PHP Australia Conference 2015

Opérateurs de comparaison

Les opérateurs de comparaison, comme leur nom l'indique, vous permettent de comparer deux valeurs. Vous devriez également être intéressés par les tables de comparaisons de types, car ils montrent des exemples de beaucoup de types de comparaisons.

Opérateurs de comparaison
Exemple Nom Résultat
$a == $b Egal TRUE si $a est égal à $b après le transtypage.
$a === $b Identique TRUE si $a est égal à $b et qu'ils sont de même type.
$a != $b Différent TRUE si $a est différent de $b après le transtypage.
$a <> $b Différent TRUE si $a est différent de $b après le transtypage.
$a !== $b Différent TRUE si $a est différent de $b ou bien s'ils ne sont pas du même type.
$a < $b Plus petit que TRUE si $a est strictement plus petit que $b.
$a > $b Plus grand TRUE si $a est strictement plus grand que $b.
$a <= $b Inférieur ou égal TRUE si $a est plus petit ou égal à $b.
$a >= $b Supérieur ou égal TRUE si $a est plus grand ou égal à $b.

Si vous comparez un nombre avec une chaîne ou bien que la comparaison implique des chaînes numériques, alors chaque chaîne sera convertie en un nombre et la comparaison sera effectuée numériquement. Ces règles s'appliquent également à l'instruction switch. La comparaison de type n'a pas de place lorsque la comparaison est === ou !== vu que ceci engendre aussi bien une comparaison de type que de valeur.

<?php
var_dump
(== "a"); // 0 == 0 -> true
var_dump("1" == "01"); // 1 == 1 -> true
var_dump("10" == "1e1"); // 10 == 10 -> true
var_dump(100 == "1e2"); // 100 == 100 -> true

switch ("a") {
case 
0:
    echo 
"0";
    break;
case 
"a"// jamais évalué parce que "a" est déjà trouvé avec 0
    
echo "a";
    break;
}
?>

Pour les différents types, la comparaison est faite en suivant la table suivante (dans l'ordre).

Comparaison avec plusieurs types
Type de l'opérande 1 Type de l'opérande 2 Résultat
null ou chaîne de caractères string Convertit NULL en "", comparaison numérique ou lexicale
booléen ou null N'importe quoi Convertit en booléen, FALSE < TRUE
objet objet Les classes internes peuvent définir leur propre méthode de comparaison; différentes classes ne sont pas comparables; entre objets de même classe, PHP a son propre comportement
chaîne de caractères, ressource ou nombre chaîne de caractères, ressource ou nombre Transforme les chaînes de caractères et les ressources en nombres
tableaux tableaux Le tableau avec le moins de membres est plus petit, si la clé de l'opérande 1 n'est pas trouvée dans l'opérande 2, alors les tableaux ne sont pas comparables, sinon la comparaison se fait valeur par valeur (voir l'exemple suivant)
object N'importe quoi L'objet est toujours plus grand
array N'importe quoi Le tableau est toujours plus grand

Exemple #1 Comparaison Booléen/null

<?php
// Boolén et null sont toujours comparés comme des booléens
var_dump(== TRUE);  // TRUE - identique à (bool)1 == TRUE
var_dump(== FALSE); // TRUE - identique à (bool)0 == FALSE
var_dump(100 TRUE); // FALSE - identique à (bool)100 < TRUE
var_dump(-10 FALSE);// FALSE - identique à (bool)-10 < FALSE
var_dump(min(-100, -10NULL10100)); // NULL - (bool)NULL < (bool)-100 est identique à FALSE < TRUE
?>

Exemple #2 Transcription des comparaisons standards des tableaux

<?php
// Les tableaux sont comparés comme ceci avec les opérateurs standards de comparaison
function standard_array_compare($op1$op2)
{
   if (
count($op1) < count($op2)) {
      return -
1// $op1 < $op2
   
} elseif (count($op1) > count($op2)) {
      return 
1// $op1 > $op2
   
}
   foreach (
$op1 as $key => $val) {
      if (!
array_key_exists($key$op2)) {
         return 
null// incomparable
      
} elseif ($val $op2[$key]) {
         return -
1;
      } elseif (
$val $op2[$key]) {
         return 
1;
      }
   }
   return 
0// $op1 == $op2
}
?>

Voir aussi strcasecmp(), strcmp() les opérateurs de tableaux, et le chapitre sur les types.

Avertissement

Comparaison de nombre à virgule flottante

A cause de la façon dont les nombres à virgule flottante sont représentés en interne, vous ne devriez pas tester l'égalité entre deux nombres de type float.

Voyez la documentation de float pour plus d'informations.

L'opérateur ternaire

Un autre opérateur conditionnel est l'opérateur ternaire ("?:").

Exemple #3 Affectation d'une valeur par défaut

<?php
// Exemple d'utilisation pour l'opérateur ternaire
$action = (empty($_POST['action'])) ? 'default' $_POST['action'];

// La ligne ci-dessus est identique à la condition suivante :
if (empty($_POST['action'])) {
   
$action 'default';
} else {
   
$action $_POST['action'];
}

?>
L'expression (expr1) ? (expr2) : (expr3) est évaluée à expr2 si expr1 est évaluée à TRUE, et expr3 si expr1 est évaluée à FALSE.

Depuis PHP 5.3, il est possible d'omettre la partie centrale de l'opérateur ternaire. L'expression expr1 ?: expr3 retourne expr1 si expr1 vaut TRUE, et expr3 sinon.

Note: Notez que l'opérateur ternaire est une expression, et il n'est pas évalué en tant que variable, mais en tant que résultat de l'expression. Il est important de savoir si vous voulez retourner une variable par référence. L'instruction return $var == 42 ? $a : $b; dans une fonction retournée par référence ne fonctionnera donc pas et une alerte est émise.

Note:

Il est recommandé de ne pas "empiler" les expressions ternaires. Le comportement de PHP lors de l'utilisation de plus d'un opérateur ternaire dans une seule instruction n'est pas évident :

Exemple #4 Comportement de PHP

<?php
// A première vue, ce qui suit devrait retourner 'true'
echo (true?'true':false?'t':'f');

// cependant, l'expression ci-dessus retournera 't'
// car l'expression ternaire est évaluée de gauche à droite

// l'expression suivante est une version plus évidente du même code
echo ((true 'true' false) ? 't' 'f');

// ici, vous pouvez voir que la première expression est évaluée à 'true',
// ce qui fait qu'elle est évaluée à (bool)true, ce qui retourne la branche
// 'vraie' de la seconde expression ternaire.
?>

add a note add a note

User Contributed Notes 47 notes

up
29
Anonymous
9 years ago
The following contrasts the trinary operator associativity in PHP and Java.  The first test would work as expected in Java (evaluates left-to-right, associates right-to-left, like if stmnt), the second in PHP (evaluates and associates left-to-right)

<?php

echo "\n\n######----------- trinary operator associativity\n\n";

function
trinaryTest($foo){

   
$bar    = $foo > 20
           
? "greater than 20"
           
: $foo > 10
               
? "greater than 10"
               
: $foo > 5
                   
? "greater than 5"
                   
: "not worthy of consideration";   
    echo
$foo." =>  ".$bar."\n";
}

echo
"----trinaryTest\n\n";
trinaryTest(21);
trinaryTest(11);
trinaryTest(6);
trinaryTest(4);

function
trinaryTestParens($foo){
   
   
$bar    = $foo > 20
           
? "greater than 20"
           
: ($foo > 10
               
? "greater than 10"
               
: ($foo > 5
                   
? "greater than 5"
                   
: "not worthy of consideration"));   
    echo
$foo." =>  ".$bar."\n";
}

echo
"----trinaryTestParens\n\n";
trinaryTestParens(21);
trinaryTestParens(11);
trinaryTest(6);
trinaryTestParens(4);

?>

Output:

######----------- trinary operator associativity

----trinaryTest

21 =>  greater than 5
11 =>  greater than 5
6 =>  greater than 5
4 =>  not worthy of consideration

----trinaryTestParens

21 =>  greater than 20
11 =>  greater than 10
6 =>  greater than 5
4 =>  not worthy of consideration
up
25
arnaud at arnapou dot net
4 years ago
I discover after 10 years of PHP development something awfull : even if you make a string comparison (both are strings), strings are tested like integers and leading "space" character (even \n, \r, \t) is ignored ....

I spent hours because of leading \n in a string ... it hurts my developper sensibility to see two strings beeing compared like integers and not like strings ... I use strcmp now for string comparison ... so stupid ...

Test code :
<?php

test
("1234", "1234");
test("1234", " 1234");
test("1234", "\n1234");
test("1234", "1234 ");
test("1234", "1234\n");

function
test($v1, $v2) {
    echo
"<h1>[".show_cr($v1)."] vs [".show_cr($v2)."]</h1>";
    echo
my_var_dump($v1)."<br />";
    echo
my_var_dump($v2)."<br />";
    if(
$v1 == $v2) {
        echo
"EQUAL !";
    }
    else {
        echo
"DIFFERENT !";
    }
}

function
show_cr($var) {
    return
str_replace("\n", "\\n", $var);
}

function
my_var_dump($var) {
   
ob_start();
   
var_dump($var);
   
$dump = show_cr(trim(ob_get_contents()));
   
ob_end_clean();
    return
$dump;
}

?>

Displays this ->

[1234] vs [1234]
string(4) "1234"
string(4) "1234"
EQUAL !

[1234] vs [ 1234]
string(4) "1234"
string(5) " 1234"
EQUAL !

[1234] vs [\n1234]
string(4) "1234"
string(5) "\n1234"
EQUAL !

[1234] vs [1234 ]
string(4) "1234"
string(5) "1234 "
DIFFERENT !

[1234] vs [1234\n]
string(4) "1234"
string(5) "1234\n"
DIFFERENT !
up
19
crazy888s at hotmail dot com
4 years ago
I couldn't find much info on stacking the new ternary operator, so I ran some tests:

<?php
echo 0 ?: 1 ?: 2 ?: 3; //1
echo 1 ?: 0 ?: 3 ?: 2; //1
echo 2 ?: 1 ?: 0 ?: 3; //2
echo 3 ?: 2 ?: 1 ?: 0; //3

echo 0 ?: 1 ?: 2 ?: 3; //1
echo 0 ?: 0 ?: 2 ?: 3; //2
echo 0 ?: 0 ?: 0 ?: 3; //3
?>

It works just as expected, returning the first non-false value within a group of expressions.
up
10
adam at caucho dot com
8 years ago
Note: according to the spec, PHP's comparison operators are not transitive.  For example, the following are all true in PHP5:

"11" < "a" < 2 < "11"

As a result, the outcome of sorting an array depends on the order the elements appear in the pre-sort array.  The following code will dump out two arrays with *different* orderings:

<?php
$a
= array(2,    "a""11", 2);
$b = array(2,    "11", "a"2);
sort($a);
var_dump($a);
sort($b);
var_dump($b);
?>

This is not a bug report -- given the spec on this documentation page, what PHP does is "correct".  But that may not be what was intended...
up
9
stepheneliotdewey at gmail [period] com
7 years ago
Note that typecasting will NOT prevent the default behavior for converting two numeric strings to numbers when comparing them.

e.g.:

<?php
if ((string) '0123' == (string) '123')
    print
'equals';
else
    print
'doesn\'t equal';
?>

Still prints 'equals'

As far as I can tell the only way to avoid this is to use the identity comparison operators (=== and !==).
up
7
jwhiting at hampshire dot edu
10 years ago
note: the behavior below is documented in the appendix K about type comparisons, but since it is somewhat buried i thought i should raise it here for people since it threw me for a loop until i figured it out completely.

just to clarify a tricky point about the == comparison operator when dealing with strings and numbers:

('some string' == 0) returns TRUE

however, ('123' == 0) returns FALSE

also note that ((int) 'some string') returns 0

and ((int) '123') returns 123

the behavior makes senes but you must be careful when comparing strings to numbers, e.g. when you're comparing a request variable which you expect to be numeric. its easy to fall into the trap of:

if ($_GET['myvar']==0) dosomething();

as this will dosomething() even when $_GET['myvar'] is 'some string' and clearly not the value 0

i was getting lazy with my types since php vars are so flexible, so be warned to pay attention to the details...
up
9
fernandoleal at dragoncs dot com
7 years ago
If you need nested ifs on I var its important to group the if so it works.
Example:
<?php
//Dont Works
//Parse error: parse error, unexpected ':'
$var='<option value="1" '.$status == "1" ? 'selected="selected"' :''.'>Value 1</option>';
//Works:
$var='<option value="1" '.($status == "1" ? 'selected="selected"' :'').'>Value 1</option>';

echo
$var;
?>
up
7
Cuong Huy To
3 years ago
In the table "Comparison with Various Types", please move the last line about "Object" to be above the line about "Array", since Object is considered to be greater than Array (tested on 5.3.3)

(Please remove my "Anonymous" post of the same content before. You could check IP to see that I forgot to type my name)
up
4
thomas dot oldbury at tgohome dot com
7 years ago
Be careful when using the ternary operator!

The following will not evaluate to the expected result:

<?php
echo "a string that has a " . (true) ? 'true' : 'false' . " condition in. ";
?>

Will print true.

Instead, use this:

<?php
echo "a string that has a " . ((true) ? 'true' : 'false') . " condition in. ";
?>

This will evaluate to the expected result: "a string that has a true condition in. "

I hope this helps.
up
6
kapoor_rajiv at hotmail dot com
4 years ago
A quick way to do mysql bit comparison in php is to use the special character it stores . e.g
<?php
                                       
if ($AvailableRequests['OngoingService'] == '')
                                            echo
'<td>Yes</td>';
                                        else
                                            echo
'<td>No</td>';

?>
up
2
damien dot launay dot mail at gmail dot com
1 year ago
I found a nice way to use of new "?:" operator:

$a = array();
$a['foo'] = 'oof';

$b = @ ($a['foo'] ?: 'No foo');
$c = @ ($a['bar'] ?: 'No bar');

var_dump($b, $c);

Output:

string(3) "oof"
string(6) "No bar"

No error is thrown and $c is set with correct value.

Benefit: no need to use isset.
up
7
Alex
8 years ago
I think everybody should read carefully what "jeronimo at DELETE_THIS dot transartmedia dot com" wrote. It's a great pitfall even for seasoned programmers and should be looked upon with a great attention.
For example, comparing passwords with == may result in a very large security hole.

I would add some more to it:

The workaround is to use strcmp() or ===.

Note on ===:

While the php documentation says that, basically,
($a===$b)  is the same as  ($a==$b && gettype($a) == gettype($b)),
this is not true.

The difference between == and === is that === never does any type conversion. So, while, according to documentation, ("+0.1" === ".1") should return true (because both are strings and == returns true), === actually returns false (which is good).
up
4
hiroh2k at yahoo dot com
9 years ago
if you want to use the ?: operator, you should be careful with the precedence.

Here's an example of the priority of operators:

<?php
echo 'Hello, ' . isset($i) ? 'my friend: ' . $username . ', how are you doing?' : 'my guest, ' . $guestusername . ', please register';
?>

This make "'Hello, ' . isset($i)" the sentence to evaluate. So, if you think to mix more sentences with the ?: operator, please use always parentheses to force the proper evaluation of the sentence.

<?php
echo 'Hello, ' . (isset($i) ? 'my friend: ' . $username . ', how are you doing?' : 'my guest, ' . $guestusername . ', please register');
?>

for general rule, if you mix ?: with other sentences, always close it with parentheses.
up
6
Hayley Watson
7 years ago
Note that the "ternary operator" is better described as the "conditional operator". The former name merely notes that it has three arguments without saying anything about what it does. Needless to say, if PHP picked up any more ternary operators, this will be a problem.

"Conditional Operator" is actually descriptive of the semantics, and is the name historically given to it in, e.g., C.
up
7
toader_alexandru at yahoo dot com
2 years ago
it looks that

if you check 0 against a string with == then PHP returns true:

php -r 'var_dump(0 == "statuses");'
-> returns TRUE

but not if your string has a number at the beginning:

php -r 'var_dump(0 == "2statuses");'
-> returns FALSE

from the specs I get it that it attempts a conversion - in this case the string to number.

so better use ===
as always :)
up
7
zak at minion dot net
3 years ago
be careful when trying to concatenate the result of a ternary operator to a string

<?php
print '<div>'.(FALSE) ? 'TRUE [bad ternary]' : 'FALSE [bad ternary]';
print
'<br><br>';
print
'<div>'.((FALSE) ? 'TRUE [good ternary]' : 'FALSE [good ternary]');
?>

yields:

TRUE [bad ternary]

FALSE [good ternary]

this is because the ternary evaluates '<div>'.(FALSE) not (FALSE) - so the end result is TRUE
up
6
user@example
10 years ago
With Nested ternary Operators you have to set the logical  parentheses to get the correct result.

<?php
$test
=true;
$test2=true;

(
$test) ? "TEST1 true" :  ($test2) ? "TEST2 true" : "false";
?>
This will output: TEST2 true;

correct:

<?php
$test
=true;
$test2=true;

(
$test) ? "TEST1 true" : (($test2) ? "TEST2 true" : "false");
?>

Anyway don't nest them to much....!!
up
5
bimal at sanjaal dot com
1 year ago
I came across peculiar outputs while I was attempting to debug a script

<?php
# Setup platform (pre conditions somewhere in a loop)
$index=1;
$tally = array();

# May work with warnings that $tally[$index] is not initialized
# Notice: Undefined offset: 1 in D:\htdocs\colors\ColorCompare\i.php on line #__
# It is an old fashioned way.
# $tally[$index] = $tally[$index] + 1;

# Does not work: Loops to attempt to change $index and values are aways unaffected
$tally[$index] = isset($tally[$index])?$tally[$index]:0+1;
$tally[$index] = isset($tally[$index])?$tally[$index]:0+1;
$tally[$index] = isset($tally[$index])?$tally[$index]:0+1;
/*
# These three lines output:
Array
(
    [1] => 1
)
*/

# Works: This is what I need/expect
# $tally[$index] = 1+(isset($tally[$index])?$tally[$index]:0);

print_r($tally);
?>

The second block obviously does not work what one expects.
Third part is good.
up
6
Anonymous
5 years ago
Note: The ternary shortcut currently seems to be of no use in dealing with unexisting keys in an array, as PHP will throw an error. Take the following example.

<?php
$_POST
['Unexisting'] = $_POST['Unexisting'] ?: false;
?>

PHP will throw an error that the "Unexisting" key does not exist. The @ operator does not work here to suppress this error.
up
4
alan dot g at nospam dot net
4 years ago
a function to help settings default values, it returns its own first non-empty argument :

make your own eor combos !

<?php

/*
* Either Or
*
* usage:  $foo = eor(test1(),test2(),"default");
* usage:  $foo = eor($_GET['foo'], foogen(), $foo, "bar");
*/

function eor() {
   
$vars = func_get_args();
     while (!empty(
$vars) && empty($defval))   
        
$defval = array_shift($vars);         
     return
$defval;
}



?>
up
3
bishop
7 years ago
When you want to know if two arrays contain the same values, regardless of the values' order, you cannot use "==" or "===".  In other words:

<?php
(array(1,2) == array(2,1)) === false;
?>

To answer that question, use:

<?php
function array_equal($a, $b) {
    return (
is_array($a) && is_array($b) && array_diff($a, $b) === array_diff($b, $a));
}
?>

A related, but more strict problem, is if you need to ensure that two arrays contain the same key=>value pairs, regardless of the order of the pairs.  In that case, use:

<?php
function array_identical($a, $b) {
    return (
is_array($a) && is_array($b) && array_diff_assoc($a, $b) === array_diff_assoc($b, $a));
}
?>

Example:
<?php
$a
= array (2, 1);
$b = array (1, 2);
// true === array_equal($a, $b);
// false === array_identical($a, $b);

$a = array ('a' => 2, 'b' => 1);
$b = array ('b' => 1, 'a' => 2);
// true === array_identical($a, $b)
// true === array_equal($a, $b)
?>

(See also the solution "rshawiii at yahoo dot com" posted)
up
5
rshawiii at yahoo dot com
8 years ago
You can't just compare two arrays with the === operator
like you would think to find out if they are equal or not.  This is more complicated when you have multi-dimensional arrays.  Here is a recursive comparison function.

<?php
/**
* Compares two arrays to see if they contain the same values.  Returns TRUE or FALSE.
* usefull for determining if a record or block of data was modified (perhaps by user input)
* prior to setting a "date_last_updated" or skipping updating the db in the case of no change.
*
* @param array $a1
* @param array $a2
* @return boolean
*/
function array_compare_recursive($a1, $a2)
{
   if (!(
is_array($a1) and (is_array($a2)))) { return FALSE;}   
   
   if (!
count($a1) == count($a2))
      {
       return
FALSE; // arrays don't have same number of entries
     
}
     
   foreach (
$a1 as $key => $val)
   {
       if (!
array_key_exists($key, $a2))
           {return
FALSE; // uncomparable array keys don't match
             
}
       elseif (
is_array($val) and is_array($a2[$key]))  // if both entries are arrays then compare recursive
          
{if (!array_compare_recursive($val,$a2[$key])) return FALSE;
           }
       elseif (!(
$val === $a2[$key])) // compare entries must be of same type.
          
{return FALSE;
           }
   }
   return
TRUE; // $a1 === $a2
}
?>
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5
taras dot bogach at gmail dot com
4 years ago
Boolean switch usege

<?php
class User_Exception extends Exception{}
class
User{
  public function
register($login,$pass,$passCheck)
    switch(
false){
      case(
strlen($pass) >= 5):
        throw new
User_Exception("Password must be at last 5 chars length");
      case(
$pass == $passCheck):
        throw new
User_Exception("Password is not confirmed!");
      case(
strlen($login) >= 5):
        throw new
User_Exception("Login must be at last 5 chars length");
     
//Do other checks
     
default:
       
//Do registration
       
return true;
    }
  }
 
//...
}
?>
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4
j-a-n at gmx dot de
2 years ago
Please be careful when comparing strings with floats, especally when you are using the , as decimal.

<?php
var_dump
($alt);
var_dump($neu);
var_dump($alt == $neu);
?>

string(9) "590217,73"
float(590217,73)
bool(false)

not the float is cast to a string and then string-compared, but the string is cast to a float and then float-compared.

to compare as strings use strval!

<?php
var_dump
(strval($alt));
var_dump(strval($neu));
var_dump(strval($alt) == strval($neu));
?>

string(9) "590217,73"
string(9) "590217,73"
bool(true)
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4
mail at markuszeller dot com
4 years ago
I prefer writing (!$a == 'hello') much more than ($a != 'hello'), but I wondered about the performance.

So I did a benchmark:
<?php
for($bench = 0; $bench < 3; $bench++)
{
   
$start = microtime(true);
   
$a = 1;
    for(
$i = 0; $i < 100000000; $i++)
  {
        if(!
$a == 'hello') $b++;
    }
   
$end = microtime(true);
    echo
"Used time: " . ($end-$start) . "\n";
}
?>
and it results with

# if($a != 'hello')
Used time: 12.552895069122
Used time: 12.548940896988
Used time: 12.470285177231

# if(!$a == 'hello')
Used time: 7.6532161235809
Used time: 7.6426539421082
Used time: 7.6452689170837
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1
jeronimo at DELETE_THIS dot transartmedia dot com
10 years ago
For converted Perl programmers: use strict comparison operators (===, !==) in place of string comparison operators (eq, ne). Don't use the simple equality operators (==, !=), because ($a == $b) will return TRUE in many situations where ($a eq $b) would return FALSE.

For instance...
"mary" == "fred" is FALSE, but
"+010" == "10.0" is TRUE (!)

In the following examples, none of the strings being compared are identical, but because PHP *can* evaluate them as numbers, it does so, and therefore finds them equal...

<?php

echo ("007" == "7" ? "EQUAL" : "not equal");
// Prints: EQUAL

// Surrounding the strings with single quotes (') instead of double
// quotes (") to ensure the contents aren't evaluated, and forcing
// string types has no effect.
echo ( (string)'0001' == (string)'+1.' ? "EQUAL" : "not equal");
// Prints: EQUAL

// Including non-digit characters (like leading spaces, "e", the plus
// or minus sign, period, ...) can still result in this behavior, if
// a string happens to be valid scientific notation.
echo ('  131e-2' == '001.3100' ? "EQUAL" : "not equal");
// Prints: EQUAL

?>

If you're comparing passwords (or anything else for which "near" precision isn't good enough) this confusion could be detrimental. Stick with strict comparisons...

<?php

// Same examples as above, using === instead of ==

echo ("007" === "7" ? "EQUAL" : "not equal");
// Prints: not equal

echo ( (string)'0001' === (string)'+1.' ? "EQUAL" : "not equal");
// Prints: not equal

echo ('  131e-2' === '001.3100' ? "EQUAL" : "not equal");
// Prints: not equal

?>
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2
Harry Willis
5 months ago
I was interested about the following two uses of the ternary operator (PHP >= 5.3) for using a "default" value if a variable is not set or evaluates to false:

<?php
(isset($some_variable) && $some_variable) ? $some_variable : 'default_value';

$some_variable ?: 'default_value';
?>

The second is more readable, but will throw an ERR_NOTICE is $some_variable is not set. Of course, this could be overcome by suppressing the notice using the @ operator.

Performance-wise, though, comparing 1 million iterations of the three statements

  (isset($foo) && $foo) ? $foo : ''
  ($foo) ?: ''
  (@$foo) ?: ''

results in the following:

  $foo is NOT SET.
    [isset] 0.18222403526306
    [?:]    0.57496404647827
    [@ ?:]  0.64780592918396
  $foo is NULL.
    [isset] 0.17995285987854
    [?:]    0.15304207801819
    [@ ?:]  0.20394206047058
  $foo is FALSE.
    [isset] 0.19388508796692
    [?:]    0.15359902381897
    [@ ?:]  0.20741701126099
  $foo is TRUE.
    [isset] 0.17265486717224
    [?:]    0.11773896217346
    [@ ?:]  0.16193103790283

In other words, using the long-form ternary operator with isset($some_variable) is preferable overall if $some_variable may not be set.

(error_reporting was set to zero for the benchmark, to avoid printing a million notices...)
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1
gondo
5 months ago
beware of the fact, that there is no `<==` nor `>==` therefore `false <= 0` will be `true`. php v. 5.4.27
up
1
sgurukrupa at gmail dot com
5 months ago
With respect to using the ternary operator as a 'null-coalescing' operator: expr1 ?: expr2, note that expr1 is evaluated only once.
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0
mail at mkharitonov dot net
6 months ago
Be careful with the "==" operator when both operands are strings:
<?php
var_dump
('123' == '       123'); // true
var_dump('1e3' == '1000'); // true
var_dump('+74951112233' == '74951112233'); // true
var_dump('00000020' == '0000000000000000020'); // true
var_dump('0X1D' == '29E0'); // true
var_dump('0xafebac' == '11529132'); // true
var_dump('0xafebac' == '0XAFEBAC'); // true
var_dump('0xeb' == '+235e-0'); // true
var_dump('0.235' == '+.235'); // true
var_dump('0.2e-10' == '2.0E-11'); // true
var_dump('61529519452809720693702583126814' == '61529519452809720000000000000000'); // true in php < 5.4.4
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0
wbcarts at juno dot com
2 years ago
COMPARING PHP OBJECTS (compound type)

We have seen that PHP does a lot of type-juggling on its own -- which can wreak havoc in unexpected ways -- but it is still up to us to produce code that is clear, maintainable AND follows the rules we want to follow.

When creating a PHP Object, it is sometimes unclear what makes two of them the same. But the good part is that we can say what is equal and what is not equal. For example, let's say we have a Student class that includes an equals() method which defines what is equal for this type of object.

<?php

#Student.php

class Student
{
 
/*
   * These variables are protected to prevent outside code
   * from tampering with them.
   */
 
protected $student_id;
  protected
$student_name;

  public function
__construct($id, $name)
  {
   
$this->student_id = (int)$id;          // cast to integer here
   
$this->student_name = (string)$name;   // cast to string here
 
}

 
/*
   * This function requires an instance of type Student and
   * only evaluates two integers that we set in __construct().
   */
 
public function equals(Student $student)
  {
    return (
$this->getId() == $student->getId());
  }

  public function
getId()
  {
    return
$this->student_id;
  }

  public function
getName()
  {
    return
$this->student_name;
  }

  public function
__toString()
  {
    return
'Student [id=' . $this->getId() .
   
', name=' . $this->getName() . ']';
  }
}
?>

With this class, the protected variables cannot be tampered with by outside code. Also, the __construct() function casts the variables to the PHP primitives WE WANT, while the equals(Student $student) function, requires an argument of type Student -- which eliminates the need for an IDENTITY '===' check AND prevents any other data types from coming in. One other note: notice how the equals() function only evaluates the $student_id, this allows for two students to have the same name -- which is totally possible.

Here's a short example -- we'll do it correctly AND try to screw it up!

<?php

require('Student.php');

$s1 = new Student(122, 'John Doe');
$s2 = new Student(344, 'John Doe');

echo
$s1 . '<br>'// Student [id=122, name=John Doe]
echo $s2 . '<br>'// Student [id=344, name=John Doe]

# Check for equality the CORRECT way...
echo ($s1->equals($s2) ? 'EQUAL' : 'NOT EQUAL');  // NOT EQUAL

# Check for equality by HACKING the known value of $student_id...
echo ($s1->equals(122) ? 'EQUAL' : 'NOT EQUAL');  // Catchable fatal error: Argument 1 passed to Student::equals() must be an instance of Student, integer given... etc, etc.

?>

See what I mean by writing code that follows OUR RULES? The Student class does the kind of type-juggling we want (and when we want it done) -- NOT when, where, or why PHP does it (not that there's anything wrong with it).
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0
Jeremy Swinborne
2 years ago
Beware of the consequences of comparing strings to numbers.  You can disprove the laws of the universe.

echo ('X' == 0 && 'X' == true && 0 == false) ? 'true == false' : 'sanity prevails';

This will output 'true == false'.  This stems from the use of the UNIX function strtod() to convert strings to numbers before comparing.  Since 'X' or any other string without a number in it converts to 0 when compared to a number, 0 == 0 && 'X' == true && 0 == false
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0
email at kleijn dot jp
3 years ago
Maybe i am overlooking something but it seems to me that using unset(string) inside a ternary operator creates an error.

(($var1==0 && $var2==0)?unset($var3):$var3=$var1+$var2);

result:
Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_UNSET

using the traditional form of IF...ELSE works normal.

if($var1==0 && $var2==0) { unset($var3); }
else { $var3=$var1+$var2; }

result:
This unsets var3 or creates a sum of var1+var2 for var3

JP Kleijn
Netherlands
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-1
Anonymous
5 years ago
Here is some ternary trick I like to use for selecting a default value in a set of radio buttons. This example assumes that a prior value was known and that we are offering a user the chance to edit that prior value. If no prior value was actually known, no default value will be set.

<form>
<input type='radio' name='gender' value='m' <?=($gender=='m')?"checked":""?>>Male
<input type='radio' name='gender' value='f' <?=($gender=='f')?"checked":""?>>Female
</form>

When a "=" directly follows a "<?" (no space allowed in between -- the trick does not work with "<?php"), the right side of the operand (here, the result of the ternary operation) is printed out as text into the surrounding HTML code. If using "<?php" form, you will need to do "<?php echo exp1?exp2:exp3 ?>" instead.
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-2
me at lx dot sg
4 years ago
Replying to the comment on Aug 6, 2010, the comparisons return TRUE because they are recognized as numerical strings and are converted to integers. If you try "abc" == " abc", it will return FALSE as expected. To avoid the type conversions, simply use the identity operator (===).
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-1
Boolean_Type
5 months ago
Nice and helpful article!)
I would like to ask:

number == null     - it converts both types of comparisons to a boolean or numeric type? In the table the author pointed out that to a boolean. But elsewhere I read that to a numeric type.
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-1
ISAWHIM
4 years ago
When it comes to formatting structure of the conditional statements, I found this to work best and retain logic in views...

<?php
$z
= 2;
$text = ($z===1 ? 'ONE'
 
: ($z===2 ? 'TWO'
 
: ($z===3 ? 'THREE'
 
: 'MORE' )));
echo(
$text); // RESULT='TWO'

// LONGHAND

$z = 2;
$text = ($z===1?'ONE' : ($z===2?'TWO' : ($z===3?'THREE' : 'MORE')));
echo(
$text); // RESULT='TWO'
?>

Since this is expected to test logic, and nothing more, only use it to test logic.

To test order, if you ever forget...

<?php
$z
= 1;
$text = ($z===1 ? 'FIRST : OUTTER'
 
: ($z===1 ? 'SECOND : INNER'
 
: ($z===1 ? 'THIRD : LAST'
 
: 'FAIL EVAL DEFAULT' )));
echo(
$text); // RETURN='FIRST : OUTTER'

$z = 2;
$text = ($z===1 ? 'FIRST : OUTTER'
 
: ($z===1 ? 'SECOND : INNER'
 
: ($z===1 ? 'THIRD : LAST'
 
: 'FAIL EVAL DEFAULT' )));
echo(
$text); // RETURN='FAIL EVAL DEFAULT'
?>

(IF ? THEN : ELSE)
(IF ? THEN : ELSE(IF ? THEN : ELSE(IF ? THEN : ELSE))

That can't be read from inside to out, unlike a math formula, because the logic in comparison is not the same. In math nesting, you need the solution to the deepest nested element first. In logic comparison, you always start outside before you compare inside. (Logically, IF there is no door THEN you need something ELSE to get inside. Oh, there is a window... We are inside, now IF there is a fridge THEN open it or ELSE you starve.)
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-1
monkuar at gmail dot com
5 years ago
U can even add a variable on that if u wish:

($Profile['skinstyle']=='0')? $lol = "selected":"";

then call it out.. alot faster. if u use EOF.. and such like on ibp :(
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-1
Amaroq
6 years ago
Most of the time, you may be content with your conditionals evaluating to true if they are evaluating a non-false, non-zero value. You may also like it when they evaluate to false when you use the number 0.

However, there may be times where you want to make a distinction between a non-false value and a boolean true. You may also wish to make a distinction between a boolean false and a zero.

The identity operator can make this distinction for you.

<?php
$a
= 'some string';
$b = 123;
$c = 0;

if(
$a && $b && (!$c))
{ echo
"True.\n"; } else { echo "False.\n"; }

if(
$a == true && $b == true && $c == false)
{ echo
"True.\n"; } else { echo "False.\n"; }

if(
$a === true || $b === true || $c === false)
{ echo
"True.\n"; } else { echo "False.\n"; }
?>

The above code outputs the following:
True.
True.
False.

As you can see, in the first two cases, $a and $b are considered true, while $c is considered false. If this wasn't the case, neither of the first two conditionals would have echoed "True."

In the last case, I've cleverly used the || operator to demonstrate that both $a and $b do not evaluate to true with the identity operator, nor does $c evaluate to false.

The === operator can be used to distinguish boolean from non-boolean values.
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-1
pcdinh at phpvietnam dot net
8 years ago
You should be very careful when using == with an result set returned from a query that can be an empty array, multi-dimensional array or a boolean false value (if the query failed to execute). In PHP, an empty array is equivalent to true.

<?php
$myArray
= array();

// check if there is any error with the query
if ($myArray == false)
{
    echo
"Yes";
}
?>

return Yes

Use === instead.
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-2
pinkgothic at gmail dot com
5 years ago
"Array with fewer members is smaller, if key from operand 1 is not found in operand 2 then arrays are uncomparable, otherwise - compare value by value (see following example)."

The example covers this behaviour, but it isn't immediately obvious, so:

If you're doing loose comparisons in PHP, note that they differ from checking each value individually like $value1==$value2 by adding what amounts to an empty($value1)==empty($value2) check into the mix. I found this out by investigating some (to me) bizarre behaviour.
[Note that the example contains no ==, just > and <. It's its absence that perceivedly 'causes empty() to fire'.]

I was also pleasantly surprised to see PHP recurse. Also clear if you keep in mind that the example implies another function call to itself with > and < if both operands are arrays, but IMO definitely worth stating.

It might also be worth noting that the order of array keys doesn't matter, even if a foreach() would see a 'different' array. Again, covered by the example, but might be worth stressing.
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-3
Mark Simon
3 years ago
The use of 5.3’s shortened ternary operator allows PHP to coalesce a null or empty value to an alternative:

$value = $planA ?: $planB;

My own server doesn’t yet run 5.3. A nice alternative is to use the “or” operator:

$value = $planA or $value = planB;
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-3
webmaster __AT__ digitalanime __DOT__ nl
10 years ago
WARNING!!!!

Let's say, we have this little script:

<?php
$username
= 'Me';
$guestusername = 'Guest';

echo
'Hello, ' . isset($i) ? 'my friend: ' . $username . ', how are you doing?' : 'my guest, ' . $guestusername . ', please register';
?>

What you want:
If $i is set, display:
Hello, my friend: Me, how are you doing?
If not, display:
Hello, my guest, Guest, please register

BUT, you DON'T get that result!

If $i is set, you get this:
my friend: Me, how are you doing? (so, there's not "Hello, " before it)
If $i is NOT set, you get this:
my friend: Me, how are you doing?

So... That's the same!

You can solve this by using the "(" and ")" to give priority to the ternary operator:

<?php
$username
= 'Me';
$guestusername = 'Guest';

echo
'Hello, ' . (isset($i) ? 'my friend: ' . $username . ', how are you doing?' : 'my guest, ' . $guestusername . ', please register');
?>

When $i is set, you get this:
Hello, my friend: Me, how are you doing? (expected)
When $i is NOT set, you get this:
Hello, my guest, Guest, please register (expected too)

So.. Please, don't be dumb and ALWAYS use the priority-signs (or.. How do you call them?), ( and ).
By using them, you won't get unneeded trouble and always know for sure your code is doing what you want: The right thing.
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-5
ken at smallboxsoftware net
6 years ago
This seems a bit odd to me, but PHP can convert two strings into integers during comparison.  For example: "700" == "+700" return true even though they are totally different strings.

Use === or strcmp when comparing two strings to ensure that they remain as strings during comparison.
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-3
Anonymous
7 years ago
Since php 5.2 the operator == for object vs object is not recursion safe, it will cause a fatal error if one of the objects contains a refernce to it self (indirect refferences also counts here).
If you are just checking if two object pointers points to the same object use === instead and aviod this issue (you might get a minimal speed bost too).
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-4
Hayley Watson
5 years ago
The cast from null to boolean is documented (on the page describing the boolean type: null->false), and so is the cast from boolean to integer (on the page describing the integer type: false->0), but the cast from null to integer is undefined and the fact that it is currently implemented by casting from null to boolean and then from boolean to integer is explicitly documented (on the page describing the integer type) as something that should not be relied on (so null==0 is true only by accident, but ((int)(bool)null)==0 is true per specification).

Perhaps as well as a "Converting to integer" section on the integer type page there should also be a "Converting from integer" section; similarly for the other types.
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-5
sven dot heyll at web dot de
9 years ago
Hi folks,
to the float comparison problem...

This worked for me:

<?php
//! compare two floating point values, return true if they are equal
//! (enough) or false otherwise
function float_equal($f1, $f2)
{
    return (
$f1 > $f2) ? (false) : (!($f1 < $f2));
}

// compare floats
$f1 = 0.037;
$f2 = 1000387.978;
echo
"$f1 and $f2 are ".(float_equal($f1,$f2)?("equal"):("not equal"))."<br />";
$f1 = 0.3;
$f2 = 0.3;   
echo
"$f1 and $f2 are ".(float_equal($f1,$f2)?("equal"):("not equal"))."<br />";
?>
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