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Pike lets you compare things to each other.

OperationSyntaxResult

Same

a == b

1 if a is the same value as b, 0 otherwise

Not same

a != b

0 if a is the same value as b, 1 otherwise

Greater than

a > b

1 if a is greater than b, 0 otherwise

Greater than or equal to

a >= b

1 if a is greater to or equal to b, 0 otherwise

Lesser than

a < b

1 if a is less than b, 0 otherwise

Lesser than or equal to

a <= b

1 if a is less than or equal to b, 0 otherwise

As you may remember, Pike interprets the value zero (0) as false, and everything else is interpreted as true. The comparison operators give a truth value as result, and to simplify things they always return 0 for false and 1 for true.

The operators == and != can be used on any type. Note that these two operators check if two things are the same, not just if they are equal. For two things to be the same, first of all they have to have the same type. For example, 1 and 1.0 may be equal, but they are not the same.

All values of the basic types (integers, floating-point values, and strings) that are of the same type and that are equal, are also the same. The expressions 7 == 7 and "hi" == "hi" will always be true. With the other types, the so-called reference types, it is more difficult: Two arrays can have the same length and contain the same elements, but still be two separate arrays. For a comparison like a1 == a2 to be true, where a1 and a2 are array variables, they must refer to the same array, not just two similar arrays. (See also the section "The difference between basic types and reference types" in the chapter about data types.)

To check if two things are similar, even if they are not necessarily the same, you can use the function equal. This comparison will be true:

equal( ({ 7, 1, ({ 7 }) }), ({ 7, 1, ({ 7 }) }) )

but this one will be false:

({ 7, 1, ({ 7 }) }) == ({ 7, 1, ({ 7 }) })

The relational operators >, >=, <, and <= can only be used with integers, floating-point values, and strings. If you compare an integer with a floating-point value, the integer will be converted to a floating-point value before the comparison.

When comparing strings, lexical or "alphabetical" order is used. Different countries sort their alphabets in different order, and if your operating system supports this, Pike will too. For example, in Unix you can set the environment variables LC_CTYPE and LC_LANG, and Pike will use their values to determine the right sorting order.