Skip to content

Instantly share code, notes, and snippets.

Embed
What would you like to do?

We're excited to have you attend one of our workshops! Here's a JavaScript (re)fresher to help you get up-to-speed on some features of the language we'll be using.

Let and Const

JavaScript has always had var:

var name = 'Ryan'

var can be hard to manage especially because of its "function scoping", so now we've got two other ways to define values that have "block scope":

// var does not have block scope
var name = 'Ryan'
if (true) {
  var name = 'Michael'
  name // 'Michael'
}
name // 'Michael'

// let has block scope
let name = 'Ryan'
if (true) {
  let name = 'Michael'
  name // 'Michael'
}
name // 'Ryan'

// const has block scope too
const name = 'Ryan'
if (true) {
  const name = 'Michael'
  name // 'Michael'
}
name // 'Ryan'

// let can be reassigned
let isOpen = true
isOpen = false
isOpen // false

// const cannot be reassigned
const isOpen = true
isOpen = false // throws error

We find block scope to make more sense to people and is generally more useful, therefore we don't use var.

We use const for everything, unless it can be reassigned later, only then do we use let. It's a way to let other people know (pun intented) to watch out for that value, cause it will likely change over time.

In practice, nearly everything is const.

String templates

const something = 'ugly stuff'
const str = 'instead of ' + something + ' like this'

const something = 'lovely stuff'
const str = `you can do ${something} like this`

const str = `
  also
  multiline
  is totally cool
`

Concise object methods

You can drop off : function from object method definitions.

const obj = {
  insteadOfThis: function() {
    // do stuff
  },

  youCanDoThis() {
    // do stuff
  }
}

Arrow functions

Arrow functions remove the context from a function, meaning the function has no this. If you reference this inside an arrow function, you get the this from outside the function. It also looks great.

const obj = {
  url: '/api/stuff',

  fetch(users) {
    users.forEach((user) => {
      // `this` is the `this` from outside this function because
      // there is no context inside an arrow function
      getUser(`${this.url}/${user.id}`)
    })
  }
}

Also, if the other side of an arrow function is an expression, it acts like an implicit return:

const add = function(x, y) { return x + y }

// becomes
const add = (x, y) => { return x + y }

// which can be shorter with explicit expression return
const add = (x, y) => x + y

// if we want multiline, we can create an expression with ()
const add = (x, y) => (
  x + y
)

Arrays

We do a lot with arrays, here are a few methods we use often:

const numbers = [ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ]

// map converts an array to a new, transformed array
const doubled = numbers.map((number) => {
  return number * 2
})
doubled // [ 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 ]

// filter, return false to remove from an array
const lessThan3 = numbers.filter((n) => {
  return n < 3
})
lessThan3 // [ 1, 2 ]

// remember, that can be super short
const lessThan3 = numbers.filter(n => n < 3)

Destructuring

const obj = { x: 1, y: 2 }

// instead of:
const x = obj.x
const y = obj.y

// we can "destructure" the values off
const { x, y } = obj
x // 1
y // 2

// you can use this all over the place, like function parameters
function add({ x, y }) { return x + y }
add({ x: 3, y: 4 }) // 7

Concise Objects

const x = 1
const y = 2

// instead of
const obj = { x: x, y: y }

// we can drop off the identical key:value pairs
const obj = { x, y }

Modules

// instead of cjs
var React = require('react')

// we use ES modules
import React from 'react'
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom'

// and with destructuring to boot!
import { render } from 'react-dom'

Our training material then uses Webpack, a module bundler, to graph the dependencies and create a build so that this works in the browser.

@dpastoor

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

commented Feb 7, 2016

nice and concise! Not that it should be groundbreaking to anyone but could be a minor addition to the modules to keep the ~1:1 parity of es5 --> es6 if it's worth it.

// instead of cjs
var React = require('react')
var ReactDOM = require('react-dom')
var render = ReactDOM.Render

// we use ES modules
import React from 'react'
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom'

// and with destructuring to boot!
import { render } from 'react-dom'
Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment
You can’t perform that action at this time.