Jesse Schutt has posted a set of helpful hints around simplifying conditional expressions in your PHP code. This can not only make them more readable but also easier to maintain in the future.
As I’ve been reading through Refactoring by Martin Fowler, I’ve found it helpful to rewrite some of the examples from the book in PHP in order to cement the concepts into my mind. While Martin’s examples are primarily in Java, I’ve found an overwhelming majority of the concepts apply to PHP, which is where I spend most of my programming time.
In today’s article, I will attempt to rework the Simplifying Conditional Expressions (pp. 237-270) section into a handful of PHP-based examples.
He touches n a few different types of conditional refactoring and provides examples for each:
- Decomposing the Conditional
- Consolidate Conditional Expression
- Consolidate Duplicate Conditional Fragment
- Replace Nested Conditional with Guard Clause
He ends the post with a reminder about why refactoring like this is important to both you and your code:
Computers excel at taking sets of instructions and stepping through them systematically. They don’t need code to have informative method or variable names. They don’t even need the code to be formatted in a specific pattern (aside for the syntactical requirements). Our goal in simplifying conditional expressions should be to make the code read easier for humans, not for computers.