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Incrementing/Decrementing Operators

PHP supports C-style pre- and post-increment and decrement operators.

Table 10-5. Increment/decrement Operators

ExampleNameEffect
++$aPre-incrementIncrements $a by one, then returns $a.
$a++Post-incrementReturns $a, then increments $a by one.
--$aPre-decrementDecrements $a by one, then returns $a.
$a--Post-decrementReturns $a, then decrements $a by one.

Here's a simple example script:

<?php
echo "<h3>Postincrement</h3>";
$a = 5;
echo "Should be 5: " . $a++ . "<br />\n";
echo "Should be 6: " . $a . "<br />\n";

echo "<h3>Preincrement</h3>";
$a = 5;
echo "Should be 6: " . ++$a . "<br />\n";
echo "Should be 6: " . $a . "<br />\n";

echo "<h3>Postdecrement</h3>";
$a = 5;
echo "Should be 5: " . $a-- . "<br />\n";
echo "Should be 4: " . $a . "<br />\n";

echo "<h3>Predecrement</h3>";
$a = 5;
echo "Should be 4: " . --$a . "<br />\n";
echo "Should be 4: " . $a . "<br />\n";
 ?>

PHP follows Perl's convention when dealing with arithmetic operations on character variables and not C's. For example, in Perl 'Z'+1 turns into 'AA', while in C 'Z'+1 turns into '[' ( ord('Z') == 90, ord('[') == 91 ). Note that character variables can be incremented but not decremented.

Example 10-1. Arithmetric Operations on Character Variables

<?php
$i = 'W';
for($n=0; $n<6; $n++)
  echo ++$i . "\n";

/*
  Produces the output similar to the following:

X
Y
Z
AA
AB
AC

*/
 ?>

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