Ah, the ternary operator. At their worst they’re a way to obfuscate your code. At their best, they’re a lovely short-hand.

For example, you might use the ternary operator to validate the inputs of a function or handle a flag.

Adam Spofford found this creative use of the ternary operator in a game he’s developing for:

    this.worldUuid = builder.worldId == null ? null : builder.worldId;
    this.position = builder.position == null ? null : builder.position;
    this.rotation = builder.rotation == null ? null : builder.rotation;
    this.scale = builder.scale == null ? null : builder.scale;

    this.worldUuid = builder.worldId;
    this.position = builder.position;
    this.rotation = builder.rotation;
    this.scale = builder.scale;

Curious about how this specific block came to be, Adam poked through the Git history. For starters, the previous version of the code was the last four lines- the sane lines. According to git blame, the project lead added the four ternary lines, with a git comment that simply read: “Constructing world details”. That explains everything.

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