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A British computer scientist named Tony Hoare introduced null references back in 1965 while designing ALGOL W, one of the first typed programming languages with heap-allocated records, “simply because it was so easy to implement.” Despite his goal “to ensure that all use of references could be absolutely safe, with checking performed automatically by the compiler,” he decided to make an exception for null references, because he thought this was the most convenient way to model the absence of a value. After many years he regretted this decision, calling it “my billion-dollar mistake.” We’ve all s...


Cover of Java 8 in Action: Lambdas, streams, and functional-style programming


a history story. I like it!