Allow questionmarks in variable names
I thought such an issue would've already been discussed but no number of searches allowed me to find a similar request. Feel free to close if I missed a previous refusal.
From time to time, especially when trying to clear up complex conditional logic, I find myself wishing I could add
? to variable names, since I got used to it while naming methods.
For example, currently:
if (node? && terminal?) || (halting && (value == halting)) # ... end
last_node = self.node? && self.terminal? halt_on_node = halting && (value == halting) if last_node || halt_on_node # ... end
halt_on_node is clear enough, but
last_node feels like it would contain a node, instead of expressing its actual purpose ("is the node the last one?").
Right now a developer would have two options as I see them:
1 - extract the conditional to a method
def last_node? which can be a bit much if it's the only place this code is called.
2 - rename the variable something like
is_last_node, which feels a bit silly since we're in ruby and used to seeing
?s for predicates.
Trying to assign to a questionmarked variable (
a? = true) raises a
SyntaxError. IMHO, it would make for more coherent design to allow it, just like we do in method names.
I was afraid that
variable? would be already parsed as beginning a ternary expression (
variable?1:3) but this isn't parsed either, the only thing it's used for is for method calls (
a?5 <==> a?(5)), so this change wouldn't disrupt any current behavior, the expression would just be looked up like any other call instead of only looking up methods.
The only thing I can see with this is that it might raise the issue of allowing
!s in variable names too, which I'm not sure makes a lot of sense (unlike
? which denotes "booleanness", a trait shared by variables and methods alike, I can't see how a variable would be "dangerous").