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PHP variables aren't expanded when inside HTML which is by itself inside PHP

+3
−0

I transfer emails from my Right To Left (RTL) contact form → to my local email box (powered by Roundcube).

Emails reach my email box (inbox) just fine but I have a problem were PHP variables aren't expanded inside the string of the $message variable so I get the literal variables instead their values sent via the form → although I have tried various ways to escape them as PHP in HTML which is by itself in PHP (I might have made a mistake somewhere along the way).

PHP code

<?php
	$name = $_POST['name'];
	$email = $_POST['email'];
	$phone = $_POST['phone'];
	$topic = $_POST['topic'];
	$date = $_POST['date'];
	$time = $_POST['time'];
	$notes = $_POST['notes'];

	$to = '[email protected]';

	$subject = 'הודעת אימייל חדשה מאת: ' . $name;
	
	$message = '
	<html>
		<body dir="rtl" style="text-align: right;">
			<b>שם: </b> $name <br>
			<b>אימייל: </b> $email <br>
			<b>טלפון: </b> $phone <br>
			<b>פנייה בנושא: </b> $topic <br>
			<b>יום רצוי לפגישה מרחוק (אם יש): </b> $date <br>
			<b>שעה רצויה לפגישה מרחוק (אם יש): </b> $time <br>
			<b>הערות (אם יש): </b> $notes <br>
		</body>
	</html>
	';

	$headers[] = 'MIME-Version: 1.0';
	$headers[] = 'Content-type: text/html; charset=utf-8';

	mail($to, $subject, $message, implode("\r\n", $headers));
?>

Current Output

שם: $name
אימייל: $email
טלפון: $phone
פנייה בנושא: $topic
יום רצוי לפגישה מרחוק (אם יש): $date
שעה רצויה לפגישה מרחוק (אם יש): $time
הערות (אם יש): $notes

Desired output:

שם: שם_רלוונטי
אימייל: אימייל_רלוונטי
טלפון: טלפון_רלוונטי
פנייה בנושא: נושא_רלוונטי
יום רצוי לפגישה מרחוק (אם יש): SOME_DATE
שעה רצויה לפגישה מרחוק (אם יש): SOME_HOUR_AND_MINUTE
הערות (אם יש): הערה_רלוונטית

My question

As a non PHP programmer I ask how would you suggest to solve that problem?

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3 comments

@Art_Of_Code, my message isn't formatted correctly, the source code should indicate the RTLness in both Current output and Desired output. JohnDoea‭ 14 days ago

Have you tried using a heredoc string? https://stackoverflow.com/a/1848974 Alexei‭ 14 days ago

Yes, according to the answer by luap42 and your comment I went in that direction and it worked ! Thanks, JohnDoea‭ 14 days ago

1 answer

+4
−0

In PHP the single quotation mark ('x') is reading the content as raw values. This means, that escape sequences, such as \n, or variable interpolation, such as $x, is not supported.

There are three possible ways to resolve that issue:

  1. String concatenation. You can concatenate strings with the . operator:

    $name = 'JohnDoea';
    'hello ' . $name == 'hello JohnDoea'
    
  2. Double-quote string. Instead of using a single-quotation mark, you can use double-quoted strings ("x"). They support escape sequences and variable interpolation:

    $name = 'JohnDoea';
    "hello $name" == 'hello JohnDoea'
    

    In this syntax, you need to keep in mind, though, to escape the double quotes in the HTML with a backslash (\").

  3. Heredoc syntax. PHP also has a string format called Heredoc. This allows you to easily include long strings with escape sequences and variable interpolation:

    $name = 'JohnDoea';
    $string = <<<LABEL
    hello $name
    LABEL;
    $string == 'hello JohnDoea'
    
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1 comment

Your help is appreciated, I took an heredoc approach. I would gladly publish how I have implemented it for the form (giving credit to you, of course). JohnDoea‭ 14 days ago

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