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Probably the worst way to pad a string...

Wonky Code
Everyday I find code examples that make me go WTF. This is a prime example of one. It is a function that takes an item's id number and generates a left zero padded string with the id number. I guess nobody told them about the str_pad() function.
function getVanPic($item_id) {
    $pic_path = "/path/to/pic/dir";
    if ($item_id >= 1000000) {
        $strPicName = $item_id;
    else if ($item_id >= 100000) {
        $strPicName = "0".$item_id;
    else if ($item_id >= 10000) {
        $strPicName = "00".$item_id;
    else if ($item_id >= 1000) {
        $strPicName = "000".$item_id;

The Launch of the PHP WTF

Wonky Code

Welcome to The PHP WTF. The idea came from Alex of The Daily WTF. Alex has many examples of VB/Java nightmares and I figured the World needs examples of the bad PHP that people write.

To start things off here's an example from my personal collection. Originally published on my personal blog at, it demonstrates one of the worse things in PHP, variable variables! Ugh!

I have found that explaining bad code to non-programmers is usually followed up by, "isn't it a matter of style?". Programming styles may differ but there is a difference between bad style and bad code.