Nullable types vs Non-nullable types
While developing our C# projects its frequent the null comparison operation to avoid null exceptions. This simple operation is mainly coded using the “var x = null” code example inside an if clause. However not all types of variables are nullable, which means that setting a variable to null is not allowed in every cases, it depends on what kind of type are you defining. But what if there was an extension to your non-nullable type that would convert your variable types to nullable? This extension really exists.
As I said before in C# you have nullable types which represent all the values of an underlying type, and an additional null value and can be declared easily using “T?”, where T is the type of the variable and for example the normal int type cannot be null, so its a non-nullable type, however if you define a “int?” your variable can be null, what you do is convert a non-nullable type to a nullable type.
int x=null; Not allowed
int? x=null; Allowed
While using nullable types you can check if a variable is null the same way you do it with nullable types:
But what about setting a default value when a certain variable is null?
In this cases the c# .net framework let you set a default value when you try to assign a nullable type to a non-nullable type, using the ?? operator.
If you don’t use this operator you can still catch the InvalidOperationException which is throw in this cases.
For example without the ?? operator :
Using the ?? operator your code becomes cleaner and more easy to read and you get a bonus, you can set a default value for multiple variables using the ?? in a chain set.
Thanks, Rui Machado