Unpack arrays conditionally in PHP

Amit Merchant · May 16, 2022 ·

Array unpacking is a sleek way of assigning the value of array elements to variables in one shot like so.

$user = ['Cherika', 'Merchant'];

[$firstName, $lastName] = $user;

echo $firstName; // Cherika
echo $lastName; // Merchant

Now, there might be a situation where the variable that holds the array could probably be null and so, in such a scenario, you would need to first check this like so.

$user = ['Cherika', 'Merchant'];

if ($user) {
    [$firstName, $lastName] = $user;
}

But recently, I got to know about an elegant way of doing so. i.e to unpack the array directly inside a condition like so.

$user = null;

if ([$firstName, $lastName] = $user) {
    // Won't be reached
}

Pretty sleek, no?

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