Re: Assigning void

Lew <>
Sat, 13 Oct 2012 12:38:29 -0700 (PDT)
Jeff Higgins wrote:

Others have pointed you to the specification.
I don't know why it can't be a shorthand if-then-else statement too.

Whether it could have been, the history of the ternary ?: operator has been
solely as an expression, although this is muddied in languages that permit
standalone expressions.

Java chose to prohibit standalone expressions. Having ?: work as a statement

  x ? 3 : 4;

is no better or worse than would any other expression

  3 + 4;

Java banned the latter, perforce the former.

You asked why. The reason is consistency. Why shouldn't expressions work
as standalone statements generally, as in C? I guess it's to do with the
philosophy that side effects by themselves are not imperatives.

In any event, to make the ternary ?: a "shorthand if-then-else statement"
requires we make every expression a statement. Is that a good idea?

As it's oppositional to the core ontology of Java, it'll never happen.

Now that you know why, the debate is open as to whether the reason is


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