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Language/Type: PHP string parameters return Boolean

Write a function named same_dashes that accepts two strings as parameters and that returns a Boolean value indicating whether or not they have dashes in the same places (returning true if they do and false if not). For example, below are four pairs of strings of equal length that have the same pattern of dashes. Notice that the last pair has no dashes at all.

  • string 1:    "hi--there-you."        "-15-389"        "criminal-plan"        "abc"
  • string 2:    "12--(134)-7539"        "-xy-zzy"        "(206)555-1384"        "9.8"

So a call of same_dashes("hi--there-you.", "12--(134)-7539") should return true. By contrast, the call of same_dashes("hi--there-you", "hey-there-yo-") should return false because the first string has an unmatched dash at index 2 and the second string has an unmatched dash at index 12.

To be considered a match, the strings must have exactly the same number of dashes in exactly the same positions. Note that the strings might be of different length, but different-length strings might still return true if it turns out that all of their dashes are in the range of indexes that is within the bounds of the shorter string. For example, the following calls should each return true, because the strings each have two dashes and they are in the same positions.

same_dashes("1st-has-more characters", "2nd-has-less")
same_dashes("1st-has-less", "2nd-has-more chars")

But the following should return false because the longer string has a third dash where the shorter does not:

same_dashes("1st-has-more-chars", "2nd-has-less")
same_dashes("1st-has-less", "2nd-has-more-characters")


  • Do not use any data structures such as arrays to help you solve this problem.
  • You may declare as many simple variables like Integer, String, etc. as you like.

Function: Write a PHP function as described, not a complete program.

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