SDBM hash implementation in PHP

The SDBM hashing function is a simple and fast function that provides surprizingly uniform distributions of the hash value even when applied to a series of relatively short strings (3-7 characters). This makes it an excellent algorithm for organizing multiple files in sub-directories, for example, but the possible applications are, of course, endless.

Implementing the SDBM hashing in PHP is not an easy task, however. The SDBM hash function relies on a 32-bit overflow, which doesn’t work well in PHP due to its built-in overflow handling and automatic type conversion, which is also implemented differently on different platforms.

After much trial and error, the following cute piece of code has been found to perform correctly in PHP 5.2/5.3 on 32-bit as well as 64-bit systems.

function sdbmHash($str)
	$hash = 0; $n=strlen($str);
	for ($i=0; $i<$n; $i++) {
		$h1 = $hash << 6;
		if ($h1<0) $h1+=0x100000000;
		$h2 = $hash << 16;
		if ($h2<0) $h2+=0x100000000;
		$hash = (int)((int)ord($str[$i]) + $h1 + $h2 + $h3);
		if($hash<0) $hash=$hash+0x100000000;
	return $hash;

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