Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Conditional Statements

One of the most important things in any program is the control flow. Objective-C has a very standard method of doing this. The keywords "if" "then" and "else" are found in almost every programming language.

To demonstrate this feature, we will make further amendments to the HelloWorld project we've been working on. Let's suppose we want a way of testing if our Person object is old enough to vote (in the USA, that's 18). To do this, we'll add a method called "oldEnoughToVote". Add the following method prototype to the interface of the Person class (right below -(void) setWeight...):

-(void) oldEnoughToVote;

Next we need to write the code for this method in Person's implementation. Insert the following lines of code in between @implementation and @end.

1 -(void) oldEnoughToVote{
2 if(age>=18){
3 NSLog(@"I am old enough to vote!\n");
4 }
5 else {
6 NSLog(@"I am NOT old enough to vote!\n");
7 }
8 }

Line 1 is the name of the method.
Line 2 is a conditional statement. It only executes the code in Line 3 if the condition between the parentheses is true. In this case, the condition is that the person's age needs to be greater than or equal to 18.
Line 3 is a print statement to the console.
Line 5 is an "else" statement, which the program jumps to if the condition in Line 3 is not met.
Line 6 is an alternative print statement to the console.

We're almost done! Now lets test this method in our main program. Insert the following lines of code in the "main" routine. You can go ahead and delete any other code that's between the brackets from previous lessons. Your new main routine should look like this:

1 int main (int argc, const char * argv[]) {
2 NSAutoreleasePool * pool = [[NSAutoreleasePool alloc] init];
4 Person * junior;
5 junior = [Person alloc];
6 junior = [junior init];
8 [junior setAge:16];
9 [junior oldEnoughToVote];
10 [junior setAge:23];
11 [junior oldEnoughToVote];
13 [junior release];
14 [pool drain];
15 return 0;
16 }

Line 8 sets junior's age at 16. Line 9 tests if he's old enough to vote, and prints the answer to the console.
Line 10 changes junior's age to 23. Line 11 tests again and prints the answer to the console.

Click build and run at the top of your Xcode window to see this program in action! Make sure your console window is open, you can click 'Console' under the 'Run' menu at the top of the screen, or press SHIFT-COMMAND-R.

As you can see, when the oldEnoughToVote is called the first time, junior is only 16 and the program informs the user that he cannot vote. When we change his age to 23, the program retests and prints a different statement.

Stay tuned for more lessons on control flow. I think we'll do loops next time...


  1. Thanks for sharing this. I found it pretty interesting =3=

  2. This blog is awesome! more C and C++ tutotorials!

  3. Glad I'm finally cracking the books on programming again, this is a great way to ease me back into things.

  4. Hm I'm not really into programming but it looks interesting :-D Keep it up!

  5. Very informative.. this stuff is confusing though.

  6. I'm in way over my head on this blog :D

  7. I'll try to reproduce your tutorials from now on.

  8. very interesting, I've always wanted to learn programming but I feel it's too late for me now

  9. i need to learn more coding stuff

  10. Like this kind of control flow, more c++ guides! :)

  11. i'm afraid i don't understand the blog but
    even at the risk of learning something :)

  12. Interesting!


  13. i feel like a nerd now.......

  14. keep em coming. i'm taking a programming class this fall and i'd love to go in already knowing alot of stuff.