What then, is b?

(This was going to be an article about how impossible it is to design one language that has all my favourite features. But instead, became a scene from "A Coder's Edition of Saw.")

You wake up, in unfamiliar surroundings.

You must've experienced some kind of memory loss because you have no idea how you got to where you are. Your forehead is brittle with dried blood.

In front of you is a computer screen, and on the screen it says:

a = Add(2,3);

//a is 5.

b = Add(2);

//what is b?

Intriguing. What is b?

Because you're uncertain of the language in question, you can't be sure.

It could be that Add is an overloaded function, in which case b would be an integer. Its exact value is anyone's guess.

Or it could be that Add has an optional second parameter. Again b would be an integer, though its value could be anything.

It could be that the code refuses to run. The missing parameter is a deal breaker.

But you look at the tattoo on the back of your hand, the 11th letter of the greek alphabet, and you are certain.

What then, is b?

 

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