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In practice, it's almost never an issue. The standard lib has push/pop/shift/pad methods available.

So example, if you had numeric indices that you wanted to guarantee that index order is equal to insertion order, you'd create an array using $my_array = array_pad([], 20, null); If it's an array that you didn't create, the ksort(...) method will order the array for you as expected.

Edit: after reading through the documentation on array_pad, it looks like it will even correct key order in existing arrays. https://www.php.net/manual/en/function.array-pad.php#87735

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