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10 Small Javascript Tricks You Should Master In this JavaScript tutorial article, the author provides ten small JavaScript tips and tricks, mainly aimed for beginner and intermediate Javascript developers; also for web developers and web programmers that need good solutions in their JavaScript programming language works. List of these JavaScript snippets sorted by the author's experiment, such as:

1. Variables conversions
2. Converting decimals to hex or octals and vice versa
3. Playing with variable numbers
4. Passing arguments for function

Please go to the detailed post-page for full instructions & JavaScript example codes.


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6. Testing existence of property

This issue can be approached at least from two directions. Either we check whether property exists or we check the type of property. But always avoid these small mistakes:

// BAD: This will cause an error in code when foo is undefined
if (foo) {
	doSomething();
} 

// GOOD: This doesn't cause any errors. However, even when
// foo is set to NULL or false, the condition validates as true
if (typeof foo != "undefined") {
	doSomething();
}

// BETTER: This doesn't cause any errors and in addition
// values NULL or false won't validate as true
if (window.foo) {
	doSomething();
}

However, there may be situations, when we have deeper structure and proper checking would look like this:

// UGLY: we have to proof existence of every
// object before we can be sure property actually exists
if (window.oFoo && oFoo.oBar && oFoo.oBar.baz) {
	doSomething();
}

7. Passing arguments for function

When function has both required and optional parameters (arguments), eventually we may end up with functions and function calls looking like this:

function doSomething(arg0, arg1, arg2, arg3, arg4) {
...
}

doSomething('', 'foo', 5, [], false);

It's always easier to pass only one object instead of several arguments:

function doSomething() {
	// Leaves the function if nothing is passed
	if (!arguments[0]) {
		return false;
	}

	var oArgs	= arguments[0]
		arg0	= oArgs.arg0 || "",
		arg1	= oArgs.arg1 || "",
		arg2	= oArgs.arg2 || 0,
		arg3	= oArgs.arg3 || [],
		arg4	= oArgs.arg4 || false;
}

doSomething({
	arg1	: "foo",
	arg2	: 5,
	arg4	: false
});

This is only a rough example of passing an object as an argument. For instance, we could declare an object with name of the variable as keys and default values as properties (and/or data types).

8. Using document.createDocumentFragment()

You may need to dynamically append multiple elements into document. However, appending them directly into document will fire redrawing of whole view every time, which causes perfomance penalty. Instead, you should use document fragments, which are appended only once after completion:

function createList() {
	var aLI	= ["first item", "second item", "third item",
		"fourth item", "fith item"];

	// Creates the fragment
	var oFrag	= document.createDocumentFragment();

	while (aLI.length) {
		var oLI	= document.createElement("li");

		// Removes the first item from array and appends it
		// as a text node to LI element
		oLI.appendChild(document.createTextNode(aLI.shift()));
		oFrag.appendChild(oLI);
	}

	document.getElementById('myUL').appendChild(oFrag);
}

9. Passing a function for replace() method

There are situations when you want to replace specific parts of the string with specific values. The best way of doing this would be passing a separate function for method String.replace().

Following example is a rough implementation of making a more verbose output from a single deal in online poker:

var sFlop	= "Flop: [Ah] [Ks] [7c]";
var aValues	= {"A":"Ace","K":"King",7:"Seven"};
var aSuits	= {"h":"Hearts","s":"Spades",
			"d":"Diamonds","c":"Clubs"};

sFlop	= sFlop.replace(/\[\w+\]/gi, function(match) {
	match	= match.replace(match[2], aSuits[match[2]]);
	match	= match.replace(match[1], aValues[match[1]] +" of ");

	return match;
});

// string sFlop now contains:
// "Flop: [Ace of Hearts] [King of Spades] [Seven of Clubs]"

10. Labeling of loops (iterations)

Sometimes, you may have iterations inside iterations and you may want to exit between looping. This can be done by labeling:

outerloop:
for (var iI=0;iI<5;iI++) {
	if (somethingIsTrue()) {
		// Breaks the outer loop iteration
		break outerloop;
	}

	innerloop:
	for (var iA=0;iA<5;iA++) {
		if (somethingElseIsTrue()) {
			// Breaks the inner loop iteration
			break innerloop;
		}

	}
}

Afterwords

Go ahead and comment! Did you learn anything new? Do you have good tips to share? I'm always delighted for sharing information about all the little details in Javascript.

And if you want to familiarize with Javascript irregularities, I suggest you visiting at wtfjs :).

JavaScript by day


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