Note: information on this page refers to Ceylon 1.2, not to the current release.

else operator

The left-associative, binary else operator is used to provide a default value when it's left operand is null.


void m(String? s) {
    String s2 = s else "";



The else operator is defined in terms of an if expression as follows

if (exists lhs) then lhs else rhs

See the language specification for more details.

The then/else idiom

The then operator is often used with the else operator to emulate C's ternary operator cond ? when-true-expr : when-false-expr, like so

T|F result = cond then whenTrueExpr else whenFalseExpr;

Compared to if expressions

Distinct from the then/else idiom Ceylon has a separate if expression:

if (cond) then whenTrueExpr else whenFalseExpr;

The if expression is more powerful than the then/else idiom, since it supports flow typing of is, exists or nonempty conditions to the branches


The result type of the else operator is given by the type expression Lhs&Object|Rhs, where Lhs is the type of the left hand operand and Rhs is the type of the left hand operand.

See also