Lessons from a life of startups, coding, countryside, and kids
You see, I had this little piece of code like:
if last_statistic.blank? or last_statistic.different?(options) # do stuff end
but I wanted to make it a bit more obvious what that condition represented so I changed it to
create_new = last_statistic.blank? or last_statistic.different?(options) if create_new # do stuff end
That should be the same, right? Right?!
I am not one for rote learning, which is my excuse for not knowing the exact operator precedence rules in Ruby. I knew that
||) were not the same (have fun parsing that sentence!).
Here’s the basic rule: never use
or with an assignment
I knew this but I got tricked into it by the simple refactoring.
= has a higher precedence than
create_new = last_statistic.blank? or last_statistic.different?(options)
is actually being executed as
(create_new = last_statistic.blank?) or last_statistic.different?(options)
It also explains why the value seemed to be correct when I pasted the condition into a Pry session (because I wasn’t including the assignment).
I think every has this moment of WTF but I consider
or to be an invaluable part of Ruby’s literacy. This is just my little reminder to myself to use the word-y operators with care