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Here's how to test whether a parameter is unset, or empty ("Null") or set with a value:

+--------------------+----------------------+-----------------+-----------------+
|                    |       parameter      |     parameter   |    parameter    |
|                    |   Set and Not Null   |   Set But Null  |      Unset      |
+--------------------+----------------------+-----------------+-----------------+
| ${parameter:-word} | substitute parameter | substitute word | substitute word |
| ${parameter-word}  | substitute parameter | substitute null | substitute word |
| ${parameter:=word} | substitute parameter | assign word     | assign word     |
| ${parameter=word}  | substitute parameter | substitute null | assign word     |
| ${parameter:?word} | substitute parameter | error, exit     | error, exit     |
| ${parameter?word}  | substitute parameter | substitute null | error, exit     |
| ${parameter:+word} | substitute word      | substitute null | substitute null |
| ${parameter+word}  | substitute word      | substitute word | substitute null |
+--------------------+----------------------+-----------------+-----------------+
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