Arrays can be used in a number of different ways. This can include stacks, queues, and sets. I personally don’t use these functions very often but It can’t hurt to go over them for before taking the Zend Certification exam.
Stacks are a Last in, First out (LIFO) structure which means that the first element you put on the stack is only available when all other elements are removed. Just like a stack of papers. This is acheived by using the array_push and array_pop functions.
Here is a simple little example:
The array_push function is very similar to “$a = $value” and the latter is actually much faster because no function call is made.
Next up is the queue which is a first in first out data structure. Just like a line at a movie theater, the first elements added to the queue get their choice of seats. Queue manipulation is acheived using the array_shift, array_unshift, and any of the functions outlined above.
The array_shift function will remove and return the element from the front of the array and the array_unshift will prepend an element to the front of the array. If both these functions are used together then the array will work like a sort of backwards stack but if array_shift is used with array_push or if array_unshift is used with array_pop then the array will act as a queue.
There are a few functions that mimic set functionality using php arrays. These are array_diff(), array_intersect, array_intersect_key(), array_intersect_assoc(),array_intersect_ukey(), and array_intersect_uassoc().
The function array_diff() is used to compute the difference between two arrays: