Hot Koehls

The more you know, the more you don’t know

This content is a little crusty, having been with me through 3 separate platform changes. Formatting may be rough, and I am slightly less stupid today than when I wrote it.
06 Apr 2009

Circumvent PHP errors with define_once()

Core PHP does not include a define_once() function to complement functions like require_once() and include_once(), which is pretty silly in my opinion. While I am generally not a fan of using *_once statements due to the performance penalty (and incurred laziness), define_once is the exception. There are ways to look for a loaded/missing file, but a define is not a define until you define it, so you really have no choice. So in situations where you have to blindly load defines — I do it to build language defines in a cascading templating system — use this function to achieve the proper results:

function define_once($define, $value) {

  if (!defined((string)$define)) {

    define($define, $value);

    return true;


  return false;




comments powered by Disqus