The optional chaining operator returns the value of an object property when the object is available and
.? is similar to the standard
. chaining operator, with an added check if the object is defined.
It enables you to write concise and safe chains of connected objects when some of those objects can be
undefined. Before the introduction of optional chaining in ES2020, the
&& operator was often used to check if an object is available (
obj && obj.value).
You can simplify existing checks to use the optional chaining pattern, for example:
x && x.ato
x != null && x.ato
x !== null && x !== undefined && x.ato
x && x.a && x.a.b && x.a.b.c && x.a.b.c.dto
One thing to be aware of is that this refactoring replaces falsy checks with nullish checks. For example, when
a && a.b is replaced with
a?.b, it changes the execution for certain types, e.g. the empty string
"" is falsy but not nullish.
However, in many cases these semantic changes will lead actually to more correct behavior. For example,
text && text.length will return the empty string, but not its length, whereas
text?.length will return
0 for the empty string.
P42 now supports converting many of the above checks into the optional chaining pattern. Try it out in the P42 VS Code Extension!