Proposal: Elvis and Other Null-Safe Operators

Jeremy Manson jeremy.manson at
Tue Mar 3 11:36:51 PST 2009

On Tue, Mar 3, 2009 at 11:31 AM, Jeremy Manson <jeremy.manson at> wrote:

> Flipping through a few thousand lines' worth of our source files, I
> see hundreds of examples of #1, and only a couple of examples of #2.
> Most of the time, we know a priori that we're not doing a null
> dereference, so we don't need the ?..  This pretty much gels with my
> intuition about this.  Perhaps it is different in EE code?  I would be
> interested to hear a more thorough study of people's source bases.  If
> it is true that #2 is only responsible for a tiny fraction of the
> cases in general, then it is a little odd to add a programming
> language feature around it.

I should add to this that most of the cases I found were things like:

if (foo != null) {;

That's not really all that compelling.  The really compelling case for
this feature is:;

where each and everyone needs to be null checked, and you want to
abandon the computation if any is null.  I didn't see any of these at
all, but, as I said, this might be different in EE code.


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