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- Subject: Depth indexing of nil
- From: Simon Green <Simon.Green@...>
- Date: Thu, 9 Jul 2015 13:10:20 +1200
I’m relatively new to Lua and I feel like this should have already been answered, but if so I cannot find the right combination of words to type into Google to find it.
Suppose I have a nested structure of tables a to e such that I could have a.b.c.d.e. However, anything from b down might not actually exist. So, ‘a’ could be empty, or ‘b’ could be … all the way down to ‘d’ not having an ‘e’.
I want to use the value of ‘e’, if it exists. If it doesn’t, that’s fine, I do something else. This:
if a.b.c.d.e == something then
only works if everything down to e exists. If anything else doesn’t, then Lua spits the dummy and tells me I’m indexing a nil value. This is technically correct, but actually, I don’t care. So what I end up having to do is:
if a and a.b and a.b.c and a.b.c.d and a.b.c.d.e and a.b.c.d.e == something then
In Python, if I referenced a.b.c.d.e and b didn’t exist I’d simply get an IndexError or KeyError exception. Noting that there are no exceptions in Lua, is there some other way I can avoid having thousand-word-long lines every time I want an if statement? Basically, what I'm asking is, if 'b' doesn't exist, is there a way to have a.b.c.d.e == x just return false instead of break my entire program?
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