Built In Types: Num

The type num can represent any int or float value. This type can be useful when specifying the interface to a function. Consider the following function declarations from the math library:

function sqrt(num $arg): float;
function log(num $arg, ?num $base = null): float;
function abs<T as num>(T $number): T;
function mean(Container<num> $numbers): ?float;

The square-root function sqrt takes a num and returns a float. The log-to-any-base function log takes a num and a nullable-of-num and returns a float. The generic absolute-value function abs has one type parameter, T, which is constrained to having type num or a subtype of num. abs takes an argument of type T and returns a value of the same type. The arithmetic-mean function mean takes a generic type Container-of-type-num and returns a nullable-of-float.

Consider the following example:

class Point {
  private float $x;
  private float $y;
  public function __construct(num $x = 0, num $y = 0) {
    $this->x = (float)$x;
    $this->y = (float)$y;
  public function move(num $x = 0, num $y = 0): void {
    $this->x = (float)$x;
    $this->y = (float)$y;
  // ...

Internally, class Point stores the x- and y-coordinates as floats, but, for convenience, it allows any combination of ints and floats to be passed to its constructor and method move.

When given a num value, to find out what type of value that num actually contains, use the is operator.

See the discussion of type refinement.

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