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Jonathan Street's Blog:
Random thoughts on random strings
Jul 03, 2008 @ 07:58:33

On his blog, Jonathan Street has posted some "random thoughts" on generating random (or not so random) strings in PHP.

Humans are astoundingly bad at being random and I just slapped the keyboard a few times until I felt I had the required 16 characters. Writing some code to produce a fairly random string is incredibly easy. I've easily done it a dozen times or more. Though only because it is easier to re-write it than to find where I put the last one

He gives two examples that work, but aren't the best possibilities for making truly random strings - one using mt_rand to select a random character from a string and the other using the same idea but instead using the char() function to replace the string of characters.

His other examples include the use of the uniqid function with the more_entropy setting enabled and an md5 or sha1 hash (for which he gives positives and negtives).

tagged: random string mtrand md5 sha1 chr uniqid moreentropy

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