# 4. Operators

Operators are used with one or more values (or expressions) which yields another value (so that the operator itself becomes an expression). Expressions can be combinations of operators, functions and variables. Below are the available operator types described. Note that operators are always part of expressions. If no parentheses are used when combining multiple operators within a statement, the expression is resolved from left to right. Therefore, the expression `2 + 2 . "test"` will return `"4test"`. The exception is multiplication, division and modulus, which has higher priority than plus and minus.

## 4.1. Assignment

Assignments will store the value of the expression to the right of the equal sign (=) in a variable to the left. An expression consisting of an assignment will have the value that was assigned. This is useful when assigning a variables in e.g. if statements.

```\$var = 42;
if ((\$random = rand(0, 9)) > 5) echo "\$random is larger than 5";
```

### 4.1.1. Augmented assignment

Augmented assignment operators are documented in the arithmetic chapter.

```\$var = 5;
\$var = \$var + 5; // 10

\$var = 5;
\$var += 5; // 10
```

Note

Assignments which could be written as augmented assignments are automatically optimized as such by the compiler.

Warning

An assignment to “self” (the same variable) on the right side of an augmented assignment yields “undefined” behavior and should not be relied upon.

```\$var = 5;
\$var += (\$var = 10);
```

### 4.1.2. Destructuring assignment

Destructuring assignment assigns variables with values taken from an array value. If the value is not an array, all variables will be assigned none (rest variables defaults to an empty array) or its default value.

```[\$a, \$b, \$c = 3] = [1, 2];
echo \$a; // 1
echo \$b; // 2
echo \$c; // 3 // default value
```

The rest variable syntax may be used to collect the rest of the array values in a destructuring assignment. This variable has to come last in the destructuring assignment list. The type of the rest variable is always an array.

```[\$a, \$b, ...\$c] = [1, 2, 3, 4];
echo \$c; // [3, 4]
```

Keyed index assignments are also supported.

```[
"result" => \$result = [],
"error" => \$error = none,
"dnssec" => \$dnssec = false
] = dns_query("halon.io", ["extended_result" => true]);
```

It’s however not possible to mix keyed with unkeyed assignments.

Note

If there is less variables in the assignment list than array values, the remaining values will be discarded. If you don’t use the rest variable syntax.

```[\$a] = [0, 1, 2];
[\$a, ...\$c] = [1, 2, 3];
```

If there is more variables in the assignment list than array values, the remaining variables will be assigned the value of none (rest variables defaults to an empty array) or its default value.

```[\$a, \$b = 1, \$c = 2] = ;
[\$a, \$b, ...\$c] = [1, 2];
```

### 4.1.3. Slice assignment

Slice assignments uses the slicing syntax to add, remove or replace items in an array by using the slice operator on the left side of an assigment. The slice referred to will be removed while the items on the right side of the assigment operator will be inserted in place right after the removed items.

```\$var = [1, 2, 7, 5];
\$var[2:3] = [3, 4]; // 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
```

## 4.2. Arithmetic

These are the arithmetic operators supported, most of which operates on numbers. The operator associativity follow the rules of most languages (e.g. C); explicit parentheses may be added to change or clarify the expression.

```\$var = (3 - 2) + 2;
```

Operator

Augmented assignment

Augmented assignment expansion

+

+=

x = x + y

Increment

++

x++ and ++x

Subtraction

-

-=

x = x - y

Decrement

`--`

`x--` and `--x`

Multiplication

*

*=

x = x * y

Division

/

/=

x = x / y

Modulus

%

%=

x = x % y

Exponentiation

**

**=

x = x ** y

Concatenation

.

.=

x = x . y

Precedence

Operator

Associativity

1

.

Left to right

2

+ -

Left to right

3

* / %

Left to right

4

**

Right to left

Note

HSL has constant folding, so numeric calculations are done at compile-time. Which means that `3600 * 24` is just as fast as using the constant `86400`.

Note

The ** operator should be used for performance instead of the `pow()` function.

## 4.3. String

Strings support the subscript and slicing operator documented in the array section.

### 4.3.1. Concatenation

It’s possible to use the `.` concatenation operator on any data type (except `None`), in which case both operands will be casted to a string.

```echo "Hello " . "World";
echo "A number " . 5.5;
echo 1.0 . 2.5; // "12.5"
```

### 4.3.2. Format

The string format operator `%`, allows you to interpolate values into a string using different format specifiers. On the left side of the operator is the template string and on the right side of the operator there must be an array with values.

```%[argument][[fill]align][width][.precision]type
```
 argument “[” integer “]” fill “’” align “<” (left) | “>” (right) | “^” (center) | “=” (align after sign) width integer precision integer type “s” (string) | “f” (number) | “x” (hex) | “c” (char) | “b” (binary)

The default argument is the next value in the array. If an argument is specified (indexed at zero), the next implicit argument is `n + 1`. The default fill character is a space, but that can be changed to any characters. The default alignment is left with the exception for numbers which has right. For strings the precision acts as a cut-off point (max length). Unsupported options for a specific type is simply ignored. To print a literal `%` in a format string replace it with `%%`.

```echo "Hello %s!" % [ "World" ];
```

### 4.3.3. Repeat

Strings may be repeated mutiple times using the `*` multiplication operator. It doesn’t matter on which side of the operator the multiplier is.

```echo "x" * 8; // xxxxxxxx
echo 8 * "x"; // xxxxxxxx
```

## 4.4. Array

### 4.4.1. Subscript

Single items in arrays can be accessed using the subscript (`[]`) operator. This operator may be used on variables, literals or functions.

If reading and the index doesn’t exist, `None` is returned.

```\$var = ["bar", "bar"];
```

If assigning to a variable and the index is not found, the variable is converted to an array and the item is created.

```\$var = [];
\$var = "baz";
echo \$var; // "baz"
```

If assigning to a variable and the subscript operator is empty `[]`, the item will be appended to the array (the variable is converted to an empty array first if needed).

```\$var = [];
\$var[] = "baz";
echo \$var; // "baz"
```

Numeric indexes are zero based. If the indexing is sequential (starting from zero) the array allows for direct access (random access) where reads and stores are done in constant O(1) time.

```+---+---+---+---+---+
| H | a | l | o | n |
+---+---+---+---+---+
0   1   2   3   4
```

It’s possible to chain the index operator with the [:] slicing operator.

The following key casting rules apply.

• Booleans are casted to numbers (0 and 1).

• Strings (“1”) containing integers are casted to numbers (1).

• Numbers (1.10) are casted to integers (1) ignoring the decimal part (x.10). 32bit signed integers are used.

• All other values are matched as-is.

```echo ["1"=>123]; // [1=>123]
echo [1.9=>123]; // [1=>123]
echo ["1.9"=>123]; // ["1.9"=>123]
```

Note

Use the `isset()` function to check if a key (index) exists in an array.

### 4.4.2. Slicing

Slicing is done using the [first:last:step] operator. The indexes of each side of the : may be omitted, first index default to 0, and last index default to the length of the input, thus [:] will return a copy of the inputs values but the keys will re-indexed (numerically). The first index is inclusive and the last index is exclusive. Negative indexes are supported. If indexes causes out-of-bound, an empty type (array or string) is returned. The slicing operator works the same on arrays and strings. Indexes are counted as if the input was iterated; thus associative arrays have no special meaning. The step argument is default 1 thus returning all elements in the sequence, but it can be used to eg. every even (2) item. If the step is negative (eg -1) the sequence will be iterated backwards, causing the elements to be returned in reverse order.

``` +---+---+---+---+---+
| H | a | l | o | n |
+---+---+---+---+---+
0   1   2   3   4   5
-5  -4  -3  -2  -1
```
```\$test = "Halon";
echo \$test[:]; // Halon
echo \$test[1:4]; // alo
echo \$test[-1:]; // n
echo \$test[-3:]; // lon
echo \$test[-5:-2]; // Hal
echo \$test[:2] . \$test[2:]; // Halon
echo "Halon"[::-1]; // "nolaH"
```

### 4.4.3. Push and pop

Operation

HSL

PHP

shift

\$array = \$array[1:];

array_shift(\$array);

unshift

\$array = [“item”] + \$array;

array_unshift(\$array, “item”);

pop

\$array = \$array[:-1];

array_pop(\$array);

push

\$array = \$array + [“item”];

array_push(\$array, “item”);

push

\$array = \$array + “item”;

array_push(\$array, “item”);

push

\$array[] = “item”;

array_push(\$array, “item”);

When adding two arrays together, associative keys will be merged (the first array’s data will overwritten where keys conflict) and numeric indexes will be incremented (regardless if they conflict or not).

### 4.4.4. Removing

In order to remove specific value(s) from an array (and if push and pop is not appropriate) use the subtraction (`-`) operator to remove based on value (all value matched will be removed) and `unset()` to remove based on a specific key (index) or slice. The subtraction operator supports both single items and arrays (where all values will be removed). The array will not be re-indexed (for that use the slice operator (`\$var = \$var[:]`).

```echo ["foo", 5] - 5; // [0=>"foo"]
echo ["foo", "foo", 5] - "foo"; // [2=>5]
echo ["foo", 5] - ["foo", 5]; // []
```

Note

Use the `unset()` function to unset values based on the key (index) or slice.

### 4.4.5. Repeat

Arrays may be repeated mutiple times using the `*` multiplication operator. It doesn’t matter on which side of the operator the multiplier is.

```echo ["x", "y"] * 2; // [x, y, x, y]
echo 8 * ["x", "y"]; // [x, y, x, y]
```

The spread operator allows arrays to be expanded in place of multiple arguments in function calls and in array literals.

```\$parts = ["second", "second to last"];
echo ["first", ...\$parts, "last"];
// [0=>"first",1=>"second",2=>"second to last",3=>"last"]
```

## 4.5. Logic (boolean)

Logic operators treats all expressions and variables as either true or false. The truthiness depends on the data type.

Test

Operator

Descriptions

and

and

And operator

or

or

Or operator

not

not

Not operator

not

!

Not operator

### 4.5.1. Short-circuit evaluation

The `and` and `or` operations are short-circuit. They will only evaluate the right statement if the left one doesn’t satisfy the condition. In the example below, `bar()` is not executed because `foo()` return true, thus satisfying the condition.

```function foo() { return true; }
function bar() { return false; }

if (foo() or bar()) echo "foo or bar";
```

## 4.6. Bitwise

Bitwise operators treat their operands as 32 bits signed integers (except for zero-fill right shift `>>>` which is unsigned) in two’s complement format. The result of these operators are regular numbers.

Test

Operator

Descriptions

and

&

Bitwise AND operator

or

|

Bitwise OR operator

xor

^

Bitwise XOR operator

not

~

Bitwise NOT operator

<<

<<

>>

>>

Shift right, sign-propagating

>>>

>>>

Shift right, zero-fill

```\$flags = 5;

\$flagA = 0b0001;
\$flagB = 0b0010;
\$flagC = 0b0100;
\$flagD = 0b1000;
if (\$flags & (\$flagB | \$flagC)) echo "match";
```

## 4.7. Comparison

These operators compare the expressions (operands) on both sides of the operator with one another, and the expression return either true or false if they matched.

Test

Description

Works on types

loose equality

==

Matches for equality

Any

loose inequality

!=

Matches for inequality

Any

strictly typed equality

===

Matches for strict equality

Any

strictly typed inequality

!==

Matches for strict inequality

Any

less than

<

Matches for less than

Numbers

greater than

>

Matches for greater than

Numbers

less or equal than

<=

Matches for less or equal than

Numbers

greater or equal than

>=

Matches for greater or equal than

Numbers

regular expression

=~

Matches for equality using regular expressions

Strings

inequality regular expression

!~

Matches for inequality using regular expressions

Strings

### 4.7.1. Loose equality table

If comparing two operands of different data type using the `==` operator, the result may be “unexpected”, therefore you should preferable always explicitly convert them using functions like `number()` and `string()`.

A \ B

None

Boolean

Numbers

String

Vector

Function

Object

Resource

None

true

false

false

false

false

false

false

false

Boolean

false

A === B

number(A) === B

A === boolean(B)

A === boolean(B)

A === boolean(B)

A === boolean(B)

A === boolean(B)

Numbers

false

A === number(B)

A === B

A === number(B)

A == boolean(B)

A == boolean(B)

A == boolean(B)

A == boolean(B)

String

false

boolean(A) === B

number(A) === B

A === B

false

false

false

false

Vector

false

boolean(A) === B

boolean(A) == B

false

A === B

false

false

false

Function

false

boolean(A) === B

boolean(A) == B

false

false

A === B

false

false

Object

false

boolean(A) === B

boolean(A) == B

false

false

false

A === B

false

Resource

false

boolean(A) === B

boolean(A) == B

false

false

false

false

A === B

### 4.7.2. Truthiness

Truthiness of a value tells if the value is considered `true` eg. when using them as conditions in if statements.

Type

Truthiness

None

false

Boolean

x

Numbers

x != 0

String

! empty(x)

Vector

! empty(x)

Function

true

Object

true

Resource

true

### 4.7.3. Regular expression

The regular expression operator (`=~` and not-match `!~` operator) matches a string by default using partial matching against a regular expression. That means it allows a substring to match. To explicit mark the beginning or end of a pattern, use `^` for beginning and `\$` for the end.

```if (\$var =~ #/\bhalon\b/) echo "contain the word halon";
```

Note

If using raw strings with regular expressions there is no need to escape some characters twice. Literal strings (both double-quoted (without variable interpolation) and raw strings) as regular expressions will be precompiled for greater performance.

For data extraction using regular expressions see `pcre_match()` family of functions.

## 4.8. Function

### 4.8.1. Call

Functions may be called using the `()` operator. It applies to both regular functions as well as anonymous functions and named function pointers.

```\$multiply = function (\$x, \$y) { return \$x * \$y };
echo \$multiply(3, 5); // 5
```

## 4.9. Class

### 4.9.1. Property

The property operator (`->`) may be used to access (non-static) variables and functions on objects (class instances). It acts the same as the subscript operator (`[]`).

```class makeCounter
{
constructor() { \$this->n = 0; }
function inc() { \$this->n += 1; }
function get() { return \$this->n; }
}
\$counter1 = makeCounter();

\$counter1->inc();   // 1
\$counter1["inc"](); // 2
echo \$counter1->get(); // prints 2
```

### 4.9.2. Scope resolution

The scope resolution operator (`::`) is used to access static variables and functions on classes.

```class-name :: function
class-name :: \$variable
```
```class MyClass
{
static \$x = 5;
static function getX() { return MyClass::\$x; }
}
echo MyClass::\$x; // 5
echo MyClass::getX(); // 5
```

#### 4.9.2.1. Static

The scope resolution operator can use the `static` keyword in the same class as a shorthand for the class name itself.

```class MyClass
{
static \$x = 5;
static function getX() { return static::\$x; }
}
```