For example I have this code:

$route = 'product/category';

//variable overload
$type  = explode('/',$route);
$type  = $type[1];

My thinking behind this is that I actually don't need unique variable name for exploded variable, so why not to overwrite?

Is this really bad concept? Or is there some more elegant way to write this?

2 Answers 2


No, it's absolutely not bad. All you're doing here is assigning a new value to a variable. It has no special name.

As for more elegantly writing it, you could write the following as of PHP 5.4: $type = explode("/", $route)[0];

  • Thanks, where can i find some documentation to your code?
    – JTC
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 9:30
  • It's mentioned in the documentation on array access syntax
    – Andy Hunt
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 9:39
  • According to your link i have one off-topic question, so if I call php function, which returns array, i can specifically call array key which I want to get the same way as your code?
    – JTC
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 9:58
  • 1
    Yes, but only in PHP 5.4 and beyond.
    – Andy Hunt
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 10:14
  • From the PHP manual: "As of PHP 5.4 it is possible to array dereference the result of a function or method call directly. Before it was only possible using a temporary variable." php.net/manual/en/language.types.array.php
    – bdsl
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 22:28

Other elegant solution:

list($type, ) = explode("/", $route);

I think it's the best one.

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