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pls explain this notation (i think it is an IF STATEMENT

 
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Yes, it's a sort of "if" statement called the "ternary operator". The part before the "?" is the condition, and the parts before and after the ":" are the true and false results, respectively. Both results have to produce a value and they have to be type-compatible. The whole expression says "if value is null, use ""; else use value.toString()."
 
Christopher Whu
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thank you.... i truly am a greenhorn...
 
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You will find that operator called the ternary operator (because it has three operands) or the conditional operator; I have googled and found a few links which appear useful: 1 (but the () quoted are not an essential part of the operator) 2 and there are bound to be many others.
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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Incidentally: you ought never write this snippet in real code, because there's a standard method that does exactly this: the static method String.valueOf():

 
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Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:
Incidentally: you ought never write this snippet in real code, because there's a standard method that does exactly this: the static method String.valueOf():



In fact, it doesn't produce the same result...
 
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Right. String.valueOf returns "null" (a String) if the operand is null.
 
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