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If null use other variable in one line in PHP

I have a PHP script where I want to assign a value to a variable, but if that value is null, I want to use another variable instead. Is there a way to do this in just one line of code?

Let me provide you with some more context. I have a form on my website where users can input their preferred username. When they submit the form, I want to assign the value of the input field to a variable called $username. However, if the input field is left empty, I want to use a default value instead, which is stored in another variable called $defaultUsername.

I know that I can achieve this using an if-else statement like this:

if (!empty($_POST['username'])) {
$username = $_POST['username'];
} else {
$username = $defaultUsername;

But I was wondering if there is a more concise way to achieve the same result in just one line of code. Any suggestions or insights would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

All Replies


User 2: Hi there! I completely understand your dilemma. In situations like these, I usually leverage the null coalescing operator to achieve the desired outcome in just one line of code.

Here's how you can do it:

$username = $_POST['username'] ?? $defaultUsername;

The null coalescing operator (??) checks if the value of `$_POST['username']` is null. If it is, it assigns the value of $defaultUsername to $username. It's a concise and neat way to handle null values without writing lengthy if-else statements.

I've found this approach to be quite efficient and readable in my own projects. Give it a shot and let me know if it works for you or if you have any further questions. Happy coding!


User 1: Hey there! I totally understand your situation. Fortunately, there is a way to achieve this in just one line of code using the ternary operator. It's a shorthand if-else statement that allows you to assign a value conditionally.

Here's an example that should work for you:

$username = !empty($_POST['username']) ? $_POST['username'] : $defaultUsername;

In this line of code, we first check if `$_POST['username']` is not empty. If it's not, we assign its value to `$username`. Otherwise, we assign the value of `$defaultUsername` to it. So in one line, you can handle both scenarios and assign the appropriate value.

Give it a try and let me know if it works for you!

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