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A “Yoda condition” is when a piece of computer syntax is inverted or swapped around, for example, where instead of declaring a variable equal to a constant, the programmer declares a constant equal to a variable. A key characteristic of Yoda conditions are that they do not impair the function of the code in any way.
Inconsequential changes in code syntax are called Yoda conditions because of the beloved Star Wars character who is known for inverting English language syntax. Instead of saying something like “you will try,” Yoda says “try, you will.” By the same token, Yoda conditions take a conventional piece of code syntax and flip its parts around; the constant/variable change is one of the most common. For instance, over the evolution of computer programming, programmers have gotten used to saying things like “x = 5." However, the computer is just as comfortable with “5 = x.” But humans oftentimes are not – they see it as a confusing syntax change. Yoda conditions may serve no real purpose other than being confusing, or in some cases, they may be motivated by some perceived utility. This type of thing can also be called "Yoda notation."