Function and usage of get_file_description() in wordpress


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    The get_file_description() function in WordPress is designed to retrieve descriptions for standard WordPress theme files. This function is particularly useful when working with theme development or managing theme files in WordPress. Here's a detailed explanation of its functionality and usage:

    Function Signature:

    get_file_description( string $file ): string


    • $file (string, required): This parameter expects either the filesystem path or the filename of the theme file for which the description is needed.


    • The primary purpose of get_file_description() is to get descriptions for standard WordPress theme files.
    • WordPress maintains an array (typically $wp_file_descriptions) that maps common theme file names (like index.php, header.php, etc.) to human-readable descriptions.
    • When you pass the filename or path to this function, it looks up this array and returns the associated description.
    • If the specified file does not have a pre-defined description in the $wp_file_descriptions array, the function will return the basename of the file. The basename is the file name stripped of its path.
    • An additional feature of this function is its ability to recognize page templates. If the file you're inquiring about is a page template, the function appends “Page Template” to the basename of the file before returning it.

    Return Value:

    • The function returns a string.
    • This string is either the description of the file from $wp_file_descriptions (if available) or the basename of $file.
    • If the file is a page template, “Page Template” is appended to the basename.

    Sample Usage:

    // Example usage of the function
    $filePath = '/wp-content/themes/mytheme/single.php';
    $fileDescription = get_file_description($filePath);
    echo $fileDescription; // Output will be the description of 'single.php' or 'single.php Page Template' or just 'single.php' if no description exists.

    In this example, if single.php is a standard WordPress file with a description in $wp_file_descriptions, that description is returned. Otherwise, 'single.php' is returned. If single.php is a page template, 'single.php Page Template' is returned.

    Practical Use Case:

    This function is particularly useful in theme development and management interfaces where you need to display user-friendly descriptions of theme files, instead of just file names. This enhances the user experience, making it easier for users to understand the role and purpose of each file in the theme.

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