[swift-evolution] ternary operator ?: suggestion

Nick Shelley nickmshelley at gmail.com
Mon Dec 14 18:50:05 CST 2015

> I however frequently hear people saying ternary should be avoided because
> they are hard to read or they hate them.

FWIW, I used to be one of those people, but then started working on a team
where one member liked them. He didn't force them on us, but after enough
code reviews where he showed us how to turn 5-line if/else statements into
simple one-line ternary expressions, I got used to reading them and now
love them and use them often.

People also hate map, flatMap, reduce, etc., for the same reasons (it's
hard for them to read because it's not the for loop they're used to). I
think it's a simple matter of getting used to it.

On Mon, Dec 14, 2015 at 11:57 AM, Chris Lattner via swift-evolution <
swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:

> On Dec 14, 2015, at 12:19 AM, Paul Ossenbruggen via swift-evolution <
> swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:
> Once again, thank you for all the feedback, if I sound in anyway grumpy in
> responding to any email, it has a bit more to do with my cold than the
> suggestions.
> I have split the original proposal into two proposals and incorporated a
> bunch of feedback. Splitting it up has been extremely good, not only does
> it improve readability, I am actually finding I could take or leave the
> ternary replacement idea. But the proposal will be there if enough everyone
> thinks it is a good idea. We could put it to a vote to see if there is
> enough interest and I would be happy to take it further if there is. I
> suspect this thread would not exist at all if there was no interest in it.
> However, I am finding I am far more interested in getting switch
> expressions.
> Ternary Replacement
> https://github.com/possen/swift-evolution/blob/master/0021.md
> Quick comment.  The proposal states:
> Is it really better? Why not just keep ternary expressions?
> This is a valid question, there is an advantage in compactness to ternary
> expressions. I however frequently hear people saying ternary should be
> avoided because they are hard to read or they hate them. There seems to
> many who either stronly dislike it or don't care.
> However, it doesn’t actually show that it is solving the objections people
> have to the ternary operator.  It is true that some people find the ?:
> syntax weird, but an equal number of people say that the problem is that
> you’re putting complex conditional logic inline into the middle of an
> expression - this proposal actually makes that objection worse.  There are
> also other objections to ?:, and until you enumerate them, it is hard to
> see whether this proposal is making things better or worse.
> -Chris
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