Issue #8237 has been updated by wardrop (Tom Wardrop).


=begin
Don't pick apart the trivial examples too much Henry. There's often situations where the return value may be nil or false, but which when truthy, you want to do some kind of operation on. As a simple example, let's say you expect a string to be returned from a method call, but there's a circumstance in which that call may result in nil. You can't say that this pattern is uncommon, and you can't say that it's bad code...

    options[:title].upcase! if options[:title]

This suggestion is about making the double-call unnecessary, and more succinct. If fetching ((|:title|)) is an expensive operation or has side effects, you don't want to call it twice. In this case, the above example turns into either of these:

    title.upcase! if title = options[:title]
    
    options[:title].tap { |v| v.upcase! if v }

With this proposal, it becomes...

    .upcase! if options[:title]

That's the basic premise. There are many other similar scenario's, some of which have already been given. I don't think the potential for a feature to be abused or used incorrectly is a good enough reason to reject it. Ruby has the most potential for abuse out of any language I've seen or used. Ruby allows you to redefine even the most critical classes and methods at runtime - does that mean we should remove that ability? If the only valid use cases for a feature serve as examples of bad coding, then that's different, but I don't believe that's the case for this feature.
    
=end
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Feature #8237: Logical method chaining via inferred receiver
https://bugs.ruby-lang.org/issues/8237#change-38388

Author: wardrop (Tom Wardrop)
Status: Open
Priority: Normal
Assignee: 
Category: 
Target version: 


=begin
This is a feature suggestion that was raised while discussing issue #8191. The feature suggestion is to introduce some form of logical method chaining to address this reasonably common pattern:

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

It would be reasonably trivial to shorten this to:

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

The implementation I propose would be for Ruby to allow an inferred receiver; the dot prefix would be the syntax for this. The inferred receiver would resolve to the result of the last expression in the current scope. For illustrative purposes, the following would work under this proposal:

    "some string"
    puts .upcase #=> SOME STRING

Another example:

    puts .upcase if obj.success_message || obj.error_message

    # Instead of...

    message = (obj.success_message || obj.error_message)
    puts message.upcase if message

This can also potentially provide an alternative option in syntactically awkward scenario's, such as dealing with the return value of an if statement or a catch block, avoiding the need for temporary variable assignment:

    catch :halt do
      # Do something
    end

    if .nil?
       log.info "Request was halted" 
       response.body = "Sorry, but your request could not be completed"
    end

The logical chaining scenario is the main use case however. I just wanted to demonstrate how the proposed implementation could also be used in other creative ways.

=end


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