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### Re^6: Short form (ternary) if else

by Riales (Hermit)
 on Feb 08, 2012 at 23:20 UTC ( #952621=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^5: Short form (ternary) if else
in thread Short form (ternary) if else

I'm surprised by this result:
```ken@ganymede: ~/tmp
\$ perl -Mstrict -Mwarnings -E 'my \$x; 1 ? \$x=1 : \$x=0; say \$x;'
0
Do you know why \$x becomes 0?

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re^7: Short form (ternary) if else
by wrog (Friar) on Feb 08, 2012 at 23:32 UTC
operator precedence; ? : binds tighter than =. So

1 ? \$x=1 : \$x=0

really means

(1 ? \$x=1 : \$x)=0

which is then the same as

(\$x=1)=0

which is why \$x becomes 0.
You can use assignments within ? :, you just need to parenthesize them

1 ? \$x=1 : (\$x=0)

Ah, perfect explanation. I knew it had something to do with operator precedence but I just couldn't work out quite where it was happening. Thank you, good sir!
Re^7: Short form (ternary) if else
by kcott (Chancellor) on Feb 08, 2012 at 23:59 UTC

Adding parentheses to the second statement to show precedence, we get:

```( 1 ? ( \$x=1 ) : \$x ) = 0;

As the 2nd and 3rd arguments are lvalues, you can assign to the ternary operator. As the first argument (1) is TRUE, the assignment becomes:

```( \$x=1 ) = 0;

Which effectively boils down to:

```\$ perl -Mstrict -Mwarnings -E 'my \$x; (\$x = 1) = 0; say \$x;'
0

The link I gave above (perlop manpage - under Conditional Operator) has a fuller description.

-- Ken

Thanks all! I got my question answered and then some. Good discussion.

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