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and then echo $varname, or just
There's no reason you should see PHP (<?=$varname?>) in HTML, though. If those variables are empty, the fields should just be blank. Check your code or post more of it here.
"Perhaps the most controversial change in PHP is when
the default value for the PHP directive register_globals went
from ON to OFF in PHP 4.2.0."
If you have a shared server and you're hosting provider has register_globals on, you can set yourself up by adding an .htaccess file to your php code directories with a single line to turn the register_globals off:
php_flag register_globals off
You'll have to modify your code though, just as described earlier in this post.