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ActionScript: The Definitive Guide by Colin Moock

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The Comparison Operators

The comparison operators (also called relational operators) are used to determine which of two values appears first in a given order. Like the equality and inequality operators, the comparison operators return one of the Boolean values true or false indicating whether the relationship described in the comparison is accurate (true) or inaccurate (false).

Comparison operators work only with strings and numbers. When the two operands of a comparison operator are numbers, the comparison is performed mathematically: 5 < 10 is true, -3 < -6 is false, and so on. When the two operands of a comparison operator are strings, the comparison is performed according to character code points, as shown in Appendix B. See Section 4.6.2 in Chapter 4 for details on string comparisons.

The interpreter will attempt to convert any nonstring or nonnumeric data value used in a comparison operation to the string or number type. We’ll consider the effect of datatype conversions on comparison operations after we discuss the comparison operators themselves.

The Less-Than Operator

The less-than operator takes the general form:

                  operand1
                   < 
                  operand2

If the operands are numeric, the less-than operator returns the Boolean true if operand1 is mathematically smaller than operand2:

5 < 6        // true
5 < 5        // false; they are equal, but 5 is not less than 5
-3 < -6      // false; -3 is larger than -6
-6 < -3      // true;  -6 is smaller than -3

If the operands are strings, the less-than operator returns true if ...

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