# Ternary Operations outside of coding?

1. Feb 21, 2013

### OMGCarlos

I use the ternary operation in web development all the time, eg:
x = y > z ? a : b

Which reads, if x > y then a, otherwise b

I realize that it is just a shorthand for if...else statements, but even still, are there any mathematical properties associated with it? I know inequalities have special properties - for example, dividing both sides by a negative.

I recently picked up an elementary book on set theory and I keep thinking about this. It would be interesting to know that in certain cases, I can just skip the operation and automatically assign x to a-something

2. Feb 22, 2013

### Staff: Mentor

There aren't any mathematical properties associated with this operator. As you note, it's just a short hand way of writing if ( ... ) then (...).

x = y > z ? a : b

means if y > z, then set x to a. Otherwise, set x to b.

This is equivalent to the following C code:
Code (Text):

if (y > z)
{
x = a;
}
else
{
x = b;
}