null as possible values for a variable.
In Java, all we have is just
null which means that the variable has no value.
So when I saw this additional value of
Undefined Means “Nothing”
When a variable has the value of
undefined it means two things:
- A variable has been declared
- The variable that has been declared has not yet been assigned ANY value whatsoever
So as you can see, I’ve declared a variable, but I haven’t assigned a value.
Now if I were to inspect that
person variable to see what value it contained, you’d see that it says “undefined”.
var person; alert("The person variable has the value: " + person);
Here’s what the output of this code would be:
Now it’s also interesting to note that when we inspect the type that is assigned to our
person variable, we’ll get the type
Okay, fair enough then right?
undefined means that there’s nothing assigned to our variable… so then, what the heck does
Null is a Place-holder for Nothing
null means that you’ve intentionally assigned a value to your variable, and therefore you’re intentionally assigning the value of nothing to your variable.
You can think
null like a place-holder, meaning that the variable has nothing inside of it, but you intend on assigning it a value later.
The interesting thing to note about assigning
null. Let’s take a look:
var person = null; alert("The person variable has the data type: " + (typeof person));
Here’s the result:
The type of our
person variable is
The common justification for this bug is that when you’re using the value of
null for a variable, it’s because you’re using it as a place-holder for an
object that will be assigned to this variable later.
Not the greatest justification, but that’s just how the cookie crumbles in this case.
The value of
undefined is assigned to any variable that has not yet been assigned a value.
The value of
null can be assigned by YOU if you like, and it represents a lack of a value (aka. nothing!)
Clear as mud?
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