PHP in_array() can't even match a single character. Strict is set to true


I've seen a million of these threads here already, and read through every single one. That, plus some serious Googling.

UPDATE: I am rewriting this post to include complete code and explanation, so everyone understands what is going on and what I am trying to do.

I am developing using CodeIgniter, so some syntax may look weird if you are not familiar with it.

I have an link bar with letters A-Z. The idea is to find only "active" letters that have content in a particular column (mysql LIKE $letter%). With this information I would be able to "dim" certain "empty" letters if there are any, using CSS.

This function here queries mysql and gets each unique first letter of entries in a column. The result should be anywhere from 0 to 26 matches/array items.

  //From am_model.php              
  function getFirstLetter($domainId)

   $q = $this->db->query("SELECT DISTINCT LEFT(alias_name, 1) 
                                     AS letter 
                                     FROM am_aliases 
                                     WHERE domain_id = '" . $domainId . "' 
                                     ORDER BY alias_name;");
   if($q->num_rows > 0):
    foreach($q->result() as $row) 
     $result[] = $row;
    //print_r($result); <-- prints out correct result.
    return $result;


After that, I call this function from a controller:

    $foundLetters = $this->am_model->getFirstLetter($domainId);

then define an $alphabet array.

    $alphabet = range('a','z');

    foreach($alphabet as $letter)

         if(in_array($letter, $foundLetters, TRUE)):
                echo $letter . ' found<br />';
                echo $letter . ' not found<br />';


Nothing complicated. All I have to do is check if a single character in a loop matches my alphabet array.

As Col. Shrapnel suggested below, I did some debugging, and dump() of letters from $alphabet and $foundLetters arrays produce different results, so I guess it does point to possible encoding issues, which I am trying to figure out now...

Does anyone have any idea what the hell is going on here??

function dump(&$str) {
  while (isset($str[$i])) echo strtoupper(dechex(ord($str[$i++])));


Here is the result from dump():

a: $alphabet->61 613C6272202F3E<-$foundLetters
b: $alphabet->62 613C6272202F3E<-$foundLetters
c: $alphabet->63 683C6272202F3E<-$foundLetters
d: $alphabet->64 613C6272202F3E<-$foundLetters

and these:

print_r($alphabet); // all 26 letters

Array ( 
        [0] => a
        [1] => b
        [2] => c
        [23] => x
        [24] => y
        [25] => z

 print_r($foundLetters); // dynamic array.

 Array ( 
        [0] => b
        [1] => s
By : solefald


The only thing in your sample that is strange is the : that comes after the foreach - followed by curly braces will cause a syntax error. Is that the problem, or does your program just not output anything?

By : ABach

I got the expected results as well. But I think your example array is different from what you are actually passing through. Give this a try...

 foreach(array_values($alphabet) as $letter){
     echo $letter . '
By : CrashRoX

This video can help you solving your question :)
By: admin