Issue #17326 has been updated by p8 (Petrik de Heus).


Shouldn't this be the default instead?
And if you want to call methods on possible nil use `&.`

----------------------------------------
Feature #17326: Add Kernel#must! to the standard library
https://bugs.ruby-lang.org/issues/17326#change-88536

* Author: jez (Jake Zimmerman)
* Status: Open
* Priority: Normal
----------------------------------------
# Abstract

We should add a method `Kernel#must!` (name TBD) which raises if `self` is `nil` and returns `self` otherwise.


# Background

Ruby 3 introduces type annotations for the standard library.
Type checkers consume these annotations, and report errors for type mismatches.
One of the most common and most valuable type errors is whether `nil` is allowed as an argument or return value.
Sorbet's type system tracks this, and RBS files have syntax for annotating whether `nil` is allowed or not.

Since Sorbet checks proper usage of `nil`, it requires code that looks like this:

```ruby
if thing.nil?
  raise "The thing was nil"
end

thing.do_something
```

This is good because it forces the programmer to acknowledge that the thing might be `nil`, and declare
that they'd rather raise an exception in that case than handle the `nil` (of course, there are many other
times where `nil` is both possible and valid, which is why Sorbet forces at least considering in all cases).

It is annoying and repetitive to have to write these `if .nil?` checks everywhere to ignore the type error,
so Sorbet provides it as a library function, called `T.must`:

```ruby
T.must(thing).do_something
```

Sorbet knows that the call to `T.must` raises if `thing` is `nil`.
To make this very concrete, here's a Sorbet playground where you can see this in action:

[→ View on sorbet.run](https://sorbet.run/#%23%20typed%3A%20true%0Aextend%20T%3A%3ASig%0A%0Aclass%20Thing%0A%20%20def%20do_something%3B%20end%0Aend%0A%0Asig%20%7Bparams(thing%3A%20T.nilable(Thing)).void%7D%0Adef%20example1(thing)%0A%20%20%23%20error%2C%20might%20be%20nil%3A%0A%20%20thing.do_something%0Aend%0A%0Asig%20%7Bparams(thing%3A%20T.nilable(Thing)).void%7D%0Adef%20example2(thing)%0A%20%20if%20thing.nil%3F%0A%20%20%20%20raise%20%22The%20thing%20was%20nil%22%0A%20%20end%0A%0A%20%20%23%20no%20error%2C%20because%20it's%20after%20the%20%60if%20.nil%3F%60%20check%3A%0A%20%20thing.do_something%0Aend%0A%0Asig%20%7Bparams(thing%3A%20T.nilable(Thing)).void%7D%0Adef%20example3(thing)%0A%20%20%23%20no%20error%2C%20because%20it's%20after%20the%20%60if%20.nil%3F%60%20check%3A%0A%20%20T.must(thing).do_something%0Aend)

You can read more about `T.must` in the [Sorbet documentation](https://sorbet.org/docs/type-assertions#tmust).


# Problem

While `T.must` works, it is not ideal for a couple reasons:

1.  It leads to a weird outward spiral of flow control, which disrupts method chains:

    ```ruby
    # ┌─────────────────┐
    # │      ┌────┐     │
    # ▼      ▼    │     │
    T.must(T.must(task).mailing_params).fetch('template_context')
    # │      │          ▲               ▲
    # │      └──────────┘               │
    # └─────────────────────────────────┘
    ```

    compare that control flow with this:

    ```ruby
    # ┌────┐┌────┐┌─────────────┐┌────┐
    # │    ▼│    ▼│             ▼│    ▼
      task.must!.mailing_params.must!.fetch('template_context')
    ```

2.  It is not a method, so you can't `map` it over a list using `Symbol#to_proc`. Instead, you have to expand the block:

    ```ruby
    array_of_integers = array_of_nilable_integers.map {|x| T.must(x) }
    ```

    Compare that with this:

    ```ruby
    array_of_integers = array_of_nilable_integers.map(&:must!)
    ```

3.  It is in a Sorbet-specific gem. We do not intend for Sorbet to be the only type checker.
    It would be nice to have such a method in the Ruby standard library so that it can be shared by all type checkers.

4.  This method can make Ruby codebases that **don't** use type checkers more robust!
    `Kernel#must!` could be an easy way to assert invariants early.
    Failing early makes it more likely that a test will fail, rather than getting `TypeError`'s and `NoMethodError`'s in production.
    This makes all Ruby code better, not just the Ruby code using types.


# Proposal

We should extend the Ruby standard library with something like this::

```ruby
module Kernel
  def must!; self; end
end

class NilClass
  def must!
    raise TypeError.new("nil.must!")
  end
end
```

These methods would get type annotations that look like this:
(using Sorbet's RBI syntax, because I don't know RBS well yet)

```ruby
module Kernel
  sig {returns(T.self_type)}
  def must!; end
end

class NilClass
  sig {returns(T.noreturn)}
  def must!; end
end
```

What these annotations say:

- In `Kernel#must!`, the return value is `T.self_type`, or "whatever the type of the receiver was."
  That means that `0.must!` will have type `Integer`, `"".must!` will have type `String`, etc.

- In `NilClass#must!`, there is an override of `Kernel#must!` with return type `T.noreturn`.
  This is a fancy type that says "this code either infinitely loops or raises an exception."
  This is the name for Sorbet's [bottom type](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bottom_type), if you
  are familiar with that terminology.

Here is a Sorbet example where you can see how these annotations behave:

[→ View on sorbet.run](https://sorbet.run/#%23%20typed%3A%20true%0A%0Amodule%20Kernel%0A%20%20T%3A%3ASig%3A%3AWithoutRuntime.sig%20%7Breturns(T.self_type)%7D%0A%20%20def%20must!%3B%20self%3B%20end%0Aend%0A%0Aclass%20NilClass%0A%20%20T%3A%3ASig%3A%3AWithoutRuntime.sig%20%7Breturns(T.noreturn)%7D%0A%20%20def%20must!%0A%20%20%20%20raise%20TypeError.new(%22nil.must!%22)%0A%20%20end%0Aend%0A%0Axs%20%3D%20T%3A%3AArray%5BInteger%5D.new(%5B0%5D)%0AT.reveal_type(xs.first)%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%23%20T.nilable(Integer)%0AT.reveal_type(xs.first.must!)%20%23%20Integer%0A%0Ays%20%3D%20T%3A%3AArray%5BT.nilable(Integer)%5D.new(%5B0%2C%20nil%2C%201%2C%20nil%2C%202%5D)%0AT.reveal_type(ys)%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%23%20T%3A%3AArray%5BT.nilable(Integer)%5D%0AT.reveal_type(ys.map(%26%3Amust!))%20%23%20T%3A%3AArray%5BInteger%5D)

# Alternatives considered

There was some discussion of this feature at the Feb 2020 Ruby Types discussion:

Summarizing:

- Sorbet team frequently recommends people to use `xs.fetch(0)` instead of `T.must(xs[0])`
  on `Array`'s and `Hash`'s because it chains and reads better.
  `.fetch` not available on other classes.

- It's intentional that `T.must` requires as many characters as it does.
  Making it slightly annoying to type encourages developers to refactor their code so that `nil` never occurs.

- There was a proposal to introduce new syntax like `thing.!!`. This is currently a syntax error.

  **Rebuttal**: There is burden to introducing new syntax. Tools like Rubocop, Sorbet, and syntax highlighting
  plugins have to be updated. Also: it is hard to search for on Google (as a new Ruby developer). Also: it
  is very short―having something slightly shorter makes people think about whether they want to type it out
  instead of changing the code so that `nil` can't occur.

Another alternative would be to dismiss this as "not useful / common enough". I don't think that's true.
Here are some statistics from Stripe's Ruby monolith (~10 million lines of code):

| methood | percentage of files mentioning method | number of occurrences of method |
| --- | --- | --- |
| `.nil?` | 16.69% | 31340 |
| `T.must` | 23.89% | 74742 |

From this, we see that

- `T.must` is in 1.43x more files than `.nil?`
- `T.must` occurs 2.38x more often than `.nil?`


# Naming

I prefer `must!` because it is what the method in Sorbet is already called.

I am open to naming suggestions. Please provide reasoning.


# Discussion

In the above example, I used `T.must` twice. An alternative way to have written that would have been using save navigation:

```ruby
T.must(task&.mailing_params).fetch('template_context')
```

This works as well. The proposed `.must!` method works just as well when chaining methods with safe navigation:

```ruby
task&.mailing_params.must!.fetch('template_context')
```

However, there is still merit in using `T.must` (or `.must!`) twice―it calls out that the programmer
intended neither location to be `nil`. In fact, if this method had been chained across multiple lines,
the backtrace would include line numbers saying specifically **which** `.must!` failed:


```ruby
task.must!
  .mailing_params.must!
  .fetch('template_context')
```




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