Notes On: JavaScript


Javascript is awesome. Variables are loosely-typed. Curly braces (most of the time) and semi-colons are essential. Things just work like you expect them to ... or do they?


There are two ways of declaring a function. Both are valid, but try to use the second method as it keeps the usage of var to a minimum. Functions can be placed in any order, anywhere in your script file as they are "..." (there is a word for this property ... and I forgot!).

// Method One
var function_name = function(arg_one,arg_two) {
    # Do something

// Method Two (recommended)
function function_name(arg_one,arg_two) {
    # Do something

Call the function such as function_name(prop_one,prop_two).


There are two ways to declare an object in Javascript: through literal notation or via a constructor.

// Literal Notation
var object_one = {
    prop_one: "value one",
    prop_two: "value two"

// Object Constructor
var object_two = new Object();
    object_two.prop_one = "value one";
    object_two.prop_two = "value two";

To refer to an object property, there are two notations

// Dot Notation
var prop1 = object_one.prop_one;

// Bracket Notation
var prop2 = object_one["prop_one"];

Methods are functions that are associated with a particular object.

Constructors & Classes

We have already met the Object constructor, here are some more alongside their respective literal notation

// Object Constructor    // Literal Notation
var obj = new Object();  // var obj = {};

// Array Constructor     // Literal Notation
var arr = new Array();   // var arr = [];

// String Constructor    // Literal Notation
var str = new String();  // var str = "";

To create your out constructor, use the following

function cons_name(arg_one,arg_two) {
    this.prop_one = arg_one;
    this.prop_two = arg_two;

When defining your own constructor, you are in fact defining a new class.


As we have seen there are various types of variables. Use the typeof command to return a variable type, such as

var anObject = { prop: "value" };
var aNumber  = 1;
var aString  = "string";

console.log( typeof anObject );  // object
console.log( typeof aNumber );   // number
console.log( typeof aString );   // string

Object Methods

Objects in Javascript have many methods attached to them natively. Say we have an object called obj

obj.hasOwnProperty("prop_name");  // Returns true if the object has that particular property


A prototype is an object from which other objects inherit properties.

In general, if you want to add a method to a class such that all members of the class can use it, we use the following syntax to extend the prototype

class.prototype.method_name = function(args) {
    // Do something

Note that we can even extend the prototype of a built-in javascript class.


You can create new classes which are children of other classes, which effectively become the parents.

// The child _inherits_ properties and methods from the Parent class
Child.prototype = new Parent();

Hence, you can create prototype chains, whereby children and grandchildren etc can access properties and methods belonging to their parents and grandparents etc.

To test whether a child is an instance of their parent, we can use the instanceof keyword.

console.log(Child instanceof Parent);


Encapsulation is the grouping of an object's data together with its methods. Encapsulating objects allows us to reuse blocks of code to have a more efficient program.

Public and Private variables

Up to now, we have been defining public variables in our classes and objects.

function Class_Name(arg1,arg2) {
    this.arg1 = arg1;               // Public
    this.arg2 = arg2;               // Public
    var arg3 = "something";         // Private

To access a private variable, we can define a public method, a getter.

function Class_Name(arg1,arg2) {
    this.arg1 = arg1;               // Public
    this.arg2 = arg2;               // Public
    var arg3 = "something";         // Private
    this.getArg3 = function() {
        return arg3;

Methods can also be private. Just create a public method that returns the private method.


There are various loops in Javascript, as in many other programming languages.

function Class_Name(arg1,arg2) {
    this.arg1 = arg1;               // Public
    this.arg2 = arg2;               // Public
    var arg3 = "something";         // Private
    this.getArg3 = function() {
        return arg3;


An indexed array is just an ordered list.

var array = ["string","another string","yet another string"];

To access the array, we use literal notation with an index based at zero.

console.log(array[0]);  // string

To add to the end of an array, we use the push() method.

array.push("one more string");  // ["string","another string","yet another string","one more string"]

The splice() method can be used to remove items from an array. It takes two arguments, both integers, specifying the index to start at, and the number of items to remove.

array.splice(1,2);  // ["string","one more string"]

To copy an array, or part of an array, we use the slice() method. If there are no arguments, then the whole array is copied. Else, we state two arguments which specify the start and end indexes required.

array.slice();     // ["string","another string","yet another string","one more string"]
array.slice(1,2);  // ["another string","yet another string"]

Arrays can contain any objects, in any combination, even arrays themselves to make multi-dimentional arrays.