Issue #8191 has been updated by JonRowe (Jon Rowe).


Although this is just my 2ยข...  I think this is a bad idea... and here's why...

1) One of the principles of good software development is "tell don't ask", meaning that we should be passing messages around objects, telling others to do things for us, not checking incessantly wether we should do something based on a value. We should be giving our code objects that respond to the things we wish to use. in your example, it would be better to render different templates based on the population of the object. E.g. render an 'empty' partial of a 'full' partial.

2) There is already a tendency in Ruby based code to abuse nil and return values thus just as `object.do_something rescue nil` is a code smell, so will `object.do_something otherwise nil` become.

3) To quote someone on twitter...  "Demeter says no." 

It would be better to encourage our design of code to not use nil and instead tend towards things like NullObjects rather than adding another layer of conditional protections.

If frameworks built on top of Ruby wish to implement such things (such as Rails Object#try) they are open to do so, but I strongly believe we shouldn't pollute the language with them.
----------------------------------------
Feature #8191: Short-hand syntax for duck-typing
https://bugs.ruby-lang.org/issues/8191#change-38138

Author: wardrop (Tom Wardrop)
Status: Assigned
Priority: Normal
Assignee: matz (Yukihiro Matsumoto)
Category: 
Target version: 


=begin
As a duck-typed language, Ruby doesn't provide any succinct way of safely calling a potentially non-existant method. I often find myself doing (({obj.respond_to? :empty ? obj.empty : nil})), or if I'm feeling lazy, (({obj.empty? rescue nil})). Surely we can provide a less repetitive way of achieving duck-typing, e.g. I don't care what object you are, but if you (the object) can't tell me whether you're empty, I'm going to assume some value, or do something else instead.

I'm not sure what the best way to implement this is. The easiest would be to just define a new conditional send method:

    obj.send_if(:empty?, *args) { nil }

    obj.try(:empty?, *args) { nil }

But that's really not much of an improvement; it's ugly. Preferably, it'd be nice to build it into the language given how fundamental duck-typing is to Ruby. One potential syntax is:

   obj.empty? otherwise nil

The ((|otherwise|)) keyword would be like a logical or, but instead of short-circuiting on true, it short-circuits on some other condition. That condition can be one of two things. It can either wait for a NoMethodError (like an implicit (({rescue NoMethodError}))), proceeding to the next expression if one is raised, or it can do a pre-test using (({respond_to?})). Each option has its pro's and con's.

The implicit rescue allows you to include expressions, e.g. 

    obj.empty? otherwise obj.length == 0 otherwise true

Going with the implicit (({respond_to?})) implementation probably wouldn't allow that. You'd instead need to limit it just to method calls, which is not as useful. The only problem with implicitly rescuing NoMethodError's though, is that you'd need to ensure the NoMethodError was raised within the target object, and not some dependancy, as you could potentially swallow valid exceptions.

The benefit of this over current methods of duck-typing, is that you're not testing a condition, then running an action, you're instead doing both at the same time making it much more DRY.

One other potential syntax however is a double question mark, or question mark prefix. This could act as an implicit (({respond_to?})) pre-condition, returning nil if the method doesn't exist.

    obj.empty??? || obj.length?? == 0 || nil

    obj.?empty? || obj.?length == 0 || nil

I'm not completely satisfied with either syntax, so at this point I'm merely hoping to start a discussion. 

Thoughts?
=end


-- 
http://bugs.ruby-lang.org/