Why do PHP’s built in functions use constants instead of just strings as parameters?

I noticed that PHP’s internal functions never use strings for pre-defined or limited values, only constants.

For example:


Optional argument pad_type can be STR_PAD_RIGHT, STR_PAD_LEFT, or STR_PAD_BOTH. If pad_type is not specified it is assumed to be STR_PAD_RIGHT.

What’s the reason for not using a string as parameter here?

str_pad($test, 10, 0, 'left') seems a lot simpler than str_pad( $test, 10, 0, STR_PAD_LEFT)

(This is more of a meta question. I hope it’s OK to ask here.)

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