Default values for nulls

Michael Luder-Rosefield rosyatrandom at
Tue Oct 13 13:39:38 UTC 2020

I know I am not the only one who has had several perfectly good use-cases
for default values disallowed, because the value coming in was `null`, not

I cannot be the only one who has let bugs slip in because of failing to
consider this case.

So, if we can find a non-confusing and simple way to alter the spec to
allow for handling this, I imagine it would be considered useful and wanted.

The obvious candidate is the nullish coalescing operator, which is already
part of the spec. Unfortunately, it is currently invalid to indicate
default values with it. I can't see any reason against changing this.

function foo1 (x = 4) {

// currently causes SyntaxError
function foo2 (x ?? 4) {

foo1(null); // null
foo1(undefined) // 4

foo2(null); // 4
foo2(undefined) // 4

// currently causes SyntaxError
// should give x === null, y === 4
const { x = 2, y ?? 4 } = { x: null, y: null };
Dammit babies, you've got to be kind.
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