Nothing is Something
Since I discovered
/dev/null on Unix I have been always fascinated by the concept of nothingness in computers.
When I started developing in Objc it took me a while to get acquainted with the fact that “it’s ok to send messages to nil”. And now Swift has changed the cards again with optionals.
I recently watched this presentation by Sandi Metz at RailsConf 2015.
She has been a Smalltalk developer and in the video the influence of “programming as message passing” is very evident. Besides being a very entertaining speaker she goes over a few interesting examples of refactoring, all avoiding the check for nil, and favoring the Null Object Pattern.
I wasn’t a fan of optionals in Swift. I am gradually discovering how much time a simple
? can save you.