Wordpress : Explain Plugins & Theme string value in database

i have installed wordpress and i i have installed couple of plugins and i have got two themes already came with wordpress.

What i am asking about today is : what does the Plugins & Theme string value in database mean ?

Example [When plugins are active] , there is a value on table of :


Example [When there are themes on the Themes folder] , there is a value on table of :


I could get an explanation of what does the "a" and "i" mean from HERE , but the "s:" is what i do not know what does it mean. If i tried to change the s:37 to s:6 or any other value , the plugin becomes deactivated , so the s:37 <<< the 37 must mean something or related to the plugin somehow and that`s what i am trying to find out.


's'+number is just number of characters.

so s:12:"twentyeleven" means string of length 12.

I suggest asking this in the WordPress Answers rather than here. This is a very specialist question.

The whole point of WordPress is that you DON'T need to get into the guts of the database - in fact it is highly discouraged since the data may well change between releases.

WordPress has loads of API functions that allow you to make use of it's power without needing to get into the complexities of the database. That is one of it's key strengths.

Even as a WordPress programmer or theme designer, you won't need this information - ever. You would only need to know it if you are planning to write/amend the source of WordPress itself, in which case, you are definitely in the wrong place.

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