# Assignments

Value assignments to variables use the `=` symbol.

``````let foo = 42;

bar = 123 * 456 - 789;

x[1][2].prop = do_calculation();``````

## Valid Assignment Targets

The left-hand-side (LHS) of an assignment statement must be a valid l-value, which must be rooted in a variable, potentially extended via indexing or properties.

Assigning to invalid l-value

Expressions that are not valid l-values cannot be assigned to.

``````x = 42;                 // variable is an l-value

x[1][2][3] = 42         // variable indexing is an l-value

x.prop1.prop2 = 42;     // variable property is an l-value

foo(x) = 42;            // syntax error: function call is not an l-value

x.foo() = 42;           // syntax error: method call is not an l-value

(x + y) = 42;           // syntax error: binary op is not an l-value``````

## Values are Cloned

Values assigned are always cloned. So care must be taken when assigning large data types (such as arrays).

``````x = y;                  // value of 'y' is cloned

x == y;                 // both 'x' and 'y' hold different copies
// of the same value``````

## Moving Data

When assigning large data types, sometimes it is desirable to move the data instead of cloning it.

Use the `take` function to move data.

### The original variable is left with `()`

``````x = take(y);            // value of 'y' is moved to 'x'

y == ();                // 'y' now holds '()'

x != y;                 // 'x' holds the original value of 'y'``````

### Return large data types from functions

`take` is convenient when returning large data types from a function.

``````fn get_large_value_naive() {
let large_result = do_complex_calculation();

large_result.done = true;

// Return a cloned copy of the result, then the
// local variable 'large_result' is thrown away!
large_result
}

fn get_large_value_smart() {
let large_result = do_complex_calculation();

large_result.done = true;

// Return the result without cloning!
// Method style call is also OK.
large_result.take()
}``````

### Assigning large data types to object map properties

`take` is useful when assigning large data types to object map properties.

``````let x = [];

// Build a large array
for n in 0..1000000 { x += n; }

// The following clones the large array from 'x'.
// Both 'my_object.my_property' and 'x' now hold exact copies
// of the same large array!
my_object.my_property = x;

// Move it to object map property via 'take' without cloning.
// 'x' now holds '()'.
my_object.my_property = x.take();

// Without 'take', the following must be done to avoid cloning:
my_object.my_property = [];

for n in 0..1000000 { my_object.my_property += n; }``````