Assigning Default Values To Undefined Variables

Sep 1, 2007

I'm moving from php to JavaScript. What I want to do is assign a value to a variable only if the variable hasn't been assigned yet.

In php it would be:

if($variable=='')
$variable='default value'

I thought the equivalent in javascript would be:

if(variable=='')
variable='default value'

Can anyone explain why this doesn't work, or what I should do instead?

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I am trying to assign a value to a java variable inside the script that I am calling via ajax but once the call is over it shows variable as undefined:

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dataType: "script",

[Code].....

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I know I can do:

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[Code.....

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Looking for clarification of undefined variables vs. error in
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e.g.
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</script>

<script>
alert( this.z );
alert( window.z ); // both equivalent, no error, but window.z is
'undefined'
</script>

why is it that 'z' alone without the global object generates an error,
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the javascript interpreter knows to create a global variable z

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Code:
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Here is the code:
Code:
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in php it would look like this
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