Other Rulescript Concepts

true and false

true and false are sometimes called “Boolean values”. They are simple to grasp for quantitative questions (“is X greater than Y?”, for example), but there are some points worth discussing.

First, RuleScript’s true and false are the same as JSON’s true and false. So, you can use a rule to simply ask whether a JSON field is true. For example, in the input:

  "is-valid": true

The following rule is ok:

  (in input find is-valid))

Second, RuleScript contains a number of synonyms for true and false to make reading rules more natural. These synonyms are an experimental language feature and may be removed in future versions.

RuleScript is designed so that rules must evaluate to a true or false value. Due to the way Clojure represents truthiness, the values nil (equivalent to JSON’s null) and false are equivalent to false in RuleScript, and any other value is equivalent to true. This is a major gotcha for new RuleScript writers.

Taking the above two paragraphs into account, here are all of the synonyms for true and false:

Same as trueSame as false
any other valuenil

Rule results

Applying a rule will cause one of four results to be recorded:

  • pass
  • fail
  • error
  • warning

pass and fail correspond to true and false respectively. They say, in effect, that the rule’s criteria was or was not met.

An error result indicates that something went wrong with the compiler when trying to apply your rule. You should check the output for a hint about how to fix the problem.

warning and warn-when

A warning result is given when you have specifically indicated that a pass or fail should instead be reported as a warning. This is a convenience for special cases where a human reviewing your results needs to be aware of something meaningful to your policy, but the outcome of the rule is not critical to your overall verification process.

You can cause a warning to be emitted by using the warn-when expression. It looks like this:


sentinel can be true, false, or any of their synonyms. Note that to make a warn-when, you simply “wrap” it around a standard rule definition. Nothing about the rule expression changes when using warn-when; the rule is just the second argument to warn-when.

complete? and complete-seq?

Two very useful expressions for validating data. complete? takes a JSON object and checks whether all of its fields/keys/properties have an associated value. For example, the object { "name": "" } is not complete; the name value is empty. Similarly, { "age": null } is empty; the age value is null. complete? works on very large objects–use it everywhere! complete-seq? works like complete?, but on sequences of things.