Universal Operators

Several operators can be applied to objects of any type.


The as() operators coerces objects of one type to be an object of another. The target type is given as a string argument to the operator. The following types are available:

  • "Boolean"

  • "Number"

  • "RegExp"

  • "String"

  • "Hex"

The following coercions are valid:

  • Strings can be coerced to numbers (integers or reals) and regular expressions. If the string is not parsable as a number, the result is null. The empty string parses as 0.
  • Numbers can be coerced to strings. 
  • Regular expressions can be coerced to strings.
  • Any expression can be coerced to Boolean.
  • null and false can be coerced to 0, and true can be coerced to 1
  • Hex values must match the regex /^[A-F0-9]+$/

An error is thrown for other attempted coercions, unless the value being coerced by as() is already of the target type.

For example, the following constructs a string and then turns it into a regular expression that can be used by the replace() operator:

("re#q=" + q + "#i").as("RegExp")


The defaultsTo() operator returns the value of its first argument if the object is null. The second argument is a string and is optional. If present, it is written in the log if the object is null. 

doesnotexist.defaultsTo(x);  // returns the value of x
doesnotexist.defaultsTo([]); // returns the empty array
doesnotexist.defaultsTo([], "doesnotexist was null"); // returns the empty array and writes a message to log

The operator is most often used to guard against null values.


The encode() operator returns a string containing the JSON representation of the data structure to which it is applied. For example:

a = {"a" : 10, "b" : [1, 3, "hello"]};
b = a.encode() // b = "{\"a\" : 10, \"b\" : [1, 3, \"hello\"]}";

The encode() operator takes an optional positive integer argument specifying that the object should be pretty printed (if it contains or is a map or array) with newlines and indents with that number of spaces.


The isnull() operator returns true of the object is null (undefined) and false otherwise.

doesnotexist.isnull(); // returns true


The klog() operator writes an optional message, given as a string argument, and the value of the object to the debug log. 

x = some_arr.filter(function(x){x == 5}).klog("Value after filter: ").head();


The typeof() operator returns the type of the object to which it is applied. The return value is one of the strings that may be passed to as(), or one of the other following values:

  • "Array"

  • "Map"

  • "Null"

  • "Hex"

For example:

nums = [1, 2, 3]
nums_type = nums.typeof() // nums_type = "Array"

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