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> not as safe as the Objective-C approach where one can just send messages to nil[0] which is really awesome imo.

It's definitely NOT awesome. This stupid behaviour causes bugs all the time as you think you're doing an action but it's actually a no-op because something else failed and you get a nil. An NPE is awesome - it crashes immediately and you know exactly what is wrong. A silent no-op is the worst thing to debug.

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