Portable PHP code: DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR is not necessary

In attempting to write cross-platform, portable PHP code, I used PHP’s DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR constant to write path strings, e.g. "..".DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR."foo", because the “proper” way to do it on Windows would be "..\foo" while on everything else (Linux, UNIX, Mac OS X) it would be "../foo".

Well, as Christian on php.net pointed out and the guys at Web Design Forums confirmed, that’s completely unnecessary. As long as you use the forward slash, “/”, you’ll be OK. Windows doesn’t mind it, and it’s best for *nix operating systems.

(Note that DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR is still useful for things like explode-ing a path that the system gave you. Thanks to Shadowfiend for pointing this out.)

January 6th, 2008. (Updated: January 09, 2008 at 10:18am.)
Alan Hogan (@alanhogan).  Contact · About