# While loop

__: Control flow statement for repeating execution until a condition is met__

**Short description**Loop constructs |
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In most computer programming languages, a **while loop** is a control flow statement that allows code to be executed repeatedly based on a given Boolean condition. The *while* loop can be thought of as a repeating if statement.

## Overview

The *while* construct consists of a block of code and a condition/expression.^{[1]} The condition/expression is evaluated, and if the condition/expression is *true*,^{[1]} the code within all of their following in the block is executed. This repeats until the condition/expression becomes false. Because the *while* loop checks the condition/expression before the block is executed, the control structure is often also known as a **pre-test loop**. Compare this with the *do while* loop, which tests the condition/expression *after* the loop has executed.

For example, in the C programming language (as well as Java, C#,^{[2]} Objective-C, and C++, which use the same syntax in this case), the code fragment

int x = 0; while (x < 5) { printf ("x = %d\n", x); x++; }

first checks whether x is less than 5, which it is, so then the {loop body} is entered, where the *printf* function is run and x is incremented by 1. After completing all the statements in the loop body, the condition, (x < 5), is checked again, and the loop is executed again, this process repeating until the variable x has the value 5.

Note that it is possible, and in some cases desirable, for the condition to *always* evaluate to true, creating an infinite loop. When such a loop is created intentionally, there is usually another control structure (such as a break statement) that controls termination of the loop.
For example:

while (true) { // do complicated stuff if (someCondition) break; // more stuff }

## Demonstrating *while* loops

These *while* loops will calculate the factorial of the number 5:

### ActionScript 3

var counter: int = 5; var factorial: int = 1; while (counter > 1) { factorial *= counter; counter--; } Printf("Factorial = %d", factorial);

### Ada

with Ada.Integer_Text_IO; procedure Factorial is Counter : Integer := 5; Factorial : Integer := 1; begin while Counter > 0 loop Factorial := Factorial * Counter; Counter := Counter - 1; end loop; Ada.Integer_Text_IO.Put (Factorial); end Factorial;

### APL

counter ← 5 factorial ← 1 :While counter > 0 factorial ×← counter counter -← 1 :EndWhile ⎕ ← factorial

or simply

!5

### AutoHotkey

counter := 5 factorial := 1 While counter > 0 factorial *= counter-- MsgBox % factorial

### Microsoft Small Basic

counter = 5 ' Counter = 5 factorial = 1 ' initial value of variable "factorial" While counter > 0 factorial = factorial * counter counter = counter - 1 TextWindow.WriteLine(counter) EndWhile

### Visual Basic

Dim counter As Integer = 5 ' init variable and set value Dim factorial As Integer = 1 ' initialize factorial variable Do While counter > 0 factorial = factorial * counter counter = counter - 1 Loop ' program goes here, until counter = 0 'Debug.Print factorial ' Console.WriteLine(factorial) in Visual Basic .NET

### Bourne (Unix) shell

counter=5 factorial=1 while [ $counter -gt 0 ]; do factorial=$((factorial * counter)) counter=$((counter - 1)) done echo $factorial

### C or C++

int main() { int count = 5; int factorial = 1; while (count > 1) factorial *= count--; printf("%d", factorial); }

### CFML

#### Script syntax

counter = 5; factorial = 1; while (counter > 1) { factorial *= counter--; } writeOutput(factorial);

#### Tag syntax

<cfset counter = 5> <cfset factorial = 1> <cfloop condition="counter GT 1"> <cfset factorial *= counter--> </cfloop> <cfoutput>#factorial#</cfoutput>

### Fortran

program FactorialProg integer :: counter = 5 integer :: factorial = 1 do while (counter > 0) factorial = factorial * counter counter = counter - 1 end do print *, factorial end program FactorialProg

### Go

Go does not have a while statement, but it has the function of a for statement if you omit some elements of the for statement.

counter, factorial := 5, 1 for counter > 1 { counter, factorial = counter-1, factorial*counter }

### Java, C#, D

The code for the loop is the same for Java, C# and D:

int counter = 5; int factorial = 1; while (counter > 1) factorial *= counter--;

### JavaScript

let counter = 5; let factorial = 1; while (counter > 1) factorial *= counter--; console.log(factorial);

### Lua

counter = 5 factorial = 1 while counter > 0 do factorial = factorial * counter counter = counter - 1 end print(factorial)

### MATLAB & GNU Octave

counter = 5; factorial = 1; while (counter > 0) factorial = factorial * counter; %Multiply counter = counter - 1; %Decrement end factorial

### Mathematica

Block[{counter=5,factorial=1}, (*localize counter and factorial*) While[counter>0, (*While loop*) factorial*=counter; (*Multiply*) counter--; (*Decrement*) ]; factorial ]

### Oberon, Oberon-2 (programming language), Oberon-07, or Component Pascal

MODULE Factorial; IMPORT Out; VAR Counter, Factorial: INTEGER; BEGIN Counter := 5; Factorial := 1; WHILE Counter > 0 DO Factorial := Factorial * Counter; DEC(Counter) END; Out.Int(Factorial,0) END Factorial.

### Maya Embedded Language

int $counter = 5; int $factorial = 1; int $multiplication; while ($counter > 0) { $multiplication = $factorial * $counter; $counter -= 1; print("Counter is: " + $counter + ", multiplication is: " + $multiplication + "\n"); }

### Nim

var counter = 5 # Set counter value to 5 factorial = 1 # Set factorial value to 1 while counter > 0: # While counter is greater than 0 factorial *= counter # Set new value of factorial to counter. dec counter # Set the counter to counter - 1. echo factorial

Non-terminating while loop:

while true: echo "Help! I'm stuck in a loop!"

### Pascal

Pascal has two forms of the while loop, **while** and **repeat**. While repeats one statement (unless enclosed in a begin-end block) as long as the condition is true. The repeat statement repetitively executes a block of one or more statements through an **until** statement and continues repeating unless the condition is false. The main difference between the two is the while loop may execute zero times if the condition is initially false, the repeat-until loop always executes at least once.

program Factorial1; var Fv: integer; procedure fact(counter:integer); var Factorial: integer; begin Factorial := 1; while Counter > 0 do begin Factorial := Factorial * Counter; Counter := Counter - 1 end; WriteLn(Factorial) end; begin Write('Enter a number to return its factorial: '); readln(fv); repeat fact(fv); Write('Enter another number to return its factorial (or 0 to quit): '); until fv=0; end.

### Perl

my $counter = 5; my $factorial = 1; while ($counter > 0) { $factorial *= $counter--; # Multiply, then decrement } print $factorial;

*While* loops are frequently used for reading data line by line (as defined by the `$/`

line separator) from open filehandles:

open IN, "<test.txt"; while (<IN>) { print; } close IN;

### PHP

$counter = 5; $factorial = 1; while ($counter > 0) { $factorial *= $counter--; // Multiply, then decrement. } echo $factorial;

### PL/I

declare counter fixed initial(5); declare factorial fixed initial(1); do while(counter > 0) factorial = factorial * counter; counter = counter - 1; end;

### Python

counter = 5 # Set the value to 5 factorial = 1 # Set the value to 1 while counter > 0: # While counter(5) is greater than 0 factorial *= counter # Set new value of factorial to counter. counter -= 1 # Set the counter to counter - 1. print(factorial) # Print the value of factorial.

Non-terminating while loop:

while True: print("Help! I'm stuck in a loop!")

### Racket

In Racket, as in other Scheme implementations, a *named-let* is a popular way to implement loops:

#lang racket (define counter 5) (define factorial 1) (let loop () (when (> counter 0) (set! factorial (* factorial counter)) (set! counter (sub1 counter)) (loop))) (displayln factorial)

Using a macro system, implementing a *while* loop is a trivial exercise (commonly used to introduce macros):

#lang racket (define-syntax-rule (while test body ...) ; implements a while loop (let loop () (when test body ... (loop)))) (define counter 5) (define factorial 1) (while (> counter 0) (set! factorial (* factorial counter)) (set! counter (sub1 counter))) (displayln factorial)

But note that an imperative programming style is often discouraged in Racket (as in Scheme).

### Ruby

# Calculate the factorial of 5 i = 1 factorial = 1 while i <= 5 factorial *= i i += 1 end puts factorial

### Rust

fn main() { let mut counter = 5; let mut factorial = 1; while counter > 1 { factorial *= counter; counter -= 1; } println!("{}", factorial); }

### Smalltalk

Contrary to other languages, in Smalltalk a *while* loop is not a language construct but defined in the class `BlockClosure`

as a method with one parameter, the body as a closure, using self as the condition.

Smalltalk also has a corresponding whileFalse: method.

| count factorial | count := 5. factorial := 1. [count > 0] whileTrue: [factorial := factorial * count. count := count - 1]. Transcript show: factorial

### Swift

var counter = 5 // Set the initial counter value to 5 var factorial = 1 // Set the initial factorial value to 1 while counter > 0 { // While counter(5) is greater than 0 factorial *= counter // Set new value of factorial to factorial x counter. counter -= 1 // Set the new value of counter to counter - 1. } print(factorial) // Print the value of factorial.

### Tcl

set counter 5 set factorial 1 while {$counter > 0} { set factorial [expr $factorial * $counter] incr counter -1 } puts $factorial

### VEX

int counter = 5; int factorial = 1; while (counter > 1) factorial *= counter--; printf("%d", factorial);

### PowerShell

$counter = 5 $factorial = 1 while ($counter) { $factorial *= $counter-- } $factorial

### While programming language

The While programming language^{[3]} is a simple programming language constructed from assignments, sequential composition, conditionals and while statements, used in the theoretical analysis of imperative programming language semantics.^{[4]}^{[5]}

C := 5; F := 1; while (C > 1) do F := F * C; C := C - 1;

## See also

- Do while loop
- For loop
- Foreach
- LOOP (programming language) – a programming language with the property that the functions it can compute are exactly the primitive recursive functions

## References

- ↑
^{1.0}^{1.1}"The while and do-while Statements (The Java™ Tutorials > Learning the Java Language > Language Basics)". http://docs.oracle.com/javase/tutorial/java/nutsandbolts/while.html. - ↑ "while (C# reference)". http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/2aeyhxcd.aspx.
- ↑ "Chapter 3 : The While programming language". http://profs.sci.univr.it/~merro/files/WhileExtra_l.pdf.
- ↑ Flemming Nielson; Hanne R. Nielson; Chris Hankin (1999).
*Principles of Program Analysis*. Springer. ISBN 978-3-540-65410-0. https://books.google.com/books?id=RLjt0xSj8DcC. Retrieved 29 May 2013. - ↑ Illingworth, Valerie (11 December 1997).
*Dictionary of Computing*. Oxford Paperback Reference (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780192800466. https://archive.org/details/dictionaryofcomp00illi.

Original source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/While loop.
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