When you can, always try to use the Null Object Pattern; however, there are times that may prove difficult. This doesn’t mean you need to abandon all readability though. Here is a block of code I ran into today that was improved with a little refactoring TLC.
nil is conveniently falsey doesn’t mean it’s always best to
treat it that way. Compare the before and after blocks above. Which has
clearer intent on why next is called? I’m sure if you read it a bit the first
makes sense, but the whole point is to avoid the necessity of reading code that
much to figure out what it’s doing.
This is one of the cooler idioms I love about Ruby.
nil? is baked into nil to
be true and on
Object, everything else, it’s false. Using this makes your code
more readable, use it every chance you get instead of that ugly null boolean