Unison Control Structures: Loops and Conditionals

Are you ready to take your Unison programming skills to the next level? If so, you've come to the right place! In this article, we'll be diving into the exciting world of Unison control structures, specifically loops and conditionals.

But first, let's quickly review what control structures are and why they're important in programming.

What are Control Structures?

Control structures are programming constructs that allow you to control the flow of execution in your code. They enable you to make decisions, repeat actions, and perform other complex operations that would be impossible with simple sequential code.

In Unison, there are two main types of control structures: loops and conditionals. Let's take a closer look at each of these.


Loops are used to repeat a block of code multiple times. They're incredibly useful when you need to perform a task a certain number of times, or when you want to iterate over a collection of data.

The for Loop

The most common type of loop in Unison is the for loop. Here's what it looks like:

for i in [1, 2, 3]:
  print i

This loop will iterate over the list [1, 2, 3] and print each element to the console. The loop variable i takes on the value of each element in the list in turn.

You can also use the for loop to iterate over a range of numbers:

for i in range(1, 4):
  print i

This loop will print the numbers 1, 2, and 3 to the console.

The while Loop

The while loop is another type of loop in Unison. It repeats a block of code as long as a certain condition is true.

Here's an example:

i = 0
while i < 5:
  print i
  i = i + 1

This loop will print the numbers 0 through 4 to the console.


Conditionals are used to make decisions in your code. They allow you to execute different blocks of code depending on whether a certain condition is true or false.

The if Statement

The most basic type of conditional in Unison is the if statement. Here's what it looks like:

x = 5
if x > 0:
  print "x is positive"

This code will print "x is positive" to the console, since the condition x > 0 is true.

You can also use an else statement to execute a block of code if the condition is false:

x = -5
if x > 0:
  print "x is positive"
  print "x is negative"

This code will print "x is negative" to the console, since the condition x > 0 is false.

The elif Statement

Sometimes you want to test multiple conditions in a row. For this, you can use the elif statement:

x = 0
if x > 0:
  print "x is positive"
elif x < 0:
  print "x is negative"
  print "x is zero"

This code will print "x is zero" to the console, since the condition x > 0 is false and the condition x < 0 is also false.


Congratulations! You've now learned about two of the most important control structures in Unison: loops and conditionals. With these tools in your programming arsenal, you'll be able to write more complex and powerful programs than ever before.

But don't stop here! There's still so much more to learn about Unison. Check out our other articles and tutorials to continue your journey towards becoming a Unison master.

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Written by AI researcher, Haskell Ruska, PhD (haskellr@mit.edu). Scientific Journal of AI 2023, Peer Reviewed