maybe

A library for treating nil and non-nil objects in a similar manner. Technically speaking, Maybe is an implemenation of the maybe monad.

Synopsis

The Maybe class wraps any value (nil or non-nil) and lets you treat it as non-nil.

 "hello".upcase                         #=> "HELLO"
 nil.upcase                             #=> NoMethodError: undefined method `upcase' for nil:NilClass
 Maybe.new("hello").upcase.__value__    #=> "HELLO"
 Maybe.new(nil).upcase.__value__        #=> nil

You can also use the method Maybe for convenience. The following are equivalent:

 Maybe.new("hello").__value__          #=> "hello"
 Maybe("hello").__value__              #=> "hello"

When you call Maybe.new with a value, that value is wrapped in a Maybe object. Whenever you call methods on that object, it does a simple check: if the wrapped value is nil, then it returns another Maybe object that wraps nil. If the wrapped object is not nil, it calls the method on that object, then wraps it back up in a Maybe object.

This is especially handy for long chains of method calls, any of which could return nil.

 # foo, bar, and/or baz could return nil, but this will still work
 Maybe.new(foo).bar(1).baz(:x)

Here's a real world example. Instead of writing this:

if(customer && customer.order && customer.order.id==newest_customer_id)
  # ... do something with customer
end

just write this:

if(Maybe.new(customer).order.id.__value__==newest_customer_id)
  # ... do something with customer
end

If your wrapped object does not have a #value method, you can call

Maybe.new(obj).value

instead of

Maybe.new(obj).__value__

Examples

Maybe.new("10")                    #=> A Maybe object, wrapping "10"

Maybe.new("10").to_i               #=> A Maybe object, wrapping 10

Maybe.new("10").to_i.__value__     #=> 10

Maybe.new(nil)                     #=> A Maybe object, wrapping nil 

Maybe.new(nil).to_i                #=> A Maybe object, still wrapping nil

Maybe.new(nil).to_i.__value__      #=> nil

Related Reading

Note on Patches/Pull Requests

  • Fork the project.
  • Make your feature addition or bug fix.
  • Add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.
  • Commit, do not mess with rakefile, version, or history. (if you want to have your own version, that is fine but bump version in a commit by itself I can ignore when I pull)
  • Send me a pull request. Bonus points for topic branches.

Copyright

Copyright (c) 2009, 2010 Ben Brinckerhoff. See LICENSE for details.