Do you use PHP Constants?

Browsing in other people code can be an interesting experience. Sometimes you learn stuff, other times you just get scared of the things you see. One recent observation I seem to make a lot, is that handling “application configuration” is often handled less gracefully as a would have wished.

The plain basic configuration handling in many PHP applications seems to be creating a php-file and declare all configuration values in this file – then have all other scripts in the application include this one config file – and sure it works.

Getting inspired from Java, Ruby or some other object oriented world, others seems to make configuration classes a long with a load of methods to “get” the config values – and sure it works, but frankly in terms of efficiency, it massive waste of resources for a simple job.

I don’t know if people have forgotten – or even worse doesn’t know – about constants in PHP, but for basic configuration stuff – which aren’t ever supposed to change – they work pretty well and use far less resources on your system than both variables and configuration classes.