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when are these needed {}

Posted on 2012-12-20
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Last Modified: 2012-12-20
if (Project.ProjectID == 0) PID = 1; else PID = 2;

Why does this not have to have the brackets. When are they optional

if (Project.ProjectID == 0)
{
PID = 1;
}
else
{
 PID = 2;
}
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Question by:Eamon
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1 Comment
 
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Accepted Solution

by:
käµfm³d   👽 earned 500 total points
ID: 38710073
Brackets are optional if the body of your if (or else if, or else) consists of only one line. In your example, they would be optional, meaning this is exactly equivalent:

if (Project.ProjectID == 0) 
    PID = 1;
else 
    PID = 2;

Open in new window


The problem with using this approach is that it is easy to overlook the fact that this is only valid for single-ling bodies. For example, this would be a compilation error:

if (Project.ProjectID == 0) 
    PID = 1;
    PID = 2;
else 
    PID = 2;

Open in new window


The reason this fails is because the PID = 1; is the body of the if. Then you have a separate line of code in PID = 2;. Then you have an else that does not have an associated if (because of the intermediate PID = 2; line.

In your first example, this is actually very difficult to read. It would be easy for someone to completely overlook the else if they were scanning over your code.
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