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  1. #1
    Senior Moderator - FMT Preferred Trainer - Consultant: Australia, New Zealand, Japan & Pacific Rim David Head's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Tip: Exiting a loop by incrementing and testing a variable

    Loops are used in FileMaker scripting for a range of operations. In many cases, you want the loop to run through a specified number of times and then exit. This can be done with a variable used as a counter. At the end of the loop, the counter is compared to something (a field value, the record count, etc) and will exit if the condition is true.

    A typical loop structure looks like this:

    Set Variable [$counter; 0]
    Loop
    # Do stuff here
    Set Variable [$counter; $counter + 1]
    Exit Loop If [$counter ≥ 10]
    End Loop

    But you can do the incrementing and testing of the variable in one step:

    Set Variable [$counter; 0]
    Loop
    # Do stuff here
    Exit Loop If [Let ($counter = $counter + 1; $counter ≥ 10)]
    End Loop

    The Let statement says, increment the variable and then return the result of the Boolean expression ($counter ≥ 10). If the expression returns 1 (true) then exit the loop; if not, go around again.

    So what's the point? Is it any faster? Probably not. But it does consolidate the operation of exiting the loop into a single coherent script step.

    Another interesting point is that the step before the loop to set the variable is not actually required in FileMaker Pro. If the $counter does not exist on the first loop, FileMaker Pro will create it.

    Now wouldn't it be cool if we could increment variables like some programming languages:

    $counter++
    Regards,
    David Head
    FileMaker 15 Certified Developer
    FBA Trainer
    LinkedIn Profile

    There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.
    H. L. Mencken, Prejudices: Second Series, 1920

  2. #2
    FMT Preferred FileMaker Consultant - Trainer jaymo67's Avatar
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    07-18-2017
    Nice tip David!
    FileMaker Developer for over two decades. Certified in FileMaker 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15.

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