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Cheating with the 'ol dynamic language function alias trick

posted under category: ColdFusion on May 8, 2009 at 1:00 am by MrNate

One of my favorite little tricks to play with CF, and with other dynamic languages like it, is aliasing function names.

Let's say you have a component, User, and a method, getIsUserNameValid(). It's a "getter" in order to satisfy some other kind of style requirement, but writing it out is verbose and feels wrong:

if (user.getIsUserNameValid()) {...}

You have to leave it as is so you don't break any existing method calls, and to keep the basic style guidelines, but what if you could cheat a little? Consider this:

<cfset variables.isNameValid = variables.getIsUserNameValid />
<cfset this.isNameValid = this.getIsUserNameValid />

In ColdFusion, this creates an alias in the private "variables" scope as well as the public "this" scope to the old method. Now you can change your call to:
if (user.isNameValid()) {...}

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