Operators
Operate all things++==!^%/\
Operators are the foundation of any programming language. Operators are symbols that help a programmer to perform specific mathematical, structuring, destructuring, and logical computations on operands (variables or expressions). We can categorize the CFML operators into the following categories:
Arithmetic/Mathematical
Assignment
Logical
Comparison
Ternary
Elvis (Null Coalescing)
Function
Collections
You will see that CFML does not have native bitwise operators, but it does implement bitwise operations via functions since functions can also be operators in CFML: bitAnd, bitMaskClear, bitMaskRead, bitMaskSet, bitNot, bitOr, bitSHLN, bitSHRN, bitXOR
. You can find much more information here: https://cfdocs.org/math%2Dfunctions
For more information about bitwise operations, you can read more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitwise_operation
CFML does not offer the capability to overload operators like other languages.
Operator Precedence
The order of precedence exists in CFML, just like in mathematics. You can also control the order of precedence by using the grouping operator ()
like in mathematics, the magical ordering parenthesis.
Remember that using parenthesis (Grouping Operator)
is very important to denote precedence.
Arithmetic Operators
These operators are used to perform arithmetic/mathematical operations on operands.
Operator  Name  Description 

 Add 

 Subtract 

 Multiply 

 Divide 

 Exponentiate 

 Modulus / Remainder 

 Integer Divide 

 Increment 

 Decrement 

 Negate 

 Positive 

 Grouping  The grouping operator is used just like in mathematics, to give precedence to operations.

Assignment Operators
These operators are usually used for compound evaluations and assignments.
Operator  Name  Description 

 Assignment 

 Compound Add 

 Compound Substract 

 Compound Multiply 

 Compound Divide 

 Compound Modulus 

 Compound Concatenation  A way to concatenate strings together

 Concatenation  Concatenates two strings: 
Logical Operators
Logical operators perform logic between values or values, usually denoting a boolean
result.
Operator  Name  Description 

 Negation 

 And  Returns true if both operands are true.

 Or  Returns true if either operand is true.

 Exclusive Or  Returns true when either of the operands is true (one is true, and the other is false), but both are not true, and both are not false.

 Equivalence  The exact opposite of an exclusive or. Meaning that it will return true when both operands are either true or false.

 Implication  A implies B is equivalent to 
Comparison Operators
Comparison operators are used when comparing two values, expressions, or variables. The return of a comparison is either true
or false
.
Operator  Name  Description 

 Equality  True if 
 Not Equal  The opposite of equality: 
 Identity  Returns true if the operands are equal in value and in type.

 Negated Identity  Same as the identity operator but negating the result. 
 Greater than  If the left operand is greater in value than the right operand 
 Greater than o equal  If the left operand is greater than or equal in value than the right operand 
 Less than  If the left operand is less than in value than the right operand 
 Less than or equal  If the left operand is less than or equal in value than the right operand 
 Contains  Returns true if the left operand contains the right one.

 Negated contains  Returns true if the left operand does NOT contain the right one.

Ternary Operator
The ternary operator is a conditional operator that works just like an ifthenelse
statement but in shorthand syntax. It has three operands:
The condition
must evaluate to a Boolean
value. If true
then the value1
will be used, or else value2
will be used. You can combine this operator with parenthesis, Elvis operators, etc., to build rich expressions.
Elvis Operator (Null Coalescing)
The Elvis operator is usually referred to as the null coalescing operator. Its name comes from the symbol it represents, which looks like Elivs hair turned sideways: ?:
. If the expression to the operator's left is null
, then the expression on the right will be evaluated as the result of the expression.
Here is a simple example:
Please note that we have seen inconsistencies in both Adobe and Lucee engines regarding the implementation of this operator. I would avoid using it in Adobe 2018 as it is broken in several cases.
Function Operators
In CFML, functions can act as operators as well, as you can use the results of the function call as the operands. Function arguments can also act as expressions, and you can even pass more functions into functions as arguments or even return functions from functions. Now that's a fun tongue twister.
Collections Operators
Many operators can work on collection objects like arrays, structs, and queries. So let's start investigating them.
Safe Navigation Operator
The Safe Navigation operator avoids accessing a key in a structure or a value in an object that does null
or doesn't exist. Typically when you have a reference to an object, you might need to verify that it exists before accessing the methods or properties of the object. To avoid this, the safe navigation operator will return null
instead of throwing an exception, like so:
Spread Operator
The spread operator allows an iterable object to expand and merge in certain declarations in code. These objects in CFML are mostly arrays and structures. This operator can quickly merge all or parts of an existing array or object into another array or object. This operator is used by leveraging three dots ...
in specific expressions.
You can accomplish the result of the spread operator with the append()
member function or traditional function in a very elegant and userfriendly syntax. It also allows you NOT to do chaining but inline expressions.
The Spread syntax also allows an iterable such as an array expression or string, to be expanded in places where zero or more arguments (for function calls) are expected. Here are some examples to help you understand this operator:
Function Calls
Array Definitions
Struct Definitions
Rest Operator
Only available in ACF 2021+ and for function arguments
The Rest function operator is similar to Spread Operator but behaves oppositely. The spread syntax expands the iterable constructs into individual elements, and the Rest syntax collects and condenses them into a single construct, usually an array. Please note that this operator only works on function arguments as of now.
Imagine I need to create a function that takes in an unlimited number of Identifiers, so I can return all items that have that ID:
You can also combine them in functions with other arguments:
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