The 5th Annual China PHP Conference

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Magnus Deininger, dma05 at web dot de
8 years ago
Note that even though PHP borrows large portions of its syntax from C, the ',' is treated quite differently. It's not possible to create combined expressions in PHP using the comma-operator that C has, except in for() loops.

Example (parse error):

<?php

$a
= 2, $b = 4;

echo
$a."\n";
echo
$b."\n";

?>

Example (works):
<?php

for ($a = 2, $b = 4; $a < 3; $a++)
{
  echo
$a."\n";
  echo
$b."\n";
}

?>

This is because PHP doesn't actually have a proper comma-operator, it's only supported as syntactic sugar in for() loop headers. In C, it would have been perfectly legitimate to have this:

int f()
{
  int a, b;
  a = 2, b = 4;

  return a;
}

or even this:

int g()
{
  int a, b;
  a = (2, b = 4);

  return a;
}

In f(), a would have been set to 2, and b would have been set to 4.
In g(), (2, b = 4) would be a single expression which evaluates to 4, so both a and b would have been set to 4.

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