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Need help expanding an array


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I still hate arrays! 🙁

Could use some help expanding an array by adding another dimension.  (I'm sure this will be super simple for the gurus here!)

Currently I have an array that holds my questionnaire questions (HMTL-formt) like this...

      1 =>    <li>Question-1 here</li>
      2 =>    <li>Question-2 here</li>
      3 =>    <li>Question-3 here</li>
      4 =>    <li>Question-4 here</li>


I want to expand this PHP page so that a series of questions are part of a "Section" that may (or may not) contain some lead-in text.  (The idea being that sometimes it is necessary to have a short intro to a series of questions, and that text is better placed next to the questions, as opposed to at the top if the page.)


The end result I want would look like this...

	<Intro Synopsis>
	<section-1 intro is blank>
	<section-2 intro = "Some text here...">
	<section-3 intro = "Some more text here...">


So I could use help taking my current array (above), and nesting it within a parent array that will contain each Section's intro text - which could be blank.

And to be clear, what I need help with now is *visualizing* what the new array will look like - versus how to create it.  

(Once I understand what it should look like and what the keys and values are, then i can probably figure out the PHP coding part!)


For instance, what is the $key for my parent array? 

What are the $values for the parent array?

And how does my current array (above) fit into this?





Edited by SaranacLake
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  1. Every element in an array has a key and a value
  2. A value may itself be an array

So your would probably look something like this

$questionnaire = [
                     'title'  => 'questionnaire one',
                     'intro'  => 'Synopsis goes here',
                     'sections'  => [
                                        '1'  =>  [
                                                     'intro' => '',
                                                     'questions' =>  [
                                                                         '1'  =>  'question 1 text',
                                                                         '2'  =>  'question 2 text'
                                        '2'  =>  [
                                                     'intro' => 'Some text here',
                                                     'questions' =>  [
                                                                         '3'  =>  'question 3 text',
                                                                         '4'  =>  'question 4 text'

which could come from data like this

| questionnaire       |
| quaire_id           |-----+
| title               |     |
| intro               |     |
+---------------------+     |        +-----------------+
                            |        | section         |
                            |        +-----------------+
                            |        | section_id      |------+
                            +-------<| quaire_id       |      |
                                     | section_no      |      |
                                     | intro           |      |
                                     +-----------------+      |           +-------------------+
                                                              |           | question          |
                                                              |           +-------------------+
                                                              |           |  q_id             |
                                                              +----------<|  section_id       |
                                                                          |  q_number         |
                                                                          |  q_text           |


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There's LOTS of stuff online about arrays. And you aren't going to do better than Barand.

If you've already got an established array, you might try using print_r() [there are online resources to explain it's functionality]. This will give you a visual representation that may help you understand the arrays design.

Don't forget that arrays begin with zero (ie: my_array[1] is the SECOND item).

The first item WITHIN my_array[1] would be found by using


Finding the third item in an assortment within my_array[1][0] would be accomplished with 


Etc, etc, etc.

Or, if you hate arrays, why not use a variable for each question?

$question1 = "who";

$question2 = "when";

$question2a = "when in morning";

$question2b = "when at night";

$question3.….. etc.

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11 hours ago, phppup said:

Don't forget that arrays begin with zero (ie: my_array[1] is the SECOND item).

True by default when no keys specified.

$letters = ['a', 'b', 'c'];
echo $letters[0];                           //--> 'a'
echo $letters[1];                           //--> 'b'
echo $letters[2];                           //--> 'c'

// but

$months = [ 1 => 'Jan', 'Feb', 'Mar' ];
echo $months[0];                            //-> Notice: Undefined offset: 0
echo $months[1];                            //-> 'Jan'
echo $months[2];                            //-> 'Feb'


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Sorry for the late response, but I have been tied up with another part of my website for the last week or so....

Thanks for the sample array above!

I am trying to get my head back into things, and am sure I will have follow-up questions.

Q1.) For starters, in your multi-dimensional array above, 'title', 'intro', and 'sections' are [keys[/b] for the outermost array, right?


Q2.) I forgot, what do you call arrays where the keys are text values like your example?

Associative arrays?


Q2b.) And what do you call arrays where the keys are numeric?


Q3.) I assume that text keys cannot/should not have spaces in them like 'first name', right?



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1 ) the bit before the => is the key, the bit following the => is the value.

2 ) Yes, associative

2b) indexed, or numeric, arrays

2c) But they can be mixed, for example

$arr = [ 'This is a key' => 'This is a value',
         42 => 'second value',
         'Third value'
echo $arr['This is a key'] . '<br>';
echo '<pre>', print_r($arr, 1), '</pre>'; 

which outputs

This is a value
    [This is a key] => This is a value
    [42] => second value
    [43] => Third value

3 ) I think the above example answers that.

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