Hate those ugly error messages that PHP generates when it encounters an error in your scripts? Can't stand half-constructed Web pages? Well, maybe you should take a look at PHP's output control functions, which offer an interesting and powerful solution to the problem.
You don't have to look at the numbers any more to gauge PHP's popularity - a quick scan of the manual pages provides more than enough evidence that developers all over the world are taking the language to their hearts. As the manual's index demonstrates, a huge number of extensions are available for the language, many created and supported by independent programmers. Individually, each performs a specialized function; collectively, they have turned PHP into one of the most full-featured Web programming languages available today.
The bad thing about all this choice, though, is that it gets harder to separate the wheat from the chaff. And that's where today's article comes in - over the next few pages, I'm going to introduce you to some little-known, but nevertheless very useful functions, which offer you never-before-seen control over the output generated by your PHP scripts, and provide some interesting twists on the standard way of writing PHP code. Keep reading!