Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Null is a Global Variable

Programmers often bemoan the problems of the concept of null that exists in programming languages. Even C.A.R. Hoare, the inventor of the null reference, calls it a billion dollar mistake. Some detest its existence, and indicate that it's useless. However, it occurred to me that null can actually be thought of as a global variable - one that is used across all applications and domains to indicate special cases, such as the end of a data structure or a missing entry.