The coalesce binary expression evaluates to the first non-nil value. There is an augmented assignment version of it as well.
<a> ? <b>
The expression evaluates to a unless that value is nil, in which case, it evaluates to b.
Although uncommon, nothing prevents b itself from also being nil. Neither expression will be evaluated more than once and if a is non-nil then b will not be evaluated at all.
The type of the coalesce expression is the greatest common denominator between the type of a and the type of b.
<a> ?= <b>
In the augmented assignment version, the result is assigned back to a. This requires that b is type compatible with a or a compilation error will occur.
# Example 1 print name ? 'NONAME' # Example 2 def foo(factor as decimal?) factor ?= 1 # 'normalize' factor before proceeding with the rest of implementation ... # Example 3 get name as String return _name ? .getType.name # Example 4 # this: name = if(employee.manager.name<>nil, employee.manager.name, 'NONAME') # can evaluate the key expression twice and is less succinct than: name = employee.manager.name ? 'NONAME'