introduction to web programming Accessing an Associative Array If we want to extract a value from the associative array, we reference it with the following syntax:

    $variable_equal_to_value =

Thus, to pull out the value of the "full_name" key from %CLIENT_ARRAY, we use the following syntax:

    $full_name = $CLIENT_ARRAY{'full_name'}

The variable $full_name would then be equal to "Selena Sol". Think of it as using a "key" to unlock a "value".

When accessing an associative array using a scalar variable as a key, you should not surround the key with single quotes because the scalar variable will not be interpolated. For example, the following syntax generates the value for the age key.

$key_name = "age";
$age = $CLIENT_ARRAY{$key_name};

Accessing an associative array is one of the most basic CGI functions and is at the heart of the ReadParse routine in that creates an associative array from the incoming form data. We will talk more about ReadParse later today.

By accessing this associative array (usually referred to as %in or %form_data), your CGI script will be able to determine what it is that the client has asked of it since HTML form variables are formed in terms of administratively-defined NAMES and client-defined VALUES using syntax such as the following:

    <INPUT TYPE = "text" NAME = "full_name"
           SIZE = "40">

The "key" of the associative array generated by ReadParse will be "full_name" and the "value" will be whatever the client typed into the text box.

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