[*EDIT* by danbrown AT php DOT net: Merged user's corrected code with previous post content.]
jeremys indicated one thing - there is no sgn function wich actually seems a bit strange for me. Of course it is as simple as possible, but it is usefull and it is a standard math function needed occasionally.
Well, I have solved this function in a bit different matter:
The difference is that it returns null when the argument isn't a number at all.