Oh Dear is the all-in-one monitoring tool for your entire website. We monitor uptime, SSL certificates, broken links, scheduled tasks and more. You'll get a notifications for us when something's wrong. All that paired with a developer friendly API and kick-ass documentation. O, and you'll also be able to create a public status page under a minute. Start monitoring using our free trial now.

Avoid using else

Original – by Freek Van der Herten – 1 minute read

Using else often encourages complexer code structure, makes code less readable. In most cases you can refactor it using early returns.

In this piece of code, it takes some brainpower to determine when those else conditions will be reached.

if ($conditionA) {
   if ($conditionB) {
      // condition A and B passed
   }
   else {
     // condition A passed, B failed
   }
}
else {
   // condition A failed
}

Using early returns this becomes much more readable, because there aren't as many nested paths to follow. Our code has become more linear.

if (! $conditionA) {
   // condition A failed

   return;
}

if (! $conditionB) {
   // condition A passed, B failed

   return;
}

// condition A and B passed

Flattening code" by removing nested structures makes it so that we don't have to think as hard to understand the possible paths our code can take. It has a significant impact on readability.

To get more tips on code readability subscribe to the mailinglist at Writing Readable PHP.

Stay up to date with all things Laravel, PHP, and JavaScript.

Follow me on Twitter. I regularly tweet out programming tips, and what I myself have learned in ongoing projects.

Every month I send out a newsletter containing lots of interesting stuff for the modern PHP developer.

Expect quick tips & tricks, interesting tutorials, opinions and packages. Because I work with Laravel every day there is an emphasis on that framework.

Rest assured that I will only use your email address to send you the newsletter and will not use it for any other purposes.

Comments

What are your thoughts on "Avoid using else"?

Want to join the conversation? Log in or create an account to post a comment.