Advanced Conditional StatementsS2C Home « Advanced Conditional Statements

This lesson is about using the switch....case....default construct to give us a more elegant approach to multiple condition testing of an expression than repeated else...if statements. These were described in JavaScript 1.5 Intermediate Tutorials - Lesson 3 - Conditional Statements. We also examine the Conditional special operator and how we use it.

The switch....case....default Construct

The switch statement is where we put the expression we are going to evaluate. Each case statement is evaluated against the switch expression and the statements within the case are processed on a match. We have the option to break from the switch after this if required. We can also code an optional default statement, which can act as a kind of catch all and is normally placed, at the end, after the case statements.

Let's look at an example of this trio of statements to get a feel for the mechanics.


// A switch where a case matches.
var aVariable == 'blue';
switch (aVariable) {
  case 'red':
    alert('colour is red');
    break;
  case 'blue':
    alert('colour is blue');
    break;
  case 'yellow':
    alert('colour is yellow');
    break;
  default:
    alert('Default as no case matches');
}

// A switch where no case matches.
var aVariable == 'gold';
switch (aVariable) {
  case 'red':
    alert('colour is red');
    break;
  case 'blue':
    alert('colour is blue');
    break;
  case 'yellow':
    alert('colour is yellow');
    break;
  default:
    alert('Default as no case matches');
}

Press the button below to action the above code:


The Conditional Special Operator

The Conditional special operator takes three operands and is often used as a shortcut replacement for the if....else construct. The operator consists of a condition and two expressions. The value of the first expression is returned if the condition evaluates to true. The value of the second expression is returned if the condition evaluates to false.

Following is an example of the Conditional special operator.


// The conditional operator.
var aBoolean = 'true';
alert((aBoolean == 'true' ? 'Evalutes to true' : 'Evalutes to false')); 
alert((aBoolean == 'false' ? 'Evalutes to true' : 'Evalutes to false'));

Press the button below to action the above code:


Lesson 1 Complete

In this lesson we looked at the switch....case....default construct and the Conditional special operator.

Related Tutorials

JavaScripts 1.5 Intermediate Tutorials - Lesson 3 - Conditional Statements

What's Next?

In the next lesson we look at errors and how we can channel our code to deal with them.

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