PHP gets its options from a file php.ini on your hard drive. If this does not exist, PHP assumes a default set of values, so it is best to set up a php.ini file to make sure you have PHP working as you want.
If you do not have access to your php.ini file, perhaps because you host your site elsewhere, you will need to hand set your PHP settings in each script, although there are limitations on how much you can change.
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