Today I was working with some CSV files using PHP's "fgetcsv":http://php.net/fgetcsv and "array_search":http://php.net/array_search functions. I had a row like this:
cus_no,first_name,last_name,full_name,fax_no,phone_no,e_mail
Looks normal, right? But when I was running array_search('cus_no', $headerRow) it would return FALSE. What is the deal? Digging deeper, "print_r()":http://php.net/print_r returned exactly what expected:
Array
(
    [0] => cus_no
    [1] => first_name
    [2] => last_name
    [3] => full_name
    [4] => fax_no
    [5] => phone_no
    [6] => e_mail
)
Okay. Scratch head. Sip coffee. Deep breath. *What is going on here?!* Lets see what "var_dump()":http://php.net/var_dump says:
array(7) {
  [0]=>
  string(12) "cus_no"
  [1]=>
  string(21) "first_name"
  [2]=>
  string(19) "last_name"
  [3]=>
  string(19) "full_name"
  [4]=>
  string(13) "fax_no"
  [5]=>
  string(17) "phone_no"
  [6]=>
" string(15) "e_mail
}
Whoa. That is strange. Why is that quote at the _beginning_ of the line? Check eyes. Sip coffee. "var_export()":http://php.net/var_export had something much different to report:
array (
  0 => 'c' . "\0" . 'u' . "\0" . 's' . "\0" . '_' . "\0" . 'n' . "\0" . 'o' . "\0" . '',
  1 => '' . "\0" . 'f' . "\0" . 'i' . "\0" . 'r' . "\0" . 's' . "\0" . 't' . "\0" . '_' . "\0" . 'n' . "\0" . 'a' . "\0" . 'm' . "\0" . 'e' . "\0" . '',
  2 => '' . "\0" . 'l' . "\0" . 'a' . "\0" . 's' . "\0" . 't' . "\0" . '_' . "\0" . 'n' . "\0" . 'a' . "\0" . 'm' . "\0" . 'e' . "\0" . '',
  3 => '' . "\0" . 'f' . "\0" . 'u' . "\0" . 'l' . "\0" . 'l' . "\0" . '_' . "\0" . 'n' . "\0" . 'a' . "\0" . 'm' . "\0" . 'e' . "\0" . '',
  4 => '' . "\0" . 'f' . "\0" . 'a' . "\0" . 'x' . "\0" . '_' . "\0" . 'n' . "\0" . 'o' . "\0" . '',
  5 => '' . "\0" . 'p' . "\0" . 'h' . "\0" . 'o' . "\0" . 'n' . "\0" . 'e' . "\0" . '_' . "\0" . 'n' . "\0" . 'o' . "\0" . '',
' . "\0" . '',0" . 'e' . "\0" . '_' . "\0" . 'm' . "\0" . 'a' . "\0" . 'i' . "\0" . 'l' . "\0" . '
)
Whoa! Now that *is* strange. Looks like there are two characters per... wait a sec! !sites/nickvahalik.com/files/crazy_csv_file.jpg! Should have known. UTF-16. Friends don't let friends use non-multibyte functions on multibyte datas! It was putting null characters into the string internally? Who knows. I'm sure the PHP source code would probably enlighten me on this. But no time! Those CSV files aren't going to read themselves! *Update:* My fellow llama Jonathan Hodges noticed something I failed to see: The length of the strings in var_dump() are double the size they should be:
array(7) {
  [0]=>
  string(*12*) "cus_no"
  ...
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