Hello, I'm Sig.  I develop cool things.

Some Cool Coding Tips

I was doing some nighttime programming for fun, and came across a bit of code I had to look up (i.e. search on the web).  In C#, I was familiar with ternary operators.  I love using them when appropriate.  It turns 3 ~ 5 lines of code into one pretty, simple statement.

When I came across a coalescing operator, my head exploded (ok, that may be a bit over-the-top…).

Coalescing operators have a fantastic usage (particularly in C#) with nullable objects.

Example time!

Lets say we’re posting data to a form.  The form contains a name (which is an optional field) and birth year (another nullable field).

Assuming we have a “Person” object, that takes a string and integer for a birthdate, we could code that up as follows to handle the null-case of those objects being passed in.


public void doThis(String? name, int? birthyear)


Person p =  new Person();

  // option #1 - if statements




        p.name = “Bob”;

  if(birthyear != null)

        p.birthyear = birthyear;


        p.birthyear = 1902;

  // option #2 — ternary operators

  p.name = name!=null ? name : “Bob”;

  p.birthyear = birthyear != null ? birthyear : 1902;


  //option #3 — coalescing operator

  p.name = name ?? “Bob”;

  p.birthyear = birthyear ?? 1902;



How about that for a super quick example? I’m not sure how useful this is, but it seemed like a cool little tidbit of information to come across that I was previously unaware of.  Maybe it’s time I start reading up on the changes between C# 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0.   If I start doing that, I’ll need to look in the differences between Java 6 and 7 (I have 5 and 6 down pretty well), and don’t get me started on PHP 4 and 5…

Ah well, that’s all.  Hope someone on the interwebs finds this useful!