changes made by two or more DML operations handled as single unit of work, with all of the changes either applied, or all the changes reverted) then you would choose the InnoDB engine, since these features are absent from the MyISAM engine.

Those are the two biggest differences. Another big difference is concurrency. With MyISAM, a DML statement will obtain an exclusive lock on the table, and while that lock is held, no other session can perform a SELECT or a DML operation on the table.

Those two specific engines you asked about (InnoDB and MyISAM) have different design goals. MySQL also has other storage engines, with their own design goals.

So, in choosing between InnoDB and MyISAM, the first step is in determining if you need the features provided by InnoDB. If not, then MyISAM is up for consideration.

A more detailed discussion of differences is rather impractical absent a more detailed discussion of the problem space… how the application will use the database, how many tables, size of the tables, the transaction load, volumes of select, insert, updates, concurrency requirements, replication features, etc.

MySQL Query Optimization | Using Indexing

Database management systems implement abstract concepts but do so on real hardware bound by real physical constraints. As a result, queries take time—sometimes an annoyingly long time. Find out how to minimize your wait in this sample chapter.

The world of relational database theory is a world dominated by tables
and sets, and operations on tables and sets. A database is a set of tables,
and a table is a set of rows and columns. When you issue a SELECT statement
to retrieve rows from a table, you get back another set of rows and columns—that
is, another table. These are abstract notions that make no reference to the
underlying representation a database system uses to operate on the data in
your tables. Another abstraction is that operations on tables happen all at
once; queries are conceptualized as set operations and there is no concept
of time in set theory.

The real world, of course, is quite different. Database management systems
implement abstract concepts but do so on real hardware bound by real physical
constraints. As a result, queries take time—sometimes an annoyingly long
time. And we, being impatient creatures, don’t like to wait, so we leave
the abstract world of instantaneous mathematical operations on sets and look
around for ways to speed up our queries. Fortunately, there are several techniques
for doing so:

  • We index tables to allow the database server to look up rows more quickly.

  • We consider how to write queries to take advantage of those indexes to
    the fullest extent, and use the EXPLAIN statement to check whether
    the MySQL server really is doing so.

  • We write queries to affect the server’s scheduling mechanism so that
    queries arriving from multiple clients cooperate better.

  • We modify the server’s operating parameters to get it to perform
    more efficiently. We think about what’s going on with the underlying
    hardware and how we can work around its physical constraints to improve

Those are the kinds of issues that this chapter focuses on, with the goal
of assisting you in optimizing the performance of your database system so that
it processes your queries as quickly as possible. MySQL is already quite fast,
but even the fastest database can run queries more quickly if you help it do

Using Indexing

Indexing is the most important tool you have for speeding up queries. Other
techniques are available to you, too, but generally the one thing that makes the
most difference is the proper use of indexes. On the MySQL mailing list, people
often ask for help in making a query run faster. In a surprisingly large number
of cases, there are no indexes on the tables in question, and adding indexes
often solves the problem immediately. It doesn’t always work like that,
because optimization isn’t always simple. Nevertheless, if you don’t
use indexes, in many cases you’re just wasting your time trying to improve
performance by other means. Use indexing first to get the biggest performance
boost and then see what other techniques might be helpful.

This section describes what an index is and how indexing improves query
performance. It also discusses the circumstances under which indexes might
degrade performance and provides guidelines for choosing indexes for your table
wisely. In the next section, we’ll discuss MySQL’s query optimizer
that attempts to find the most efficient way to execute queries. It’s good
to have some understanding of the optimizer in addition to knowing how to create
indexes because then you’ll be better able to take advantage of the indexes
you create. Certain ways of writing queries actually prevent your indexes from
being useful, and generally you’ll want to avoid having that happen.

Benefits of Indexing

Let’s consider how an index works by beginning with a table that has no
indexes. An unindexed table is simply an unordered collection of rows. For
example, Figure 4.1 shows the ad table that was discussed in Chapter 1,
“Getting Started with MySQL and SQL.” There are no indexes on this
table, so to find the rows for a particular company, it’s necessary to
examine each row in the table to see if it matches the desired value. This
involves a full table scan, which is slow, as well as tremendously inefficient
if the table is large but contains only a few records that match the search

Figure 4.2 shows the same table, but with the addition of an index on the
company_num column in the ad table. The index contains an
entry for each row in the ad table, but the index entries are sorted by
company_num value. Now, instead of searching through the table row by
row looking for items that match, we can use the index. Suppose that we’re
looking for all rows for company 13. We begin scanning the index and find three
values for that company. Then we reach the index value for company 14, which is
higher than the one we’re looking for. Index values are sorted, so when we
read the index record containing 14, we know we won’t find any more matches
and can quit looking. Thus, one efficiency gained by using the index is that we
can tell where the matching rows end and can skip the rest. Another efficiency
comes about through the use of positioning algorithms for finding the first
matching entry without doing a linear scan from the start of the index (for
example, a binary search is much quicker than a scan). That way, we can quickly
position to the first matching value and save a lot of time in the search.
Databases use various techniques for positioning to index values quickly, but
it’s not so important here what those techniques are. What’s important
is that they work and that indexing is a good thing.

Figure 4.1

Figure 4.1 Unindexed
ad table.

Figure 4.2

Figure 4.2 Indexed
ad table.

You might be asking why we don’t just sort the data rows and dispense
with the index. Wouldn’t that produce the same type of improvement in
search speed? Yes, it would—if the table had a single index. But you might
want to add a second index, and you can’t sort the data rows two different
ways at once. (For example, you might want one index on customer names and
another on customer ID numbers or phone numbers.) Using indexes as entities
separate from the data rows solves the problem and allows multiple indexes to be
created. In addition, rows in the index are generally shorter than data rows.
When you insert or delete new values, it’s easier to move around shorter
index values to maintain the sort order than to move around the longer data

The particular details of index implementations vary for different MySQL
storage engines. For example, for a MyISAM table, the table’s data rows are
kept in a data file, and index values are kept in an index file. You can have
more than one index on a table, but they’re all stored in the same index
file. Each index in the index file consists of a sorted array of key records
that are used for fast access into the data file.

By contrast, the BDB and InnoDB storage engines do not separate data rows and
index values in the same way, although both maintain indexes as sets of sorted
values. By default, the BDB engine uses a single file per table to store both
data and index values. The InnoDB engine uses a single tablespace within which
it manages data and index storage for all InnoDB tables. InnoDB can be
configured to create each table with its own tablespace, but even so, a
table’s data and indexes are stored in the same tablespace file.

The preceding discussion describes the benefit of an index in the context of
single-table queries, where the use of an index speeds searches significantly by
eliminating the need for full table scans. Indexes are even more valuable when
you’re running queries involving joins on multiple tables. In a
single-table query, the number of values you need to examine per column is the
number of rows in the table. In a multiple-table query, the number of possible
combinations skyrockets because it’s the product of the number of rows in
the tables.

Suppose that you have three unindexed tables, t1, t2, and
t3, each containing a column i1, i2, and i3,
respectively, and each consisting of 1,000 rows that contain the numbers 1
through 1000. A query to find all combinations of table rows in which the values
are equal looks like this:

SELECT t1.i1, t2.i2, t3.i3
FROM t1, t2, t3
WHERE t1.i1 = t2.i2 AND t2.i1 = t3.i3;

The result of this query should be 1,000 rows, each containing three equal
values. If we process the query in the absence of indexes, we have no idea which
rows contain which values without scanning them all. Consequently, we must try
all combinations to find the ones that match the WHERE clause. The
number of possible combinations is 1,000 x 1,000 x 1,000 (one billion!), which
is a million times more than the number of matches. That’s a lot of wasted
effort. The example illustrates that as tables grow, the time to process joins
on those tables grows even more if no indexes are used, leading to very poor
performance. We can speed things up considerably by indexing the tables, because
the indexes allow the query to be processed like this:

  1. Select the first row from table t1 and see what value the row

  2. Using the index on table t2, go directly to the row that matches
    the value from t1. Similarly, using the index on table t3, go
    directly to the row that matches the value from t2.

  3. Proceed to the next row of table t1 and repeat the preceding
    procedure. Do this until all rows in t1 have been examined.

In this case, we still perform a full scan of table t1, but we can
do indexed lookups on t2 and t3 to pull out rows from those
tables directly. The query runs about a million times faster this
way—literally. This example is contrived for the purpose of making a point,
of course. Nevertheless, the problems it illustrates are real, and adding
indexes to tables that have none often results in dramatic performance

MySQL uses indexes in several ways:

  • As just described, indexes are used to speed up searches for rows
    matching terms of a WHERE clause or rows that match rows in other
    tables when performing joins.

  • For queries that use the MIN() or MAX() functions, the
    smallest or largest value in an indexed column can be found quickly without
    examining every row.

  • MySQL can often use indexes to perform sorting and grouping operations
    quickly for ORDER BY and GROUP BY

  • Sometimes MySQL can use an index to reading all the information required
    for a query. Suppose that you’re selecting values from an indexed numeric
    column in a MyISAM table, and you’re not selecting other columns from the
    table. In this case, when MySQL reads an index value from the index file, it
    obtains the same value that it would get by reading the data file. There’s
    no reason to read values twice, so the data file need not even be

Costs of Indexing

In general, if MySQL can figure out how to use an index to process a query
more quickly, it will. This means that, for the most part, if you don’t
index your tables, you’re hurting yourself. You can see that I’m
painting a rosy picture of the benefits of indexing. Are there disadvantages?
Yes, there are. There are costs both in time and in space. In practice, these
drawbacks tend to be outweighed by the advantages, but you should know what they

First, indexes speed up retrievals but slow down inserts and deletes, as well
as updates of values in indexed columns. That is, indexes slow down most
operations that involve writing. This occurs because writing a record requires
writing not only the data row, it requires changes to any indexes as well. The
more indexes a table has, the more changes need to be made, and the greater the
average performance degradation. In the section “Loading Data
Efficiently,” we’ll go into more detail about this phenomenon and what
you can do about it.

Second, an index takes up disk space, and multiple indexes take up
correspondingly more space. This might cause you to reach a table size limit
more quickly than if there are no indexes:

  • For a MyISAM table, indexing it heavily may cause the index file to reach
    its maximum size more quickly than the data file.

  • For BDB tables, which store data and index values together in the same
    file, adding indexes causes the table to reach the maximum file size more

  • All InnoDB tables that are located within the InnoDB shared tablespace
    compete for the same common pool of space, and adding indexes depletes storage
    within this tablespace more quickly. However, unlike the files used for MyISAM
    and BDB tables, the InnoDB shared tablespace is not bound by your operating
    system’s file-size limit, because it can be configured to use multiple
    files. As long as you have additional disk space, you can expand the tablespace
    by adding new components to it.

  • InnoDB tables that use individual tablespaces are constrained the same
    way as BDB tables because data and index values are stored together in a single

The practical implication of both these factors is that if you don’t
need a particular index to help queries perform better, don’t create

Choosing Indexes

The syntax for creating indexes is covered in the section “Creating
Indexes,” of Chapter 2, “MySQL SQL Syntax and Use.” I assume here
that you’ve read that section. But knowing syntax doesn’t in itself
help you determine how your tables should be indexed. That requires
some thought about the way you use your tables. This section gives some
guidelines on how to identify candidate columns for indexing and how best to set
up indexes:

Index columns that you use for searching, sorting, or grouping, not columns
you only display as output.
In other words, the best candidate columns
for indexing are the columns that appear in your WHERE clause, columns
named in join clauses, or columns that appear in ORDER BY or GROUP BY clauses.
Columns that appear only in the output column list following the SELECT keyword
are not good candidates:

  col_a                      <- not a candidate
  tbl1 LEFT JOIN tbl2
  ON tbl1.col_b = tbl2.col_c <- candidates
  col_d = expr;              <- a candidate

The columns that you display and the columns you use in the WHERE clause
might be the same, of course. The point is that appearance of a column in the
output column list is not in itself a good indicator that it should be indexed.

Columns that appear in join clauses or in expressions of the form
col1 = col2 in WHERE
clauses are especially good candidates for indexing. col_b and
col_c in the query just shown are examples of this. If MySQL can
optimize a query using joined columns, it cuts down the potential table-row
combinations quite a bit by eliminating full table scans.

Consider column cardinality. The cardinality of a column is
the number of distinct values that it contains. For example, a column that
contains the values 1, 3, 7, 4, 7, and 3 has a cardinality of four. Indexes work
best for columns that have a high cardinality relative to the number of rows in
the table (that is, columns that have many unique values and few duplicates). If
a column contains many different age values, an index will differentiate rows
readily. An index will not help for a column that is used to record sex and
contains only the two values 'M' and 'F'.
If the values occur about equally, you’ll get about half of the rows
whichever value you search for. Under these circumstances, the index might never
be used at all, because the query optimizer generally skips an index in favor of
a full table scan if it determines that a value occurs in a large percentage of
a table’s rows. The conventional wisdom for this percentage used to be
“30%.” Nowadays the optimizer is more complex and takes other factors
into account, so the percentage is not the sole determinant of when MySQL
prefers a scan over using an index.

Index short values. Use smaller data types when possible.
For example, don’t use a BIGINT column if a MEDIUMINT is
large enough to hold the values you need to store. Don’t use
CHAR(100) if none of your values are longer than 25 characters. Smaller
values improve index processing in several ways:

  • Shorter values can be compared more quickly, so index lookups are

  • Smaller values result in smaller indexes that require less disk

  • With shorter key values, index blocks in the key cache hold more key
    values. MySQL can hold more keys in memory at once, which improves the
    likelihood of locating key values without reading additional index blocks from

For the InnoDB and BDB storage engines that use clustered indexes, it’s
especially beneficial to keep the primary key short. A clustered index is one
where the data rows are stored together with (that is, clustered with) the
primary key values. Other indexes are secondary indexes; these store the primary
key value with the secondary index values. A lookup in a secondary index yields
a primary key value, which then is used to locate the data row. The implication
is that primary key values are duplicated into each secondary index, so if
primary key values are longer, the extra storage is required for each secondary
index as well.

Index prefixes of string values. If you’re indexing a
string column, specify a prefix length whenever it’s reasonable to do so.
For example, if you have a CHAR(200) column, don’t index the
entire column if most values are unique within the first 10 or 20 characters.
Indexing the first 10 or 20 characters will save a lot of space in the index,
and probably will make your queries faster as well. By indexing shorter values,
you gain the advantages described in the previous item relating to comparison
speed and disk I/O reduction. You want to use some common sense, of course.
Indexing just the first character from a column isn’t likely to be that
helpful because then there won’t be very many distinct values in the

You can index prefixes of CHAR, VARCHAR, BINARY,
VARBINARY, BLOB, and TEXT columns. The syntax is
described in “Creating Indexes,” in Chapter 2.

Take advantage of leftmost prefixes. When you create an
n-column composite index, you actually create
n indexes that MySQL can use. A composite index serves as
several indexes because any leftmost set of columns in the index can be used to
match rows. Such a set is called a “leftmost prefix.” (This is
different from indexing a prefix of a column, which is using the first
n characters of the column for index values.)

Suppose that you have a table with a composite index on columns named
state, city, and zip. Rows in the index are sorted in
state/city/zip order, so they’re automatically sorted in
state/city order and in state order as well. This means that
MySQL can take advantage of the index even if you specify only state
values in a query, or only state and city values. Thus, the
index can be used to search the following combinations of columns:

state, city, zip
state, city

MySQL cannot use the index for searches that don’t involve a leftmost
prefix. For example, if you search by city or by zip, the
index isn’t used. If you’re searching for a given state and a
particular ZIP code (columns 1 and 3 of the index), the index can’t be used
for the combination of values, although MySQL can narrow the search using the
index to find rows that match the state.

Don’t over-index. Don’t index everything in sight
based on the assumption “the more, the better.” That’s a mistake.
Every additional index takes extra disk space and hurts performance of write
operations, as has already been mentioned. Indexes must be updated and possibly
reorganized when you modify the contents of your tables, and the more indexes
you have, the longer this takes. If you have an index that is rarely or never
used, you’ll slow down table modifications unnecessarily. In addition,
MySQL considers indexes when generating an execution plan for retrievals.
Creating extra indexes creates more work for the query optimizer. It’s also
possible (if unlikely) that MySQL will fail to choose the best index to use when
you have too many indexes. Maintaining only the indexes you need helps the query
optimizer avoid making such mistakes.

If you’re thinking about adding an index to a table that is already
indexed, consider whether the index you’re thinking about adding is a
leftmost prefix of an existing multiple-column index. If so, don’t bother
adding the index because, in effect, you already have it. (For example, if you
already have an index on state, city, and zip, there
is no point in adding an index on state.)

Match index types to the type of comparisons you perform.
When you create an index, most storage engines choose the index implementation
they Match index types to the type of comparisons you perform. When you
create an index, most storage engines choose the index implementation they will
use. For example, InnoDB always uses B-tree indexes. MySQL also uses B-tree indexes,
except that it uses R-tree indexes for spatial data types. However, the MEMORY
storage engine supports hash indexes and B-tree indexes, and allows you to select
which one you want. To choose an index type, consider what kind of comparison
operations you plan to perform on the indexed column:

  • For a hash index, a hash function is applied to each column value. The
    resulting hash values are stored in the index and used to perform lookups.
    (A hash function implements an algorithm that is likely to produce distinct
    hash values for distinct input values. The advantage of using hash values
    is that they can be compared more efficiently than the original values.)
    Hash indexes are very fast for exact-match comparisons performed with the = or <=> operators.
    But they are poor for comparisons that look for a range of values, as in
    these expressions:

  • id < 30
    weight BETWEEN 100 AND 150
  • B-tree indexes can be used effectively for comparisons involving exact
    or range-based comparisons that use the <, <=, =, >=, >, <>, !=,
    and BETWEEN operators. B-tree indexes can also be used for LIKE pattern
    matches if the pattern begins with a literal string rather than a wildcard

If you use a MEMORY table only for exact-value lookups, a hash index is a
good choice. This is the default index type for MEMORY tables, so you need
do nothing special. If you need to perform range-based comparisons with a MEMORY
table, you should use a B-tree index instead. To specify this type of index,
add USING BTREE to your index definition. For example:

  id   INT NOT NULL,
  name  CHAR(20),

If the types of statements that you expect to execute warrant it, a single
MEMORY table can have both hash indexes and B-tree indexes, even on the same

Some types of comparisons cannot use indexes. If you perform comparisons only
by passing column values to a function such as STRCMP(), there is no
value in indexing it. The server must evaluate the function value for each row,
which precludes use of an index on the column.

Use the slow-query log to identify queries that may be performing
This log can help you find queries that might benefit from
indexing. You can view this log directly (it is written as a text file), or use
the mysqldumpslow utility to summarize its contents. (See Chapter 11,
“General MySQL Administration,” for a discussion of MySQL’s log
files.) If a given query shows up over and over in the slow-query log,
that’s a clue you’ve found a query that might not be written
optimally. You may be able to rewrite it to make it run more quickly. Keep in
mind when assessing your slow-query log that “slow” is measured in
real time, so more queries will show up in the slow-query log on a heavily
loaded server than on a lightly loaded one.

PHP interview questions and answers


  • What does a special set of tags <?= and ?> do in PHP? – The output is displayed directly to the browser.
  • What’s the difference between include and require? – It’s how they handle failures. If the file is not found by require(), it will cause a fatal error and halt the execution of the script. If the file is not found by include(), a warning will be issued, but execution will continue.
  • I am trying to assign a variable the value of 0123, but it keeps coming up with a different number, what’s the problem? – PHP Interpreter treats numbers beginning with 0 as octal. Look at the similar PHP interview questions for more numeric problems.
  • Would I use print “$a dollars” or “{$a} dollars” to print out the amount of dollars in this example? – In this example it wouldn’t matter, since the variable is all by itself, but if you were to print something like “{$a},000,000 mln dollars”, then you definitely need to use the braces.
  • How do you define a constant? – Via define() directive, like define (“MYCONSTANT”, 100);
  • How do you pass a variable by value? – Just like in C++, put an ampersand in front of it, like $a = &$b
  • Will comparison of string “10” and integer 11 work in PHP? – Yes, internally PHP will cast everything to the integer type, so numbers 10 and 11 will be compared.
  • When are you supposed to use endif to end the conditional statement? – When the original if was followed by : and then the code block without braces.
  • Explain the ternary conditional operator in PHP? – Expression preceding the ? is evaluated, if it’s true, then the expression preceding the : is executed, otherwise, the expression following : is executed.
  • How do I find out the number of parameters passed into function? – func_num_args() function returns the number of parameters passed in.
  • If the variable $a is equal to 5 and variable $b is equal to character a, what’s the value of $$b? – 100, it’s a reference to existing variable.
  • What’s the difference between accessing a class method via -> and via ::? – :: is allowed to access methods that can perform static operations, i.e. those, which do not require object initialization.
  • Are objects passed by value or by reference? – Everything is passed by value.
  • How do you call a constructor for a parent class? – parent::constructor($value)
  • What’s the special meaning of __sleep and __wakeup? – __sleep returns the array of all the variables than need to be saved, while __wakeup retrieves them.
  • Why doesn’t the following code print the newline properly?    <?php
    $str = ‘Hello, there.nHow are you?nThanks for visiting TechInterviews’;
    print $str;
    Because inside the single quotes the n character is not interpreted as newline, just as a sequence of two characters – and n.
  • Would you initialize your strings with single quotes or double quotes? – Since the data inside the single-quoted string is not parsed for variable substitution, it’s always a better idea speed-wise to initialize a string with single quotes, unless you specifically need variable substitution.
  • How come the code <?php print “Contents: $arr[1]”; ?> works, but <?php print “Contents: $arr[1][2]”; ?> doesn’t for two-dimensional array of mine? – Any time you have an array with more than one dimension, complex parsing syntax is required. print “Contents: {$arr[1][2]}” would’ve worked.
  • What is the difference between characters 23 and x23? – The first one is octal 23, the second is hex 23.
  • With a heredoc syntax, do I get variable substitution inside the heredoc contents? – Yes.
  • I want to combine two variables together:
     $var1 = 'Welcome to ';
     $var2 = 'TechInterviews.com';

    What will work faster? Code sample 1:

    $var 3 = $var1.$var2;

    Or code sample 2:

    $var3 = "$var1$var2";

    Both examples would provide the same result – $var3 equal to “Welcome to TechInterviews.com”. However, Code Sample 1 will work significantly faster. Try it out with large sets of data (or via concatenating small sets a million times or so), and you will see that concatenation works significantly faster than variable substitution.

  • For printing out strings, there are echo, print and printf. Explain the differences. – echo is the most primitive of them, and just outputs the contents following the construct to the screen. print is also a construct (so parentheses are optional when calling it), but it returns TRUE on successful output and FALSE if it was unable to print out the string. However, you can pass multiple parameters to echo, like:
     <?php echo 'Welcome ', 'to', ' ', 'TechInterviews!'; ?>

    and it will output the string “Welcome to TechInterviews!” print does not take multiple parameters. It is also generally argued that echo is faster, but usually the speed advantage is negligible, and might not be there for future versions of PHP. printf  is a function, not a construct, and allows such advantages as formatted output, but it’s the slowest way to print out data out of echo, print and printf.

  • I am writing an application in PHP that outputs a printable version of driving directions. It contains some long sentences, and I am a neat freak, and would like to make sure that no line exceeds 50 characters. How do I accomplish that with PHP? – On large strings that need to be formatted according to some length specifications, use wordwrap() or chunk_split().
  • What’s the output of the ucwords function in this example?
    	print $formatted;

    ucwords() makes every first letter of every word capital, but it does not lower-case anything else. To avoid this, and get a properly formatted string, it’s worth using strtolower() first.

  • What’s the difference between htmlentities() and htmlspecialchars()? – htmlspecialchars only takes care of <, >, single quote ‘, double quote ” and ampersand. htmlentities translates all occurrences of character sequences that have different meaning in HTML.
  • What’s the difference between md5(), crc32() and sha1() crypto on PHP? – The major difference is the length of the hash generated. CRC32 is, evidently, 32 bits, while sha1() returns a 128 bit value, and md5() returns a 160 bit value. This is important when avoiding collisions.
  • So if md5() generates the most secure hash, why would you ever use the less secure crc32() and sha1()? – Crypto usage in PHP is simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s free. First off, depending on the data that you’re encrypting, you might have reasons to store a 32-bit value in the database instead of the 160-bit value to save on space. Second, the more secure the crypto is, the longer is the computation time to deliver the hash value. A high volume site might be significantly slowed down, if frequent md5() generation is required.


What does SSL mean?

SSL, or Secure Socket Layers, is what makes secure sites secure.

Here’s how it works:

When you log onto a secure server it communicates with your browser for a few seconds. During this communication, it sends your browser encryption information that only it and your browser can read.

Once this encryption is set, it acts like a normal web page, except that all info coming or going is encrypted. This encryption makes it extremely difficult for any third party who would intercept the transaction to decipher it. (All this extra protection is why secure servers seem to run slower than their unsecured counterparts.)

Secure connections only protect the info as its coming and going, not when it’s just sitting on the server.

That being said, you probably have a better chance of getting ripped off by a sales clerk copying your credit card number at a department store than getting your information stolen over the internet.

You can tell a secure site by the first part of its web address. If it starts with https:// rather than http:// it’s a secure site.

How to host your websites on Google Drive

Google Drive doesn’t just host files and folders. You can also use it to host your website.

Almost everyone who owns a computer also owns at least one website these days. Be it personal or professional. There are a number of hosting services available on the web for us to host our websites but most of them cost money.  A simple and efficient way to host websites can be Google Drive. With its free storage space of up to 15 GB, you can host a fairly large website without any cost.

Google Drive can be used to host basic websites or even complex JavaScript-based web apps. You may publish any kind of static content on your website including HTML pages, images, CSS, icons, audio, video etc.

Note: However, Google Drive does not support web resources that make use of server-side scripting languages like PHP.

Here’s how:

1)Create a public file folder.

2) Put your website i.e.the HTML, CSS, Javascript files inside it.

3)Open the HTML file and preview it.

4) Share the URL that looks like “www.googledrive.com/host/…” from the preview window.

To create a public folder:  For this, you simply need to go to folders, create a new folder, and rename it to whatever name you want. Following which, you select the checkbox next to the New folder. Click the “Sharing settings” icon. Then click “Change” and make your folder “Public on the web”.

To put files in the public folder: Click on your New folder’s title. The new folder is empty as of now.  Click on “Upload Files” icon. Select the index.html or other files from you hardrive and then click on upload (Uploading via browser).

If you are using Google Drive on your desktop then simply move your folder into the Google Drive Folder.


a) If you’re using any external files in your website, like a JavaScript library or a web font hosted elsewhere, link to the secure version of that file (if possible). By default, Google Drive sites redirect to HTTPS, and any insecure links may visitors ‘security warnings’ on the website.

b) If you do not start with an “index.html” file, then the site visitors will not see a website. Instead they will get a directory listing of all the folders in the website. So be sure to include it.

Opening and previewing HTML file: Click on the index.html page.  Drive will open the file. Click on the “Open” button at the lower right corner of the screen.

Once you open the file select “Preview”.

Your live page should open. The URL in the address bar is your new site’s URL.

Sharing the URL: Now that you have your URL, simply share with all you know!!

And voila! Your website is live and running.

Note: If you wish to assign a custom domain to this site, note that Google Drive sadly doesn’t allow you to set the DNS values. But you can have an index page which contains a single iframe fetching content from this URL and set its width and height to 100%.