Training, Open Source Programming Languages

This is page http://www.wellho.net/mouth/4322_Lea ... t-if-.html

Our email: info@wellho.net • Phone: 01144 1225 708225

 
For 2021 - online Python 3 training - see ((here)).

Our plans were to retire in summer 2020 and see the world, but Coronavirus has lead us into a lot of lockdown programming in Python 3 and PHP 7.
We can now offer tailored online training - small groups, real tutors - works really well for groups of 4 to 14 delegates. Anywhere in the world; course language English.

Please ask about private 'maintenance' training for Python 2, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, etc.
Learning to Program - the conditional statement (if)

Every language has some sort of conditional statement. That's a way of looking at some sort of setting or status in the program and performing some sort of action based on that setting or status.

such statements take the form ...
  if {some sort of condition is true} then {run a group of statements}

if

The word if applies in every language that we teach at Well House Consultants at present, but how we define the condition, how we signify the end of the condition and the start of the group of statements, and how we stop and start that group varies.

Some definitions
- a BLOCK of code is a series of statements grouped together. Actually zero or more statements, as at times you'll want to have a "do nothing" group
- DELIMITERS are the characters or character groupings thet start and end blocks. They may be the words then and , they may be the characters { and }, or thy may be a pattern of spaces and tabs that insets the block in the source code. Sometimes they may be left out, and if the language supports that they imply a block of a single statement.

The condition that's used in an if statement if going to be an expression that evaluates to a "yes" or "no" value - true or false. Exactly what comprises true and false varies between languages - very often if your conditional expression works out at zero, that's false and it it works out to any other number, that's true. But numbers are only used in this way a small proportion of the time, as languages come with special oeprators which compare two values and return true or false based on that comparison. Commonly they are:
  == ... "is equal to"
  != ... "is not equal to"
  < ... "is less than"
  <= ... "is less than or equal to"
  > ... "is greater than"
  >= ... "is greater than or equal to"

But BEWARE ... in some languages (SQL and Lua) even these vary, and in many languages (Perl, PHP, Shell for example) there are alternatives which do somewhat different things, and in some (Java, Python, Ruby, SQL, C, C++ for example) there are functions (I'lltell you about those another time) which you may call to make alternative comparisons. In other words, you're never limited to just the six comarisons.

These are notes to accompany your "Learning to program in xxxxx" course at Well House Consultants, so I'm not going to attempt to describe all the options here. Instead, your tutor will demonstrate the first, most basic conditional statements to you at this point and let you try them out.

One of the question that comes up for newcomers to programming is "why do I need a closing delimiter?". It's needed to tell your program that you've reached then end of code that's only run in certain circumstances and you're back into "always" code beyond that point. Imagine that you're driving a car and you decide to pull into a service station:
  if (ineed == "loo") then { ......}
The block of code in the curly braces defines what you need to do in the service station, but then when you get backon the main road it's "carry on as before", even if one or two of the variables (such as your comfort level) have been amended. The closure is vital as it removes the need for all subsequent code to be repeated - it's an indication of the coming together.

elseif and else

Usually, you'll want to perform one action if a condition is true, and some different action if the condition is false. Whilst it would be possible for you to write the "opposite" if statement, that's ineffiecent (at writing and run time) and prone to error, so languages support some sort of otherwise statement.

You can follow an if with one or more elseif or elsif or elif clauses (the keyword varies from language to language!) which in each case will have a further condition attached to them, and they'll have a block of code that runs if that alternative condition is true.

Note that the order of the various conditions is important, as once a true condition is found as the code runs, that's the block that will be run and the following ones won't be, even if the condition on them is also true.

Finally, you may finish your if statement with else and a block to accompany it. This is your 'catch all' or safety net which will be performed if neither the if condition, nor any of the el[se]if conditions was true. The else is optional, you can only have one of them, and there is no condition attached to it.

nested and joined conditions

You'll often find that you want to test for conditions within conditions (i.e. within the block of what to do) and you can do this. If you've stopped at the service area above because you needed a natural break, you'll be making other subsidiary decisions in there about wheth to use the loo, have a coffee, buy sweets for the kids, call your desination to update your arrival time, etc. Note that you'll complete all of those extra actions before you complete the main action of making a stop at the service area ... So nested conditional start in the order 1, 2, 3 but end 3, 2, 1.

There are also times that you want to perform a certain action only if two conditions are true. You could do this with nested blocks, but you'll also have an alternative, typically using the words and or or to link up conditions into a single composite conditions. Very often, either && or & are alternatives (with subtle differences) for and, and or may be relplaced by || or |. This is a subject for much deeper study later in the course.

testing

As soon as you start introducing condtional code, you introduce multiple routes through the code so it becomes very important to give throught to a thorough testing regime.

As a minimum, you should test your progran before its use in a live application by running every single possible condition though its true and false routes. And you should consider also:
* Running your code such that all combinations of conditions are tested
* Testing your data where both valid and invalid user inputs are made
* Remember to test "boundary" conditions ... if you're testing for age under 18, run your code with (say) 16 and 20 ... BUT ALSO with 18 itself.

Testing gets to be repetitive and (let's admit it) a bit boring at times, and it's far too easy for us to skip. Yet it really should be repeated in full for each and every iteration / release of the code. We'll broach the detail of testing later on the course, but for the moment bear in mind that a standard set of tests, automated in a file so that you can easily rerun them, and with extra software to pick up hundreds or thousands of passes and the occasional fail is going to be far better that your programmer working through each and every test at every upgrade. You might even want to write the tests before you write the code that it's going to be testing - that's Test Driven Development or TDD
(written 2014-11-21, updated 2014-11-22)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
J704 - Java - Loops and Conditional Statements
  [353] Wimbledon Neck - (2005-06-20)
  [1220] for loop - how it works (Perl, PHP, Java, C, etc) - (2007-06-06)
  [1582] Ruby, C, Java and more - getting out of loops - (2008-03-19)
  [1696] Saying NOT in Perl, PHP, Python, Lua ... - (2008-07-04)
  [2734] for and foreach in Java - (2010-04-22)
  [3038] Setting up individual variables, and arrays, in Java - some commented examples - (2010-11-09)
  [3200] How a for loop works Java, Perl and other languages - (2011-03-12)
  [3397] Does a for loop evaluate its end condition once, or on every iteration? - (2011-08-18)
  [4323] Learning to program - Loop statements such as while - (2014-11-22)
  [4346] A behaviour driven example of writing a Java program - (2014-12-09)
  [4427] Java example - for loop and conditionals from course exercise - (2015-02-16)

R104 - Ruby - Control Structures
  [960] 1st, 2nd, 3rd revisited in Ruby - (2006-12-02)
  [962] Breaking a loop - Ruby and other languages - (2006-12-03)
  [985] Equality in Ruby - == eql? and equal? - (2006-12-14)
  [995] Ruby's case - no break - (2006-12-17)
  [1163] A better alternative to cutting and pasting code - (2007-04-26)
  [1587] Some Ruby programming examples from our course - (2008-03-21)
  [1738] Clean code, jump free (Example in Lua) - (2008-08-06)
  [1870] What to do with a huge crop of apples - (2008-11-04)
  [1887] Ruby Programming Course - Saturday and Sunday - (2008-11-16)
  [1891] Ruby to access web services - (2008-11-16)
  [1904] Ruby, Perl, Linux, MySQL - some training notes - (2008-11-23)
  [2287] Learning to program in Ruby - examples of the programming basics - (2009-07-15)
  [2471] A short form of if ... then ... else - (2009-10-23)
  [2619] Passing code to procedures and yield in Ruby - (2010-02-02)
  [2711] For loop - checked once, or evety time? Ruby v Perl comparison and contrast - (2010-04-07)
  [2892] Alternative loops and conditionals in Ruby and Perl - (2010-07-28)
  [2975] Why do I need brackets in Ruby ... or Perl, Python, C or Java - (2010-09-29)
  [3156] Splitting data reading code from data processing code - Ruby - (2011-02-04)
  [3158] Ruby training - some fresh examples for string handling applications - (2011-02-05)
  [3159] Returning multiple values from a function call in various languages - a comparison - (2011-02-06)
  [3253] Is this number between? Does this list include? - Ruby - (2011-04-18)
  [3254] Multiple inputs, multiple out, ruby functions - (2011-04-19)
  [3422] Assigning values to variables within other statements - Ruby - (2011-09-07)
  [3619] Ruby v Perl - a comparison example - (2012-02-21)
  [3620] Finding the total, average, minimum and maximum in a program - (2012-02-22)
  [3769] Muttable v immutable and implications - Ruby - (2012-06-20)
  [4370] Conditionals, loops and methods in Ruby - a primer with simple examples - (2014-12-29)
  [4402] Finding sum, minimum, maximum and average in Python (and Ruby) - (2015-01-19)
  [4503] Separating your code for easier testing, understanding and re-use; example in Ruby - (2015-06-02)
  [4504] Where does Ruby load modules from, and how to load from current directory - (2015-06-03)
  [4674] Alternating valuses / flip-flop / toggle - example in Ruby - (2016-05-17)

C203 - C and C based languages - Conditionals and Loops
  [1191] Smart English Output - via PHP and Perl ? : operator - (2007-05-18)
  [2002] New C Examples - pointers, realloc, structs and more - (2009-01-20)
  [2570] Function Prototypes in C - (2010-01-11)
  [3004] Increment operators for counting - Perl, PHP, C and others - (2010-10-18)
  [3121] New year, new C Course - (2011-01-05)
  [3243] Breaking the running sequence - an introduction to conditional statements and loops - (2011-04-11)
  [3384] Loops - a comparison of goto, while and for - (2011-08-10)
  [4337] Learning to program sample program - past its prime, but still useful - (2014-12-02)

T203 - Tcl/Tk - Conditionals and Loops
  [210] Joining lists in Tcl. Indirect variables in Tcl. - (2005-02-12)
  [1401] Tcl - using [] or {} for conditions in an if (and while) - (2007-10-23)
  [1477] Decisions - small ones, or big ones? - (2007-12-18)
  [2261] Tcl - nice and nasty - (2009-06-29)
  [2681] Tcl - a great engineering language - (2010-03-17)
  [3189] Tcl - the danger of square brackets in a while command - (2011-03-02)
  [3570] Trapping errors in Tcl - the safety net that catch provides - (2012-01-06)
  [3571] Comparing loop commands in Tcl - (2012-01-06)
  [4455] Working out distance between places, using OS grid references and a program in Tcl - (2015-03-11)

P204 - Perl - Conditionals and Loops
  [930] -> , >= and => in Perl - (2006-11-18)
  [1468] Lexical v Arithemetic testing, Bash and Perl - (2007-12-11)
  [1607] Learning to program in Perl - (2008-04-11)
  [1727] Equality and looks like tests - Perl - (2008-07-29)
  [2351] Ternary operators alternatives - Perl and Lua lazy operators - (2009-08-12)
  [2550] Do not copy and paste code - there are much better ways - (2009-12-26)
  [2832] Are you learning Perl? Some more examples for you! - (2010-06-27)
  [3895] Flowchart to program - learning to program with Well House - (2012-10-14)
  [4031] Showing what programming errors look like - web site pitfall - (2013-03-06)

U103 - Lua - Conditionals and loops
  [1685] Short circuit evaluation (lazy operator) in Lua - (2008-06-22)
  [2454] For loops in Lua - (2009-10-14)
  [2455] Lua examples - coroutines, error handling, objects, etc - (2009-10-15)
  [3558] Python or Lua - which should I use / learn? - (2011-12-21)
  [3686] The goto statement in Lua - (2012-04-06)
  [4272] Lazy operators in Lua - what they mean, and examples - (2014-05-05)
  [4574] repeat until in Lua - a one or more rather than a zero or more loop - (2015-11-05)

Y103 - Python - Conditionals and Loops
  [299] What - no switch or case statement? - (2005-05-03)
  [657] The ternary operator in Python - (2006-03-25)
  [668] Python - block insets help with documentation - (2006-04-04)
  [788] New - Conditional expressions in Python 2.5 - (2006-07-01)
  [835] Python - when to use the in operator - (2006-08-16)
  [909] Python is like a narrowboat - (2006-10-30)
  [1201] No switch in Python - (2007-05-23)
  [1661] Equality, sameness and identity - Python - (2008-05-31)
  [2778] Learning to program in Python 2 ... and / or in Python 3 - (2010-05-24)
  [2899] Groupsave tickets - 3 or 4 train tickets for the price of 2 - (2010-08-02)
  [3083] Python - fresh examples from recent courses - (2010-12-11)
  [3439] Python for loops - applying a temporary second name to the same object - (2011-09-14)
  [3762] Learning to program - the if statement. Python. - (2012-06-12)
  [4092] Identity in Python - (2013-05-17)
  [4210] If elif elif elif - multiway selection in Python - (2013-11-16)
  [4541] Setting up and tearing down with the Python with keyword - (2015-10-16)
  [4545] Method, Class, Module, Package - how to they relate in Python? - (2015-10-17)
  [4713] Equality (in Python) - (2016-10-30)
  [4723] Conditional operators in Python - (2016-11-05)

H104 - PHP - Control Statements
  [340] Code and code maintainance efficiency - (2005-06-08)
  [406] Assignment, equality and identity in PHP - (2005-08-08)
  [421] Don't repeat code - use loops or functions - (2005-08-21)
  [863] Double and Triple equals operator in PHP - (2006-09-12)
  [1199] Testing for one of a list of values. - (2007-05-22)
  [1825] Question Mark - Colon operator (Perl and PHP) - (2008-10-08)
  [2304] Extracting real data from an exported file in PHP or Perl - (2009-07-25)
  [2912] Predictions for the seagull population - (2010-08-09)
  [3914] While, for, foreach or something else to loop. - (2012-11-06)

Q100 - Object Orientation and General technical topics - Learning to Progam
  [116] The next generation of programmer - (2004-11-13)
  [1605] Learning and understanding scripting programming techniques - (2008-04-08)
  [1963] Best source to learn Java (or Perl or PHP or Python) - (2008-12-28)
  [1985] Learning to program as a part of your job - (2009-01-10)
  [2001] I have not programmed before, and need to learn - (2009-01-19)
  [2048] Learning to program in PHP, Python, Java or Lua ... - (2009-02-19)
  [2092] Tracking difficult bugs, the programmer / customer relationship - (2009-03-20)
  [2286] New to programming? It is natural (but needless) for you to be nervous - (2009-07-14)
  [2294] Can you learn to program in 4 days? - (2009-07-16)
  [2326] Learn a new programming language this summer. - (2009-08-06)
  [2504] Learning to program in ... - (2009-11-15)
  [2505] I almost put the bins out this morning - (2009-11-16)
  [2898] Programming Standards from the start! - (2010-08-02)
  [2973] Learning to program - where to start if you have never programmed before - (2010-09-28)
  [3120] Learning to write good programs in C and C++ - separating out repeated code - (2011-01-04)
  [3551] Some terms used in programming (Biased towards Python) - (2011-12-12)
  [4008] Reading and checking user inputs - first lessons - Ruby - (2013-02-17)
  [4318] Learning to Program - how we start to teach you at Well House Consultants - (2014-11-16)
  [4324] Learning to program - variables and constants - (2014-11-22)
  [4325] Learning to program - what are algorithms and design patterns? - (2014-11-22)
  [4326] Learning to program - comments, documentation and test code - (2014-11-22)
  [4575] Learning not just what a program does, but how to design it in the first place. - (2015-11-06)


Back to
Are administration / review charges on hotel guests acceptable?
Previous and next
or
Horse's mouth home
Forward to
Learning to program - Loop statements such as while
Some other Articles
Learning to Program - the conditional statement (if)
Are administration / review charges on hotel guests acceptable?
An example of Model-View-Controller techniques in a Perl / CGI script
PHP - some quick fixes if scripts have issues, and how to use our support
Java - an update of the basics
4759 posts, page by page
Link to page ... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96 at 50 posts per page


This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

Link to Ezine home page (for reading).
Link to Blogging home page (to add comments).

© WELL HOUSE CONSULTANTS LTD., 2021: 48 Spa Road • Melksham, Wiltshire • United Kingdom • SN12 7NY
PH: 01144 1225 708225 • EMAIL: info@wellho.net • WEB: http://www.wellho.net • SKYPE: wellho

PAGE: http://www.wellho.net/mouth/4322_Lea ... t-if-.html • PAGE BUILT: Sun Oct 11 16:07:41 2020 • BUILD SYSTEM: JelliaJamb