A resource is a special variable, holding a reference to an
external resource. Resources are created and used by special functions. See
the appendix for a listing of all these
functions and the corresponding resource types.
The resource type was introduced in PHP 4
See also the get_resource_type() function.
Converting to resource
As resource variables hold special handlers to opened files,
database connections, image canvas areas and the like, converting to a
resource makes no sense.
Thanks to the reference-counting system introduced with PHP 4's Zend Engine,
a resource with no more references to it is detected
automatically, and it is freed by the garbage collector. For this reason, it
is rarely necessary to free the memory manually.
Persistent database links are an exception to this rule. They are
not destroyed by the garbage collector. See the
connections section for more information.