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From C├ędric Champeau <>
Subject Re: Safe index for Groovy 3
Date Wed, 09 Nov 2016 15:37:50 GMT
Not throwing an NPE doesn't mean you are safe. It means it doesn't throw
errors, but you gave away on semantics. NPEs are often blamed, but they
correspond to developer errors. Only the developer knows if null is
relevant or not. I'm totally -1 on this.

2016-11-09 16:33 GMT+01:00 OC <>:

> Daniel,
> On 9. 11. 2016, at 15:49, Daniel Sun <> wrote:
> >       IMHO, 'full safe' switch  will change the semantic of existing '.'
> Absolutely.
> > which may reduce the maintainability and readability of program
> Quite the contrary.
> As always, I might be overlooking something of importance, but it seems to
> be whomever whose code relies on NPE would never use that switch [*].
> On the other hand, for us who *NEVER* want to see *ANY* NPE, and at the
> moment, are thus forced to an ugly mess of special null metaclasses and
> ASTTs, it would help tremendously, making the code considerably more stable
> and safer (e.g., since those ASTTs tend to clash with traits, and who know
> with what else in future).
> Now, [*] I have (just again!) forgot the terrible Java-induced approach of
> building whole project, instead of compiling each source file separately,
> as it always used to be with decent languages. Dang. This means my
> suggested approach of a compiler switch would indeed get dangerous with
> sources, added to project, but maintained by another party -- which sources
> might depend on the NPE, and the compiler switch would cause precisely the
> problems you mention. Therefore, a compiler switch is actually out of
> question.
> Hmmm.... what about a class-level annotation, which would direct the
> compiler (and possibly runtime) to behave appropriately? Something like
> @AlwaysSafe class foo {
>   def bar(a,b,c,d) { // this method never NPEs; if any argument is null,
> it simply returns null
>[d] // and so forth with any other operation
>   }
> }
> That would be, in my personal opinion, completely safe, and would help a
> lot?
> Thanks and all the best,
> OC

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