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Say it ain't so – the “If-Not” conditional

Suppose, in a grandfather clock, we want to implement a chime for all hours except the 00:00 hrs and 12:00 hrs, for which there is a long ring.

Normally, we would check for each hourly time that is not a 12-hourly event, and for each comparison we would do the necessary sound effects. Or, if we are smart, combine all such comparison expressions with the logical OR operator (“||”) and do the check in just a single “if clause.” The pseudo-code would look something like this:

if (time == “01:00hrs” || time==”02:00hrs” || … || time ==”23:00hrs){

trace(“C*HIME” + time);

}else{

trace(“Long-Ring” + time);

}

Clearly, this approach will not serve us well, since we would have to connect together 22

ED: Commonly, spell out numbers under ten only.

expressions in one conditional using OR operators.

Recall that any conditional evaluates to a Boolean value. If the condition evaluates to true, then its COMPLEMENT evaluates to false, and vice-versa. What we need is a new operator: the NOT operator which is simply an exclamation point: !In the above example, if we want to check that the time is NOT '00:00', you'd simple write: if (!(time == “00:00”)) … See how easy that is?

With a little thought, we can do the entire problem that way. Restructuring the above pseudo-code, we can write the following logical equivalent:

if (! (time == “00:00hrs” || time == “12:00hrs)) { //if time is NOT 00:00 or 12:00

trace(“Chime” + time);

}else {

trace(“Long-Ring” + time);

}

Of course, the above code could be rearranged (mainly, the order of the if-else clauses) as:

if (time == “00:00hrs” || time == “12:00hrs”){

trace(“Long-Ring” + time);

}else {

trace(“Chime” + time);

}

Notice that when we turned a negative check to a positive check, the bodies of the if and else blocks were exchanged…the call to chime() went to the new else-clause, and the call to long-ring() went to the new if-clause. That is how Boolean logic works!

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