Issue #8191 has been updated by phluid61 (Matthew Kerwin).


=begin
rosenfeld (Rodrigo Rosenfeld Rosas) wrote:
 > Matthew, I'm curious. What method would you call over "false"?

Sorry, I don't quite understand what you're asking.  What method would I call on false?  None, which is why it makes sense to me to avoid calling the method if the result is ((|false|)) or ((|nil|)).  This is reinforced by the common pattern (({get_value && do_something})), as opposed to the much less common (({get_value.nil? ? nil : do_something}))

 > It would help if could provide a real-world use case showing how 2 could
 > be useful.

Earlier on Tom posted the code:

 if user && user.profile && user.profile.website && user.profile.website.thumbnail

I've seen this pattern before so I assume it's fairly common.  Option 2 is a nicer version of the same, which has less typing, and also eliminates repeated side-effects from any of the chained methods.

My proposal 3/4 is the one I'm less sure of, except that (as far as I can see) that's what ((*andand*)) does, and it's definitely the easier to implement.  I suppose it could have a use in debugging:

 puts user.?profile.?website.inspect  # => 'www.example.com' or 'nil'

or adhering to an external schema that, let's say, uses ((|0|)) to represent null values:

 dept_id = user.department.?id.to_i
=end
----------------------------------------
Feature #8191: Short-hand syntax for duck-typing
https://bugs.ruby-lang.org/issues/8191#change-38285

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


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